The Classic Slave Narratives By Henry Lewis, Gates, Jr. Essay

1001 Words Nov 21st, 2016 5 Pages
The Stories Must Be Told
The establishment of slavery in the early years of America is one of the most documented systems of the abuse of human rights in history. The Classic Slave Narratives is a book compiled of four extremely powerful stories of individuals who survived the enslavement in Colonial America. The book written by American educator and scholar, Henry Lewis, Gates, Jr. reminds the reader that while the founders of this country were fighting off the British and writing about their freedoms, there were other men taking care of the upkeep of their farm and cleaning their houses. It also shows that even though different slaves were in different conditions, all slaves wanted the same idea: the desire to be free. In the book’s introduction, Gates shares with us that it has been estimated that more than 60,000 former slaves left behind some sort of story between 1703 and 1944, which is an astonishing amount of text. This book, The Classic Slave Narratives is just a small dose of a large genre of literature. The book contains; The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, The History of Mary Prince, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs ' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Through studying American History, we know that not all slaves went through the same torment. Gates makes a point to tell four fairly different stories to show slavery as a whole. For example, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,”…

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