Intro into African American Studies
4 October 2012
In history, slavery has been a large problem in The United States and has caused many issues. We know slavery as history, while people like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs knew slavery as their lives. Frederick Douglass was a man who was born and raised as a slave, he never knew his mother and watched many terrifying things as a child. Another known slave was Harriet Jacobs; she was a slave who was abused in many ways. Both of these slaves lived through hardship and turbulence growing up. Most people could not even fathom the pain and suffering these two slaves endured. They were considered to be chattel slaves.
Chattel is a type of slavery. According to Dictionary.com chattel is “any article of tangible property other than land, buildings, and other things annexed to land.” Slaveholders feel as though their slaves have no rights and they are their own property. Most slaves during this time were chattel slaves and were treated very poorly by there slaveholders.
In his essay on brutality toward slaves, Frederick Douglass shares some of the horrors that were his reality. As a slave himself, he understands from first-hand experience how badly slaves were treated. He mentions emotional and physical abuse he received from his slaveholder. He talked about how the slaves were not allowed to know how old they were or information that might expose them to more about their families. Douglass mentioned the fact that slaveholders would whip the slaves until bloody while making other slaves watch. Slaveholders would shoot and kill their slaves if they did not follow orders, Douglass acknowledges. Slaveholders would keep all personal information from their slaves. The fact that a slave would not have the right to know how old they are would create emotional hardship and eliminate an important sense of self. Some slaveholders would not...