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Effects of Slavery on the African American Family

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Effects of Slavery on the African American Family

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The effects of slavery on the African American family were tremendous. From slave mother's and father's having their children taken away and sold, to brother's and sister's being split apart, to having the actual slave-owner being the one to father children with slaves, to even say that African American families even existed might sound ridiculous. But they did exist; it just depends on what you might define as a "family". Slavery did not weaken or dissolve the African American family. Instead, it brought all involved even closer together. I will discuss in this paper how for the author's of Incidents and Narrative, families were a driving force of their mission to free themselves. I will also discuss that for Douglass and Jacobs, no matter how harsh of treatment their masters and overseers inflicted upon them and their family, both author's families were able to hold strong and continue to exist. Third I will discuss the roles of white men and women that played huge parts in shaping the lives and families of Douglass and Jacob's for the benefit of the African American family, instead of trying to suppress and eliminate it.

In both books, Douglass' Narrative and Jacobs' Incidents, families played a key roll in the lives of the authors. They were the people in their lives that gave hope, and inspired both authors to escape to the north for freedom and better lives for them and their family. For Douglass, the actual connections to immediate family didn't really exist due to him being so young and separated from his mom, sisters, and brother and never having really seen them enough to consider them close family. But just because you don't share the same blood, doesn't mean that you can't consider those close to you family. Close friends for Douglass were his family. In Douglass' Narrative he wrote, "For the ease with which I passed the year, I was, however, somewhat indebted to the society of my fellow slaves. They were noble souls; they not only possessed...