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African Identity and Slavery - Essay Example

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This essay discusses that two articles have broadly exploited the issue of African identity and slavery: “Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglass,” by Fredrick Douglas and “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” by Phyllis Wheatley. African Identity and Slavery issues are broad areas…
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African Identity and Slavery
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Download file to see previous pages She served as a personal maid to John’s wife, Susanna Wheatley. Interestingly, she was named after a ship called Phillis that brought her to America from West Africa; her second name, Wheatley came from the surname of her owners. After being taught by her owners how to read and write English and Latin literature, she began writing poetry. Eventually, she became the first black in American to publish an English book. Wheatley’s poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” is very controversial since it refers Africa as a “Pagan land” and affirms that America is the land that taught her God’s Salvation and Christianity as well. Although she wrote positively about America and her stay in the country as well, one could think that Wheatley still regards herself as an African since she later in the poem she says “some see our sable race with scornful eye” she goes ahead to argue that “Their color is a diabolic die.” To prove that Africans are human beings created by God, she asserted that “remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain may be refined and join the angelic train.” Phillis never considered blacks as Americans but argued that anyone could become a Christian. Moreover, she is seen to uses the phrase ‘sable race’ to mean blacks or Africa. Her writings never led to the notion that she thought she was an American however; she praises America to be the land that introduced her to Christianity. During the colonial period, black people were born free though lived a very quiet life. However, learned black slaves such as Wheatley earned their freedom through showing their master that they were in a position to learn quickly and that they also possessed talents same as of any other person in the world (Wheatley, 1989).
On the other hand, Fredrick Douglass one of the most prominent black icons in America says, Blacks during the colonial period had no sense Americanism since many of them were natives. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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