This was posted inside the slave quarters at the Owens-Thomas House in Savannah, Georgia. While visiting the city, I realized there was little mention of slavery and when it was spoken of, it was rather sugar-coated. (There was NO mention of indigenous people at all). Each tour guide or museum made it sound like the slaves were beloved members of the family and well taken care of. Ummm….. they were SLAVES. Owned people. There is NOTHING right about that.
You can see it in the verbiage above. “Enterprising slaves”, following a sentence that reads “with the approval of their owners”. The lack of accountability is appalling. Maybe that is a huge part of the problem we have with race relations now- there are still entire communities throughout the nation that refuse to call it what it was. To acknowledge the horror of slavery- and the numerous ways we justified it.
Another piece of this display struck me. It was “illegal to teach reading or writing” to slaves. That further validates my belief in the importance of education. Just the mere possession of a pencil or paper would be cause for punishment. What better way to continuously oppress people? Cut off their ability and access to learning. Fast forward a few decades, and we still see the effects of this treatment.
When it comes to the topic of slavery, specifically within our country, I am saddened. I am hopeful that we continue to move forward, even as I can be discouraged by what appears to be taking steps backwards. We have come a long way, and yet have so far to go.
2 thoughts on “Slavery”
We lived in Tennessee growing up. 4 years total, 2 different times, being a Navy brat ( but very polite, respectful and well behaved)
It’s been 51 years since we moved from there. I’m still not sure, but I think the house we rented in that tiny town was once a slave owner’s. There was a black family that lived in a shack behind us, maybe 50 yards or so away. I remember those little kids in dirty clothes (“hand me downs”my dad had given them along with trikes and old toys) playing with my younger siblings.
My dear dad was such a sweet soul and quite the photographer. It was his private little joke about a classic color photo he took of all the kids in our backyard > “That’s gotta be the best black and white photo I’ve ever taken” 😉
My point is, even though we didn’t talk about slavery, we all somehow knew how horrendous it was! Only a block from our house, we watched folks picking cotton from sunrise to sundown. That’s left such an indelible imprint!
As for progress, I was thinking the same thing,,,it’s often extremely slow, sometimes comes to a complete standstill, and it is,, really disheartening to feel like we go in reverse, but having faith that there is more good than bad, spreading hope and optimism about the injustices in the world is sometimes all some of us can do.
But never forget, and let us learn from our mistakes ❤️
Your recollection is so vivid, I can easily visualize it! I do feel we are moving forward, which gives me hope. I am a firm believer of being the change you want to see in the world. ❤