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American History Since 1900 - Essay Example

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Summary
Incidents in the Life of A Slave vis-a-vis The American Pageant Name: Institution: The analysis of historical evidence and the conclusion reached depend on a number of factors. These factors include objective of research, personal prejudices that an individual has with regards to the matter in question and the sources of information…
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American History Since 1900
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American History Since 1900

Download file to see previous pages... This paper discusses the work of Harriet Jacobs, Incidents of a Slave Girl, as contrasted with the American Pageant (Kennedy et al, 2001). Harriet Jacobs was a slave in America during the slavery period. She wrote her narrative depicting the difficulty the slaves had. She focused her narrative on the impact of slavery on the black community domestic set-up. Her main focus was sexual exploitation in the plantation since she was sexually exploited, and focused on how slavery tore up the family set-up. There was a lot of brutality in how the whites handled the blacks who were their slaves. There was arbitrary rule which was engulfed with violence that ensured the slaves were denied any form of opportunity for personal development. In the book American Pageant, she focuses on the economic impact of slave trade and states either directly or by implication that the slavery system was ‘democratic’ and ‘fair’ as compared to other slaves systems around the world. He delicately applies euphemisms to mask the plight and nature of the black community in the society. The two sources have only one similarity: they both feature the history of American Slavery. However, the authors of the books also have clear cut racial disparities that informed their perspectives of expression. The narrative is written by a black woman who seeks to give a voice to the plight of the women slaves in her society, expressing the agony of uncertainty of the future. However, it has been contended that the incidents narratives were written under a pseudonym and, thus, could have been fiction. There has been evidence in forms of letters from respectable people of Jacobs’ times that validates the authenticity of the book. It then acts like as a platform of self expression and self realization and even as a means of resisting the slavery rule and white supremacy, just like other black narratives. It also serves a personal account of what transpired and the effects the slavery had on the writer. Narratives were written to invoke sympathy to the white community so that they would free their slaves (Kennedy et al, 2001). The book, on the other hand, covers a wider scope from the political arrangements of the time. Further, legislation that legalized slave trade and the positive effects the slaves had in the economy is also covered. Written by white authors who lacked firsthand experience of what really happened, the book fails to show an appreciation of what it means to be a slave and the effects it had on the individuals concerned. It has no platform of self expression, liberalization or supremacy but acts to narrow the thinking perspectives of young Americans, which are a form of undermining their freedom of true and accurate information. The book enhances white supremacy since it euphemizes the plight of the slaves and magnitude of their suffering. The book was written in pursuit of advancing academic in the United States and also for fiduciary benefits arising from its sale. In her narrative, Harriet Jacobs shows the productive nature of the black people on the plantations of the white men. The labor they provided was unpaid meaning that the profits obtained from the trading of the agricultural products were quite significant. Further, the slaves lived in a squalid environment because their source of income showed that they could not afford a decent abode. Basic human rights that the world witnesses today were not in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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