The Slave's Cause: A History Of Abolition

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Manumission is not the end of the struggle for the enslaved. They are left without identity or community. They must rise above the degradation and oppression to find solidarity and change.
The chapter from Patterson’s book, Slavery and Social Death, focused on the complexity of manumission and how the release from slavery was executed in many traditions and cultures. Patterson began the chapter by describing the conceptual and cultural problem of manumission as well as the concept of gift exchange. Each societies’ perception and execution of slavery was different so each ritual of redemption was based upon the role slavery served in each respective culture. However, Patterson highlights several modes of release that are continually emphasized
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It focused on the efforts of freed blacks to gain recognition and influence in a public arena through fraternal and religious organizations. They challenged the ideals of liberty and freedom voiced by white that had been categorically denied to their race by highlighting the horrors of slavery, the slave trade, capitalism and racism. The chapter demonstrated this by describing the lives and work of Benneker, Allen, Jones, White, Haynes and countless other black abolitionists.
Finally, David Walker’s “Address to Free Persons of Color” aimed to unite the freed African-Americans and break them free from oppression and constraints. His argues that the white people, especially white men in positions of authority, enjoy degrading African-Americans and keeping them at a disadvantage by denying them education and awareness. Walker says that to be rescued from this oppression, they must harbor motivation to become knowledgeable and not become deterred by their low status position within
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The church and religious groups offer a safe haven for many to voice their opinions and begin black abolitionist discourse. After years of slavery where they were stripped of all humanity and individuality, they used this newfound sense of freedom to willingly come together to reclaim their inalienable rights. The black churches served as an excellent means to critique the new republic and find a commonality with the other black outsider community; not only because religious stresses the equality of man, but also because the black churches were born out of the rising tide of discrimination and segregation. With a strong emphasis on racial solidarity, they were able to rise up together, “They emerged as the most uncompromising voices for abolition and black rights. As quintessential outsiders, they questioned the very foundations of the early American Republic. Black abolitionists were not so much black founders as they were the founding critic of the country” (130-131). As inherent outsiders to white society, they were unafraid to criticize the paradox embedded into the founding of the nation: The founding fathers all wanted to be freed from the colonies “enslavement” to England, yet they themselves had slaves. From the very beginning, freed slaves found a sense of place

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