Dehumanization Of Slavery Essay

1439 Words 6 Pages
From flesh whipped to shreds to families torn apart, slavery created a sense of hopelessness and desperation that gripped the nation for over 240 years. Seized not only from their homeland, but also their way of life, approximately ten million African Americans were forced into harsh labor and dehumanizing conditions. Slaves were property, sold and inspected as if they had no brains or feelings. Slave owners would beat slaves to the brink of death but, usually not kill them in order to preserve profit. Taking away the human capability to die while forcing slaves to crave death made the slave’s reality tortuous. The worst aspect of American slavery was the dehumanization of slaves and slave-owners caused by physical and mental abuse.
The selling
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Mary Reynolds was denied love when her overseer accused her of knowing about her runaway co worker and “tied [her] wrists together and stripped [her]. He hanged [her] by the wrists from a limb on a tree and spraddled [her] legs around the trunk and tied [her] feet together… He beat [her]...and… [she] ruint for breedin’ chillun” (Reynolds 16). Mary Reynolds not only experienced physical pain; but, also was denied the love that she could provide to her own child and the experience of being a mother. Another slave, Eliza, was denied a relationship with her children when she was sold. Eliza wept to convince her purchaser to buy her daughter, Emily, as well; however, Freeman, the seller, “would not sell her then on any account whatever. There were heaps and piles of money to be made of her… when she was a few years older”(Northrup 86-87). Because the young girl was of value to the slave seller, Eliza and Emily were stripped of the human bond between mother and daughter. Slave owners did not care whether families were separated in order for their work to be done. Family was a human concept which slaves rarely had the privilege to enjoy due to their property …show more content…
Slaves often had no choice but to live, because a loss of a slave meant a loss of profit so many slave owners would beat slaves to the brink of death but not kill them, in an effort to maintain their property. Olaudah Equiano, a young man who endured a traumatizing voyage to slavery was ignorant to all his future suffering when he boarded the slave ship. From seeing the blacks around him in despair, smelling the nauseating stench of wastes, and hearing the shrieking of children and cries of women, young Equiano became so low and sick that he “wished for the last friend, Death, to relieve [him]” (Equiano 1). Upon refusing to eat, the slave was flogged so severely that he wanted to jump overboard into the powerful, unknown ocean, without a care if he survived or died. Slavery took away the human desire to live from millions of people. Mary Reynolds was also beat so cruelly when her co-worker ran away that she “didn’t care so much iffen [she] died” (Reynolds 16). From that beating Mary Reynolds lost her capability to have children; once that dignity was taken from her along with other human rights such as love and compassion, she had nothing to live for. Overall, without their human rights and dignities, slaves had no desire to live; however, slave owners would keep slaves alive to preserve profit, which stripped slaves of their dignities even

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