Slavery In Virginia

Reading this section reminded me of a course I took in freshman year, entitled Slavery in Virginia. When speaking of slavery in the U.S., Virginia is probably the first place mentioned or discussed. Virginia is rich in slave history. Many practices, traditions, and events were rooted in slavery and uplifted the system of slavery. During this time period in Virginia, no one seemed to do what was right or did anything positive for African-Americans.

For decades and centuries, people were so accustomed to living among or in slavery, that it became normalized. Slaves were hung, lynched, beaten, separated from their families, dehumanized, and even after slavery, a system was created to oppress African-Americans similar to slavery. No matter how blacks pushed to be relieved from slavery and the life that degraded them, they were still oppressed in some way.

 

Systemic Normalization

“Pleasants lay mortally wounded. He died two days later. No one in Virginia started an antislavery newspaper for general circulation in the two final decades of state-sanctioned slavery in Virginia. White opposition to slavery was effectively silenced.” This passage pulled from the novel Richmond’s Unhealed History was of interest to me because I had always wondered if there had been a public voice speaking up for the slaves in Virginia and this passage sort of answered my question. I feel like especially now days but also in the past, the media has a large influence on our thoughts and beliefs. After this reading it makes sense that silencing antislavery press was a major concern for the city of Richmond. They didn’t want the citizens to be influenced by the newspapers, particularly because slavery had been state-sanctioned, and 40 percent of the population was enslaved. The fact that reporters were risking their lives to write antislavery articles shows how complicit the newspapers were at this time and the systemic way that slavery survived. Because they were lacking other perspectives no one saw how wrong it was because it was just a part of their everyday lives. Without a voice against slavery, it became normalized.

Faith in Humanity Restored – or not?

The section that I am interested in is the one that talks about theGreat Awakening; a religious revival that brought about the development of American evangelical Christianity. Reading this section of the book did give me a sense of hope for the salvation of the enslaved even though nothing could change the history. It surprises me that we needed a religion to remind us that everyone is equal and deserving. This section started off with George Whitefield, a clergy, who often addressed both white and black as a unit. He was aware about the spiritual needs of the African American in his ministry when these people were ignored of their spiritual sanctuary. This was followed by more worship, prayer and religious studies conducted outside the established church. It is very interesting to me that there were people who took the risk of being imprisoned by preaching in unauthorized locations in order to provide venues for the enslaved to practise their religion. Aside from this narrative of attempts by the Christian bodies to emancipate the enslaved, it is disheartening to realize that their fate relied heavily on those who were privileged and had power to go against the city of Richmond.

Chapter 5

I am interested in the “Slavery and Revolution” section because I think that it can describe the foundations of cruel mentalities and behavior towards others and how it is evident in law making.

This section was describing how the media and the educational systems continuously broadcast certain information while withholding others. Since children are being taught certain information, society is molding certain thoughts and behaviors for future leaders with misleading mindsets and conceptions of the past. Moreover, generally rich, white men have a voice in different systems in society and they generally do not have the best interest for minorities.

But Has It Really Changed?

“Grow In the Grace of Knowledge and Truth”

The bottom of page 93-94

This quote stuck out to me the most because I feel as if everyone still needs to be educated on history that is often swept under the rug. “You learn something different everyday” is another way to put this. People in today’s society sometimes make up their own history, especially when it comes to the African American history. What surprised me right after this quote happen to be another quote. “ Slavery has always sought to hide itself under different names”. It shows that people try and “ Sugar Coat” what the actual reality of it is. I find that the most challenging thing about reading this section and reading the quotes I have defined is that, others still look at African Americans as slaves. There is a lot of hate still in Virgina when it comes to our history. We have had riots, vandalism, and marches in richmond for the past five years and none of the marches have educated anyone. It has just been Hate Marches. Being the fact that this book gives you insight on the history of Virginia. For the ones who read the book can educate others and teach others what the History Textbook does not. 

 

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