The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Nat Turner's slave rebellion Pages: 4 (1502 words) Published: October 12, 2013
The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion, a book written by Stephen Oates is about a slave insurrection led by Nat Turner in 1831. The United States was still a very young and vulnerable country in the early 19th century. Slavery was seen as an essential part of the economy and the American experience. Stephen Oates compares the differences between Southern and Northern slaves. In the Deep South blacks where assaulted, publicly humiliated, murdered and lynching’s were all part of daily life. In comparison to Southampton, Virginia the slaves here enjoyed additional independence and privileges. Oates describes a setting in Antebellum Southampton County where whites took pride in how “well” they treated blacks. Here a slave, Nat Turner would be born on October 17, 1800 who would be forced to stand up and fight for justice. Nat Turner would lead a bloody revolt and become a hero changing the lives of blacks and whites forever. He was hero in the eyes of some and a murderer in view of others, but what is a hero? A Hero is “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (Dictionary.com) Oates explains how a boy slave who was treated “well”, and was educated, would ultimately rebel for freedom of himself and his people, but in the process would cause the lives of many. According to Oates, Virginians in Old Dominion took special pride in how “well” they treated their black slaves. Virginians often were kind enough to bring slaves to their churches with them on Sunday. Here the slaves were privileged enough to preacher’s sermon. However, this benefit and freedom was allowed under certain terms. Blacks would sit (if there were no whites standing) in the back pews or in the balcony. Blacks would never sit in the front or center with their white masters. The gracious efforts of Southampton’s whites were continued on display Sunday afternoon. It was common for masters to allow blacks to visit family and...
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