Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Slaves Classed As "other" - History of Slavery in American Colonies

WEBSITE OF INTEREST --> http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/history/overview.htm

After looking across a range of different historic websites relating to slavery I chose this site to be one of the best. This is mainly due to its extensive collection of links to different sections. I chose to look closer at slaves being classed as "outside the ideological norm of the mainstream" because the reason that they were even slaves in the first place is because they were different to the "norm" of society due to race, skin colour and cultural beliefs.

The initial page that pops up when the above address is entered has a brilliant introductory paragraph which gives us our first insight in to slavery:

"From the beginnings of slavery in British North America around 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony at Jamestown, nearly 240 years passed until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution officially ended slavery in 1865. This section of the site is devoted to an in-depth investigation of those years from many angles; from looking at the lives and cultures of the oppressed before they were enslaved, to understanding the ways in which those enslaved survived and ultimately triumphed over the institution of slavery. The first of the original essays and lesson plans based on the latest scholarship on slavery in America is offered below."

We are then given multiple choices of different sub-headings which all focus on "Creating Slavery", beginning with Essays to go to in order to get a deeper understanding of slavery and it's history with pages to look at such as:
  • Historical Overview.
  • Overview of African Place Names in the United States.
  • Slavery and Sanctuary in Colonial Florida.
  • African-American Names.
  • Slavery in New Jersey.
  • Slavery and Native Americans in British North America and the United States : 1600 to 1865.
The site then has lists of Lesson Plans, which shows that it can be a site useful for both teachers and students alike, then moves on to Maps:
  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
  • Slavery and Abolition States.
  • Slave Ports.
These are all very good for giving us a visual aid as to just how far the trade of slavery went across the United States.

The maps are followed by more visual aid in the form of Image Collections:
  • Political Cartoons of Slavery: The Defense of Slavery.
  • Sugar and Cotton: The Paintings of Steele Burden.
  • Johnnie Mae Maberry-Gilbert Collection.
These are all different collections of images which help show us slavery at an even greater depth.

Next we are shown multiple other links to pages which all go in to more depth about "Surviving Slavery" once again starting with Essays (such as Historical Overview, African Crops and Slave Cuisine, The Black Press in Antebellum America, The Press and the Hemings-Jefferson Story from 1802 to 2001), then moving on to Lesson Plans and proceeding to Maps:
  • Slave Populations in the Southern States c. 1860.
  • Slave Populations in Virginia c. 1860.
  • Slave Populations in Mississippi c. 1860.
Then progressing on to links to a mixture of Biographies and Narratives relating to Surviving Slavery by:
  • Solomon Northrup.
  • Lavina Bell.
  • Harriet Jacobs.
  • Ella Belle Ramsey.
  • Mary Kincheon Edwards.
  • Susan Merrick.
(The site even has an Interactive Exhibit "Melrose Interactive Slavery Environment").

We are then shown numerous links to pages about "Resisting Slavery" with a range of Essays (Historical Overview, Insurrection On Board Slave Ships, Slavery in New Jersey), Lesson Plans, Maps (Slavery and Abolition States c. 1860, Slave Insurrections), Biography (Lily Ann Granderson) and Image Collection (Political Cartoons of Slavery: Antislavery). These sub-headings continue through "Escaping Slavery", "Transcending Slavery" and "Transition to Jim Crow : Legacy of Slavery".

This site helps show us a multitude of different resources that are easily accessible and highly useful for gathering a better understanding and more personal relations of slavery when considered as a "other".

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