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History - Essay Example

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Ibrahima was among the slaves who endured the encounters of oppression to become an admirable individual. Although he was an affluent and influential…
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Prince among Slaves: The Notion of Identity The Notion of Identity "Prince among Slaves" is a documentary about Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, a man torn between two realms of prosperity and suffering. Ibrahima was among the slaves who endured the encounters of oppression to become an admirable individual. Although he was an affluent and influential prince, Ibrahima was seized as a slave while attending to a campaign in his native country. Terry Alford explains how Ibrahima wasted most of his youth labouring as a slave in America. Here, he faces both an identity and dignity predicament. Although he was a respected prince in his homeland, he serves as a slave in his new land. While he is a Muslim, he has to adjust to an expanse primarily dominated by Christianity. Ibrahima faces an identity and dignity challenge after his migration to another continent.
Religiously, Ibrahima is an ardent Muslim. As an enslaved person, he is barred from reading or practicing his faith in any way. Most of the slaves were Muslims. Even so, this did not persuade the masters to let their slaves observe their religious convictions (Alford, 1977). As a result, they had to resign to a life of disgrace and far-reaching degradation. In spite of the challenges he endured, Ibrahima rose above the appalling subjugation. Naturally, during times of distress, people maintain their religious inclinations to acquire deliverance. Despite the bad things that happen, Ibrahima upholds the Qadr (will of God) and stays staunchly upright.
Ibrahima dignity is tried when he moves from one social order as a prince to a lower one as a slave. From a life of supremacy and honour, he became a slave in a strange place. As a prince, there are privileges he enjoyed. As a slave, he is virtually reduced to a vagrant who has to work for a master (Alford, 1977). Owing to this, his dignity is shattered. He desperately tries to convince his new master that he is of value in his homeland and that his father can trade his liberty for gold. This is ignored by the slave-owner who discounts it as nonsense. Although he is later recognized by an Irish surgeon, Ibrahima fails to secure his freedom. He never mislays his dignity and maintains hope of regaining his independence.
Ibrahima’s quest to gain freedom faced diverse challenges. For instance, the American Colonization Society, which aided slaves in their pursuit for freedom, demanded that he transforms to Christianity to obtain help. Unexpectedly, the first thing he did when he touched foot in Liberia was to express gratitude to Allah for his emancipation. In addition, the repatriation efforts were habitually characterized by miscommunication (Alford, 1977). Despite being set free, Ibrahima experienced a mental challenge of whether to abandon his family. Instead of returning home, he not only paid for his wife’s freedom, but also stayed in America for a lengthy duration trying to free his offspring.
As a prince and a Muslim, the condition Rahman Ibrahima was in as a slave is dreadful. All the same, Ibrahima succeeds in upholding his identity and dignity through his conviction as a Muslim and the adoration he had for his kinfolk. Although he lost an empire, and a chance to become a king, Ibrahima soldiers on and manages to return to his homeland. His character is tested in an astounding and vicious way after his capture, but this does not change his identity or dignity. His journey fails to offer a seamless ending, but it characterizes unbelievable resilience of obligation to one’s values.
References
Alford, T. (1977). Prince among Slaves. New York: Oxford University Press. Read More
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