Prince among slaves

Topics: Slavery, Family, Islam Pages: 1 (351 words) Published: October 19, 2013
Abd al Rahman Ibrahima was a muslim slave who was captured when defeated in a war. It all took place in small Southern American town, whom Ibrahim’s father befriended a white man (Prince Among Slaves, by Terry Alford). Ibrahim is translated as Abraham. Abraham was known as a prince. His father was a king of the cattle raising people. Abraham was enslaved by family in Natchez, Mississippi. On August 18, 1789, Abraham was purchased by Thomas Foster. While Abraham was captured, leaving his wife and two sons, he had no idea of what freedom was going to mean to him. He became known as the “Prince” because that’s how Thomas named him. Abraham at first tried to gain his freedom by offering gold to the Foster family to be released. But Thomas Foster was not interested in his offering of gold. He wanted Abraham for him. Abraham then later stopped trying and was the slave for the Fosters for many years. Freedom to Abraham had no meaning as he didn’t know when he would be free. According to the text Prince among slaves he was a “negro bruto.” While being a slave, Ibrahima refused to do what the Jalunke was expected to do. The work was antithetical and below Abraham’s cast. He refused to work and not go to field. Thomas then was infuriated and due to Abraham’s defiance in return he was whipped. “The bonds of servitude lay heavy upon him,” wrote Major Steve Power in the Memento(1897). Although Abraham lived many years as a slave and spent many years without his family he stayed strong and held on to his Muslim faith. Upon being set free Abraham expressed what he has found, “what indeed might be found by anyone, that happiness does not depend on ones rank” (Prince among Slaves). The meaning for freedom for him was more of what he learned and experienced as a slave. He didn’t know when he would be free, he basically made his mind that he was going to be a slave with no saying to what he believed.
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