Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kind Masters

Journal No. 8

English 48A
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I chose: Frederick Douglass
I. "Slaves, when inquired of as to their condition and the character of their masters, almost universally say they are contented, and that their masters are kind."

II. Frederick Douglass explains that the brutality of slavery hides itself.

III. Douglass described an instance where a slave was encountered by his master. The master and the slave had never met since the master had so many slaves in his ownership. As the master went past the slave and asked how he was doing and how his master treated him, he was honest. Colonel Lloyd listened as the slave explained that he was treated poorly and worked too hard. The colonel then asked the slave to whom he belonged. "To colonel Lloyd." After the colonel hears this, he waits a while before deciding to take his revenge out on this slave. Lloyd was so viscious and cruel to this slave that many slaves heard about it and realized that they could no longer be honest. Fearing for their lives and realizing that spies were sent in to test them, slaves would answer questions with suppressed truths rather than revealing what really happened in their painful worlds.

This is one of the many painful ways that slaves were forced to live in order to survive. It took this poor man a horrible lesson to realize that he would never be able to speak his own opinion, no matter how honest. Speaking out against any white man would have been forbidden. Even if this had not been Colonel Lloyd's slave, I'm sure that he would have still found a way to punish him. He, like so many other men, felt that to insult one man of the white race was to insult all of the white race. If he had insulted the women - well, that would have definitely been a lynching!


drscottie said...

20/20 The photo of Douglass in old age is not one I have seen before.