Although slavery is one of the very things that help build America, it is considered a very harsh punishment against human beings. Without a doubt, the conditions that the slaves lived under could be easily described as intolerable and inhumane. Even slaves have described slavery as cruel and horrible; instead of complaining and protesting against their masters some of them accepted the torture and wickedness from the white man. But the question is why despite all the cruelty inflicted toward the slaves they did not complain about the bad treatment received from their masters to people who could have helped them?

The answer lies in the reading of Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the life of a slave girl, an interesting narrative which implies that fear and distrust caused them to hide behind their fear. To begin, the slaves in America or anywhere else were inferiors among equals, slaves were not allowed to be happy or live the life they wanted. Slaves were victimized and sexually abused, jealous and enraged mistresses were dismayed at the fact that their husbands were living a life of infidelity, and mistreated them.

In some cases, they were deprived of their most prized possessions, their childrens, despite all that many of them were afraid to show their anti-slavery views in fear of what might happen to them or their family. To illustrate in the reading of Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl written by Harriet Jacobs page 31, 32; Harriet said:” I longed for someone to confide in, i would have given the world to have laid my head on my grandmother faithful bosom, and told her all my troubles.

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But Dr. Flint swore he would kill me, if I was not silent as the grave”. This passage shows that Harriet feared being hurt or killed by Dr. Flint therefore she did not try to reach out to anyone for help. Furthermore, who could the slaves trust? The white man managed the slaves, all the power, and the high positions; the law was being enforced by the white man.

The law itself prohibited the slaves of protesting to the way they were treated, In 1857 the united States of America supreme court Dred Scott—a white man—decision ruled that slaves were subhuman property with no rights of citizenship, they had no legal means of protesting the way they were treated, however it was easier for slaves to pretend illnesses, organized slowdowns, sabotage farm machinery, and sometimes commit arson or murder than to revolt against the white people, for instance {page 37} when Mrs.

Flint was questioning Harriet about her relationship to her husband, she promised to protect her but Harriet did not trust her mistress nor any white man, she said:” I should have been much comforted by this assurance if I could have had confidence in it; but my experiences in slavery had filled me with distrust”. So slaves did not only fear the white man, but also distrust them. To conclude, fear and distrust are the two reasons why Harriet did not complain about the way she was being treated.

Slavery was a far more complicated story than just being at someone service, it was about the low profile people who could not depend on anybody except their own kind. Unfortunately their own kind did not have much power in the society, the minority who did not have the control of their future, nor their children. Although in today society slaves does not exist anymore because of the courage they once had to fight against slavery, but let not forget that those same people who fight for freedom was once intimidated by fear and distrust.


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