Life as a Slave


In reading of a book titled, “Inhuman Bondage,” the author points out that “some animals could never be domesticated,” meaning that humans are not in the category of those animals that can be. Additionally, the author points out that when animals were first domesticated to work for humans in various ways the idea arose that humans could be domesticated this way as well. We know now that this idea is false. But, slavery in the United States would evolve around the idea that blacks were animals that could be tamed by severe treatment.


After the Moors are defeated in Spain oppression began to be developed on the basis of skin color. Also, the advent of the African slave trade pushed forward the idea that people with darker skin were inferior. In the 1700s several pseudo scientists began studying human beings with the aim of making whites superior by using invented science that would give white supremacy a scientific basis-though a false one. This would eventually lead to justifications for the harsh treatment of black slaves. The ideas of white supremacy would be taught in universities for whites only. In this way generations of whites were propagandized.


When slaves died they were buried in a separate plot of land away from white burial

grounds. In other cases, if the plantation master had hogs, the corpse of a slave was chopped up and fed to them. If the plantation was next to a large river black corpses was simply thrown into the river or left on the bank of the river for the alligators. There was an even more psychotic act; black corpses were often taken from graveyards and sold to medical schools without the relatives’ knowledge. Medical schools would secretly pay grave robbers for a black corpse that was used to train white doctors.


Sometimes slaves were whipped in strange positions. One position was called a “buck.” A “buck” meant that a slave would be tied up naked, forced to squat, and his hands would be tied in front of his shins. A strong stick would then be passed behind his knees and in front of the elbows. This would hold the slave in a squat position and then to the pleasure of some psychopath he would be whipped until he fell over and until the blood ran freely. Slaves were whipped unmercifully for the smallest offenses. When picking cotton, if a slave was assigned to shovel earth, for preparation of the ground for produce, and was passed by another slave, that slave would be whipped by an overseer. The overseer was usually a poor white that was uneducated, but paid enough so that his children could have a Christmas.. He was a psychopath,

and one that enjoyed the brutality that he meted out. The other person on the plantation was the driver, often a black person, who was used to keep the other slaves in line, snitch on them, and whip them for extra food or extra time off during Christmas. Blacks were often forced to do horrible things, and even kill other slaves for a gift or some other reward.


Black women slave were less protected against unwanted sexual attacks from white men.  At the slave auction block, African women were forced to strip naked and often fondled by potential buyers, and were worth half the price of African men in some markets. By separating them from male slaves this made them easier targets for rapists and psychopaths. All of this is the reason why many racialized folks don’t want people talking about slavery, or even using the word racism. Even today, these facts are left out of the history books in order to wash away the guilt that still plagues America.


Black women often lost their babies to this racist system of slavery. There are records that indicate that babies were ripped away from mothers if the child was sick and simply hacked to death. Children were often given as a Christmas present to another slave owner. For both men and women, standing idle in a cotton field would result in one hundred lashes, while having any object that was not cotton in your cotton sack resulted in twenty-five lashes. The terror of oversleeping was to be worried about each night, as a slave could be savagely whipped if he or she didn’t wake up at the blast of the wake-up horn. No black was to have a name of their own.  Slave masters wanted all slaves to never know themselves or think outside of the master’s way of looking at the world. A slave was never allowed to have any material possession, and even

today it is manifested to a degree in placing emphasis on material things like clothes, hats, and shoes.



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