"The Slave Community"
Analyzes John W. Blassingame's 1972 book, "The Slave Community: Plantation Life In the Antebellum South".
# 26910 | 1,264 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 |
Published on May 20, 2003 in African-American Studies (Pre-Civil War) , English (Analysis) , African-American Studies (Slavery) , African-American Studies (Racism)
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This paper discusses Dr. Blassigame's text, a modern examination of the enslavement of native Africans and African-Americans in the southern United States from the mid-Eighteenth Century to the mid-Nineteenth Century. The paper shows how Blassigame makes use of slave autobiographies, travel narratives and interviews with plantation owners in order to analyze the structural components of slave life in the United States, as well as the psychological underpinnings of the institution of slavery.
From the Paper:"In The Slave Community, Blassingame's main thesis is that the personalities of enslaved African peoples were complex and shaped by many social and cultural factors. He argues that the maintenance of separate living quarters, traditional family structures, and a strong spiritual foundation allowed enslaved Africans and African Americans to maintain a degree of personal autonomy and create meaningful cultural traditions. By underscoring the individuality, independence, and creativity of individual slaves in their response to slavery, Blassingame
deflates the common stereotype of the lazy, docile, and broken 'Sambo' personality type so promoted by slave owners and perpetuated in popular culture in the century after slavery."
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