Presentation on theme: "African Americans at Mid-Century"— Presentation transcript:
1African Americans at Mid-Century Chapter 20African Americans at Mid-Century
2North (Free) vs. South (Slave) Slaves’ legal status was the same as property. Slaves did not have the same rights as free people and could be bought and sold.Rural slaves worked on farms and plantations in the South. Urban Slaves lived in cities and were hired out to factories, mills and workshops. Their wages were given to their owners.Half of all free African Americans lived in the South. Free African Americans in the South were not allowed to work in certain jobs. Most worked as laborers, craftspeople, or household servants.Free African Americans in the North held low paying jobs, were not allowed to vote, were denied entry in public schools and faced discrimination by whites. Despite discrimination, some formed churches, schools, and other organizations.
3II. Economics of Slavery CottonCotton GinMade cotton a cash crop1790 – 3,000 bales – 4 million balesSupply & DemandPrice of cotton increased – slaves more valuable to owners
4Working & Living Conditions of Slaves Slaves worked on farms of various sizes. ¾ of all slaves were field hands. Others worked as seamstresses, carpenters, blacksmiths, cooks or servants. Work started at six years of age.Slaves lived in crowded cabins and were provided enough to stay healthy for work.Slaves were given clothing allowances for a year. These clothes were poor quality and when they wore out they had to go naked until the next allowance was given.Slaves were poorly clothed and housed compared to white southerners, but were more likely to receive medical attention.
6V. Controlling Slaves Punishment Slave Breakers beating, whipping, brandingPunishment often kept them from being able to work right awayCaused greater rebellionSlave BreakersUsed when slaves did not learn lessonfear, violence and overwork
8VI. Resistance to Slavery Day-to-Day ResistanceQuiet acts – pulled down fences, broke tools, damaged crops, snuck foodAvoidance – pretending to be sick, insane, blindDeadly – fires, poisonOpen Defiance1. Pushed too hard – refusal to work, rejected orders, violence
9VI. Resistance to Slavery Running AwayRisksa) slave-catchers: mauled by dogs, whippedMethodsWalked by night, hid by dayBoats, trains with fake IDsMailed in boxes, coffinsUnderground RailroadMembers provided transportation and safe houses“conductors” risked lives helping slaves travel the “freedom train”- Harriet Tubman
10VI. Resistance to Slavery RebellionDenmark Vesey Charleston, SCAuthorities learned of plan to lead revoltVesey and 30 slaves arrested and hangedNat Turner VirginiaTurner and followers armed with axes and guns set to kill every white person they could find2 days later – 57 people had been hacked to death
11VII. Slave Families & Communities Legal IssuesSlave marriages not recognized therefore slave families did not exista) Created own weddings – tradition of jumping the broomstickControl of children rested with masterLessons for ChildrenSilence around whitesObedienceRespect themselves and members of slave community
12VIII. Leisure Time Activities Quilting BeeCreated much needed bedding for familyQuilting Feast & DanceAfter sewing was doneHomemade instrumentsSundaysReligionRecreation – eating, hunting, fishing, dancing, singing, gambling
13IX. Slave Churches Slaveholder’s Church Invisible Church Slaves encouraged to attendMasters read Bible to workersa) Preached obedience to both heavenly and earthly mastersInvisible ChurchMet in slave quartersTold stories of Moses leading people out of slaverySang spirituals expressing desire for freedom
14X. African American Culture Songs & SpiritualsRhythms and harmonies of Africa but speak realities of slaverySlave Dances1. Escaped cares, expressed feelings, refreshed spiritsAfrican Legends & Folktales1. Br’er Rabbit – rabbit always outwits the larger animal (symbolic of slave-master relationship?)