The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.”
– Fredrick Douglass, The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass
For this week we will delve deeper into a topic that has followed us through this entire course: the manner in which slavery developed into as an institution and its policy of systemic oppression in the American South. Ultimately when reflecting on questions surrounding the eventual end of slavery in the U.S., we have to ask ourselves if such things could happen in the present day. The answer is a resounding yes. For decades Slavery and Genocide scholars have repeatedly asked and ultimately been disappointed by the answers they’ve found to the question, “can never again become a reality?”
For more information on instances of institutionalized slavery and genocide currently taking place in the world today, you can refer to the following resources:
Equal Justice Initiative Legacy MuseumLinks to an external site.
CC Videos from the Free the Slaves.net
Slavery in the World TodayLinks to an external site.
Never Again: Genocide AwarenessLinks to an external site.
Ten Stages of GenocideLinks to an external site.
In order to examine this question in greater depth it is fundamentally important to look at present day instances of human rights violations, ethnic cleansing, state-sponsored terrorism, and the continuation of slavery in various parts of the world.
For all writing assignments you are required to do the following:
Write a 300-500 Word Review of your chosen media.
After completing your review you are expected to write TWO 100 Word responses to your classmates review, giving feedback, asking questions, and drawing connections between the subjects of your respective posts.
Read: Davidson, Experience History Volume 1: Interpreting America’s Past (via McGraw Hill Connect)
Chapter 13: The Old South
Chapter 14: Western Expansion and the Rise of the Slavery Issue
For your Chapter Reviews, you are expected to read the selected sections (manually edited by the instructor) that connect to our class lectures and discussions. Using the text as your source, write a 300-500 word short essay that answers any one of the following essential questions* from the Section 5 notes:
Explain how Aristotle’s “Natural Slave Theory” and distorted readings of the Book of Genesis were used to historically justify slavery? What factors made American slavery unique from other forms from across history?
Describe and examine the social structures and dynamics that existed within the plantation economy. Why did Southern state governments become increasingly dependent on a slave economy while Northern states gradually faded it out?
Who were the Abolitionists? Make sure to identify prominent leaders in the push to end slavery in the United States as well as the different factions within the movement.
How did the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of the United States Government fundamentally fail on every possible level to resolve the divisions over slavery?
Describe the chain of events led to a chain reaction that caused the American Civil War.
*When writing your essay in the discussion thread make sure to do the following:
If using a direct quote or block of information from the text, make sure to put the name of the textbook editor in parenthesis, followed by a period (Davidson).
Where possible, use examples from the text to support an historical argument that follows your own interpretation from the reading and ideas of its meaning. Do not simply say, “According to the book….” Instead make a statement and then use the book as a resource to help support your answers.
Discuss what you learned and what you would like to learn more about.
Where possible, connect at least one idea discussed in class to your review.
You are welcome – but not required – to challenge the historical perspective presented in the text. If there is something that you feel could be fleshed out more, or a part of the story that seems to be missing, be sure to point it out.
Write a 300-500 word review on any of the following multimedia sources listed below. Your documentary/podcast review should contain the following:
A brief summary (suggested 50-100 words ) on the topic of your chosen documentary
A thoughtful summary of the topics addressed in the film
Your response/reaction to the film
What type of bias do the filmmakers show in the subject they are depicting?
What blind spots or missed opportunities appear where the filmmakers to give the audience more information?
How do the subjects brought up in the film relate to topics discussed in class?
After completing the documentary reflect on the following: what you learned from the documentary and what you would like to learn more about?
In your opinion, do you think “never again” can become a reality? If so, explain. Furthermore are there any ways in which you as an individual would be able to have an impact on this situation?
BBC In Our Time: Fredrick Douglass
Born into slavery in Maryland in 1818 and, once he had escaped, became one of that century’s most prominent abolitionists. He was such a good orator, his opponents doubted his story, but he told it in grim detail in 1845 in his book ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.’ He went on to address huge audiences in Great Britain and Ireland and there some of his supporters paid off his owner, so Douglass could be free in law and not fear recapture. After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, he campaigned for equal rights for African-Americans, arguing against those such as Lincoln who had wanted freed slaves to leave America and found a colony elsewhere. “We were born here,” he said, “and here we will remain.”
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b09qb0kcLinks to an external site.
American Elections: Wicked Game – Election of 1860
With the nation on the brink of disunion, two Illinois politicians battle it out for the soul of the country: Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln and Democrat candidate Stephen Douglass. Lincoln’s decisive victory is bittersweet. His ascension to the White House brings with it secession, assassination plots, the formation of the Confederacy and in the end: all out Civil War.
American History Tellers: Turbulent 1850s/New World A’Comin (Listen to both)
Political Parties – The Turbulent 1850s | 3 TranscriptCivil Rights – New World A’Comin | 1 Transcript
The United States won the The Mexican–American War in the 1840s, and with it vast new stretches of western land. But in the 1850s, the question of what to do with this land – and whether to allow slavery in the new territories or not – became a redning issue for politicians of all stripes.
