The Invention Of The Negro

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The Invention of the Negro

The Invention of The Negro- Passing (racial identity)

The African Diaspora was a forced dispersion of Africans to the New World ‹ North America, South America, and the Caribbean. The whites of the New World saw the Africans as tools to provide cheap labor, or rather free labor, doing various tasks in the New World. For this reason, the transatlantic slave trade was developed. Millions of Africans were imported to the different parts of the New World and more specifically, an estimated half million Africans was brought to the United States over the course of two hundred years. While this transatlantic slave trade caused the loss of many African political, social, and economic institutions that posed a threat to slavery, Africans were still able to maintain some parts of their culture, particularly religious traditions and beliefs.

To Be a Slave, by Julius Lester contains quotations-chiefly from narratives by ex-slaves are embedded in a clear, forceful, and orderly discussion and running commentary on the history of African Americans. The black and white drawings embody the simple, somber dignity of the text.

Fellow Africans sold the slaves to the whites who crammed them onto small boats. They made it so that the slaves could only sit. One person was quoted on saying that they couldn't stand up again until 2 weeks after they go off the boat. After getting off the boats, there were sold to their masters on the auction block. Then it told how the slaves revolted. They did it a bit at a time in different ways. Some rebelled by acting as stupid people as their masters thought they were. Then as the Civil War came, many slaves were freed and other ran away. As the emancipation came, all slaves were freed. The slaves didn't know what to do though. Like how to plant, farm, anything.

As Lester said, "Negroes were bit by two snakes, one that pointed south that bit slavery, and the other faced north and bit freedom. They both hurt the Negroes."

Lester has pointed out many interesting facts that happened to the slaves in his book 'To be a slave'. The slaves had a rough life and they went through a lot of misery. They were beaten if they did anything wrong or said anything wrong.

Julius Lester further states that at age ten, when his father told him his family's history went back to a bill of sale and no further, the words were one of the defining moments of his life. Approximately fifteen years later he began compiling the words of ex-slaves--a good portion of which had never been previously published--and establishing the structure for To Be a Slave. For thirty years American readers of all ages and walks of life have been affected by the truth of To Be a Slave, which remains one of the few works to present what it felt like to be slave in America in the words of black men and women who lived ...
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