Slavery is an American embarrassment; in present day, African Americans and woman have gained the basic rights given to every American. (3) Slavery existed in every colony in the New World from Canada to the Rio de la Plata. (3) It emerged as a way of buying and selling humans to produce labor needed on the Plantations in the early seventeenth century. However, prior to the full system of slavery, blacks were relatively equal to whites. They were able to own land, make their own money, and live with the same rights as whites.
Anthony Johnson is one slave from his era to live a successful life. He started as a slave in Virginia, but later fought to achieve the American Dream. (4) Bought into slavery Anthony seemed to have no control over his future. He was referred to as “ Antonio a Negro” and was purchased to work on the Bennett plantation in the tobacco fields. (8)
As every American slave, Anthony had to fight day by day to survive. The poor living conditions with no food or water took a toll on his new life in the Americas. Living each day he was exposed to death, cruelty, and starvation. He seemingly had no opportunity of starting a family because of scarcity of woman; which gave him no choice other than slavery (9). On March 22, 1622, the Indians of Tidewater Virginia attacked Edward Bennett’s tobacco plantation in Virginia (9). The attack on the plantations killed over three hundred and fifty colonists; fifty-two were killed at the plantation (9). Anthony Johnson was one of the twelve lucky survivors. He was fortunate enough to gain his freedom after the attack; all of the people fled their own way. He was able to start his quest to living the American dream, and later gained the name Anthony Johnson. Anthony Johnson got a fresh start in the new world. He was finally able to start a family, he married a woman named Mary. She was the only female to be living at the Bennett’s farm in Warresquioake. They would live together