While the Whig Party collapsed over the issue, Democrats split into Northern and Southern factions, and a new Republican Party tried to bind the Union with an appeal to old Jeffersonian values. But in the houses of Congress and across the nation, negotiations fail, compromise is abandoned; and the issue of slavery will overshadow all else, leading to Civil War.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves in much of the South. But the road to freedom—true freedom—would take generations longer for most black Americans.
My History Can Beat Up Your Politics: Sam Houston vs. Lincoln, Woke Volunteers, Houseless Candidates
Abraham Lincoln running against…Sam Houston? It is not a far-fetched idea that Abraham Lincoln might have faced Texas hero Sam Houston in the election of 1860, as he was under serious consideration to be the Whig Union candidate in what became a four-way Presidential election of 1860 and he would have been a formidable challenger. Except backroom candlelight politics ended Houston’s presidential dreams.
Link: My History Can Beat Up Your PoliticsLinks to an external site.
The Spectre of HopeOver the past 40 years Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado’s work has won every major award for excellence. More importantly, his photographs have had an actual impact on the world and how it is seen, bringing conditions of famine and poverty to the attention of a jaded first world in a profound and arresting way. Best known for “Ways of Seeing,” the seminal book and BBC series on art criticism, John Berger is one of the world’s leading critics of art and photography. Salgado joins Berger to pore over Salgado’s collection “Migrations.” Six years and 43 countries in the making (ranging across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America), “”Migrations”” contains photographs of people pushed from their homes and traditions to cities and their margins – slums and streets and refugee camps. Sitting at the kitchen table of Berger’s home in the Swiss Alps, their intimate conversation, intercut with photographs from “Migrations,” combines a discussion of Salgado’s work with a critique of globalization, and a wide-ranging investigation of the power of the image.
Humans for Sale
Human trafficking is big business, making billions for organized crime gangs around the world. Investigative journalist Sam Poling goes undercover to expose the ruthless tactics used in the supply chain and discovers shocking links to Scotland. She travels to eastern Europe to track down victims sold to Glasgow gangs for sex and witnesses the grinding poverty which is putting people at the mercy of those cashing in on human misery. BBC Scotland Investigates 2017 Humans for Sale
TED Talks: Slavery in the World Today
(Watch all three and write the review, otherwise you will not earn full credit)
Modern-day slavery is today’s largest growing illegal industry, bringing in $150 billion in revenue every year. Cameron Harris is an undergraduate at UGA who founded Breaking the Shackles, a non-profit that mobilizes others in the fight against human trafficking. His talk exposes the audience to the tragedies of modern-day slavery and provides strategies for taking action.
Breaking the shackles of modern-day slavery | Cameron Harris | TEDxUGA
For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images — miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal — illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide.
Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery
In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research — and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now.
Kevin Bales: How to combat modern slaveryLinks to an external site.
This World: Child Slavery
In this documentary, we get to see and learn about the world of modern slavery in which these children live, through them, and as a result it provides a complex, disturbing, surprising and vivid look into a world many of us adults are oblivious to. Yet the truth is that if William Wilberforce were alive today and he travelled to different parts of the world – not just in Africa, but also in large parts of Asia, the Middle East, South America and even parts of Europe – he would find children living in conditions and circumstances which Wilberforce would understand and which I am sure he would describe as slavery.
A Prince Among Slaves (Youtube Rental)
Chronicles Abdul-Rahman’s real life African-Muslim-prince-turned-American-slave drama cycle with historic and scholastic commentary along the way. The story begins with Prince’s capture at the age of 26 during a military campaign against non-Muslims in Guinea in 1788, and follows his sale to slave traders, transport to America on the slave ship Africa to New Orleans, arrival into bondage at Thomas Foster’s tobacco plantation in Natchez, Mississippi, the ensuing 40 years of enslavement and his eventual liberation.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awKs8-bLGHELinks to an external site.
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property
Nat Turner was born a slave in 1800 near a town in southeastern Virginia called ironically Jerusalem, Virginia; today the town is named Courtland. The Southampton County town was less than a hundred miles away from the initial spot where slaves were traditionally brought to market. Nat Turner is famous for leading a slave revolt in the Southampton County area. Nat was captured and surrendered his sword in 1831. For his misdeeds that led to the deaths of over 50 Edomite slave holders and their progeny, he was beaten, hanged and his body was dismembered with parts kept for some sort of morbid trophies. Legend has it that his skin was turned into several purses, and one turned up during the 1940s at a Southampton county fair as an historical exhibit.
Mississippi’s War: Slavery and Secession
State’s Rights vs Slavery? What was the motivating factor that lead to the conflict? Examine the reasons behind Mississippi’s decision to secede from the United States, and the ramifications that action had on its citizens.