Essay on Harriet Tubman And The Civil War Era

921 Words Sep 28th, 2016 4 Pages
In schools, we are taught that African Americans were slaves for the white superiority in the pre-civil war era. It is true that being enslaved was the destiny of many African Americans during that time, however, “being enslaved” is not the be confused with “being a slave.” Doing physically hard work for extended hours of time, the African American people lived harsh lives, and whether being captured or born into slavery, escaping slavery was not easy. Nonetheless, some managed to do so and even help others in their pursuit of freedom. One was Harriet Tubman, who played an important role in the Underground Railroad helping fugitives escape slavery.
So what is a slave? When looking up the definitions of a slave, words like “device”, “owned” and “property” will show up (“slave”). These are all words that could describe an object or a thing, and most importantly something that is non-human. This being the case, the word “slave” emphasizes that the people who were called slaves were not human. On the contrary, when you look up “enslaved,” you will find that the word is an adjective, and describes a condition more than a permanent state. Being enslaved means you are an individual in a certain situation where you are a victim. An important contrast between being a slave and being enslaved is that being a slave, makes you an object, whereas being enslaved means you are objectified. This difference in phrasing is important since it has something to do with how the enslaved people…

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