Tag Archives: slavery

To Bill O’Reilly:

Slaves might be well fed, well housed, and maybe even well treated (by someone’s standard), but they’re still slaves.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré –

“You know , house-elves get a very raw deal!” said Hermione indignantly. “It’s slavery, that’s what it is! That Mr. Crouch made her go up to the top of the stadium, and she was terrified, and he’s got her bewitched so she can’t even run when they start trampling tents! Why doesn’t anyone do something about it?”

“Well, the elves are happy, aren’t they?” Ron said. “You heard old Winky back at the match . . . ‘House-elves is not supposed to have fun’ . . . that’s what she likes, being bossed around. . . .”

“It’s people like you, Ron,” Hermione began hotly, “who prop up rotten and unjust systems, just because they’re too lazy to —”

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Slavery’s affect on a simple look admiring beauty.

“Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4)” by Diana Gabaldon –

“Ulysses came down the stairs above me, impeccable in his livery. I moved, and he turned his head, catching the flicker of my skirts. His eyes widened in a look of frank appreciation as he saw me, and I looked down, smiling a bit, as one does when being admired. Then I heard him gasp and jerked my head up to see his eyes still wide, but now with fear; his hand so tight on the banister that the knuckles shone.

“Your pardon, madame,” he said, sounding strangled, and rushed down the stairs and past me, head down, leaving the door to the cookhouse breezeway swinging in his wake.

“What on earth …?” I said aloud, and then I remembered where—and when—we were. Alone for so long, in a house with a blind mistress and no master, he had grown careless. He had momentarily forgotten that most basic and essential protection—the only true protection a slave had: the blank, bland face that hid all thoughts. No wonder he had been terrorized when he realized what he had done.

If it had been any woman other than myself to have intercepted that unguarded look … my hands grew cold and sweaty, and I swallowed, the remembered scent of blood and turpentine sharp in my throat.”

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Slave laws

After 15 minutes of googling every variation of “nc slave code” I could think of, I’ve come to the conclusion that NC is hiding something. I know that there are records somewhere of what laws governed slavery in the colony and then the state and there should be a place online that lists them as concisely as they are for South Carolina. But anyway. Even if slightly out of place in this work of fiction, the fact that it happened somewhere and somewhen like this isn’t doubted.

At the very least there is the court case North Carolina vs. Mann (1830) which stated that slave owners have complete authority over their slaves. And Louisiana said the blood had to come from the face to invoke the death penalty (1724?)

“Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4)” by Diana Gabaldon –

““It is the law of this colony, sir, that if a Negro shall assault a white person and in so doing, cause blood to be shed, then he shall die for his crime.” He paused, reluctant. “Such occurrences are most thankfully rare. But when they occur—””

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Whitewashing real life in fiction

This reminds me of recent complaints about Game of Thrones and its portrayal of the rape of a woman. I don’t watch GoT, but the complaints I’ve heard from both the left and the right is that GoT is essentially using women in an abusive way because women are usually the victims GoT profits off the violence and bloodshed.

Well, I have to wonder. Do we as a society do worse when we paint a rosy colored world of “Leave it to Beaver” and pretend that women are never brutalized? I think that today, when a book, movie or TV show shows something graphic, the creators expect the audience to respond with revulsion and a vow that they would never condone such treatment. And I think that this IS the general response by viewers. They don’t like seeing it, but they know its real life (even in such a fictional world). Its not like not showing it will make it not happen!

The quote that inspired this post is below. These are slave children and we just met another slave who had his jaw half blown off by a pitch explosion. These boys are cooking just such a concoction.

“Drums Of Autumn (Outlander, Book 4)” by Diana Gabaldon –

“A small boy of seven or eight was perched on a high, rickety stool, stirring the pot with a long stick; a taller youth stood by with an enormous ladle, with which he removed the lighter layer of purified turpentine at the top of the kettle, depositing this in a barrel to one side.

As I watched them, a slave came out of the forest, leading a mule, and headed for the kettle. Another man came to help, and together they unloaded the barrels—plainly heavy—from the mule, and upended them into the kettle, one at a time, with a great whoosh of pungent yellowish pinesap.

“Och, ye’ll want to stand back a bit, mum,” Josh said, taking my arm to draw me away from the fire. “The stuff does splash a bit, and happen it should take fire, ye wouldna want to be burnt.””

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