The Life of an African American Slave

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Regenia DeWalt
English 2223
Jenny Bowers
June 26, 2012
The Life of an African American Slave
As early as the 1700’s, many slaves were captured to work on the white man’s plantation. For this purpose cotton and tobacco took center stage as they became the cash crops. Poverty stricken with no way out, slaves became frustrated, alienated, and violated, which caused most of them to become rebellious and runaway. However, when runaways were apprehended, flogging was the mere punishment, and death was the severity. Chores on the plantation consisted of cooks, workers in the fields, and mainly women working in the Master’s homes. Normalcy became a constant reminder of family members being sold or separated. Under these conditions, slaves harbored Christianity as a sanctuary in hope that freedom might one day become a blessing for their future. The era was the seventeenth century. Cotton and tobacco were the cash crops. The plantation inhabited two types of slaves, which were house servants or house slaves, and most importantly field workers. Field work was not an easy task. From sunrise to sunset a field slave worked many hours to endure labor with a white overseer guarding them with a whip. Although cotton and tobacco sweated many brows, but during harvest time, an eighteen-hour work day was the minimum time spent in the fields. After working in the cotton fields, slaves stood in line with a minimum of cotton weighing two-hundred pounds was hope of receiving a meal. Working the fields, women also worked as many hours as men. During pregnancy they were expected to work until the child was born and after the child’s birth the woman worked in the field with the child on her back. Later, they went home to their tiny huts with dirt floors as a foundation, which was no protection against a brutal winter. Under better conditions than a field worker, a house slave took on multiple tasks. Cooking, and cleaning up after the master’s mistress was the least...
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