Analysis of Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents of a Slave Girl by Linda Brent

Warning this post has terminology in it that maybe offensive to the reader.  I have recently realized myself that, there is one word in particular that tears me up inside just to hear it spoken in common tongue.  It was after reading these two stories that I realized how dirty and disgusting one word can make you feel.

I was assigned Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents of a Slave Girl.  Through these two Narratives I have learned a lot about the conditions and trials of the African American and were forced to work for little or nothing.  To me these stories were heart wrenching and at the same time give me hope in the chaotic times in which we live today.

Mr. Fredrick Douglass and Ms. Linda Brent, I use Mr. and Ms. out of respect for these two courageous souls and their trials, were born into slavery and raised by their grandmothers.  They also barely knew their mothers, but for different reasons.  Mr. Douglass’s mother was sold to another slave holder when he an infant.  Whereas, Ms. Brent’s mother died when she was six years old.   Mr. Douglass did not know who his father was.  There were rumors that his master was his father, yet no one knew for sure.  Ms. Brent knew she was mulatttoe, because her grandmother had “Anglo-Saxon” blood in her. These were the times that were horrible for the black man and even worse for the black women.  Yes, the men were whipped and beaten, but these wounds were only physical.  The women on the other hand were raped, molested and were thought to be less valuable then the men, who worked in the fields.  Ms. Brent was lucky in that respect; she was not raped.  Although, she was constantly harassed and advanced upon by her second owner a Dr. Flint, when she was in her teens.

Ms. Brent knew her father he was a free black man, who was a skilled trades man and made money of his own, which was unusual.  When Mr. Douglass started learning calk in the ship yard, had to give all the money he earned at first to Master Hugh, in Baltimore.   Most and was trying to earn enough to buy his families freedom, but with no such luck.  For the better part of her childhood she did not know she was a slave.  She was taught how to read and write by her first mistress from age six; until she died when Ms. Brent was twelve.  This was when she first realized her life was not really her own and was sent to her mistress’s sisters, whose husband was Dr. Flint.  Mr. Douglass on the other hand did not have the luxury of learning how to read and write till he was sent to Baltimore.  Then when his new mistress, who had been from the north, tried to teach him was stopped by her husband Mr. Auld.  Mr. Auld, who fore bade her from instructing him any further said; “A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told to do.” To summarize the rest that if you educated a person that they would be miserable and may rise up against his slave holder.  This did not stop Mr. Douglass though, he came up with an ingenious plan, I think, and tricked the kids on the street to teach him how to read and write.  He did this by telling him he already knew how to read and write, then when he did not get it write they would show him, not knowing that they were teaching him.

Mr. Douglass was raised in Maryland where was thought that they treated their slaves better than below the Mason-Dixon line.  Through my reading these narrative, I saw very little difference between the two myself.  Ms. Brent Being from South Carolina saw many of the same things going on, as Mr. Douglass.  Although, I remember a particular scene in which she described a man being strung up by his chest and having hot lard dripped on him for disobeying his slave holder.  I read this and cringed at the thought.  How could people be so cruel to another?  Later we find out that Ms. Brent passed on her knowledge to an older slave who wanted to know how to read the bible, so he could be closer to God.

Another thing they both witnessed in their lives is when their slave holders found god they, became even more cruel to their slave.  The slave holders could find justifications for their treatment of slaves in the bible and strengthened by their religious leaders.  Mr. Douglass said: “my master attended a Methodist camp meeting held by the Bay-side, Talbot county and experienced religion…” and continued “It neither made him to be humane to his slaves, nor to emancipate them.”  Which he hoped for so dearly it would.   Ms. Brent described a similar experience with Dr. Flint.  When he found religion is when he stared to be crueler to her and hit her on a couple other occasions.  This is something he did not do but once before.

Dr. Flint did not rape Ms. Brent, but this did not stop his unwanted advances toward her.  Not only did she not want these advances, this also made his wife jealous of her and whenever Mrs. Flint could she would try and make Ms. Brent’s life miserable.  Dr. Flint was obsessed with Ms. Brent to the point where she would try anything to make him not want to have anything to do with her.  To this point she ended up having two children with a man she didn’t love, but whom treated her decent.  These attempts did not stop his advances to the contrary, these two children gave him leverage over her.   In order to save her children, she planned her escape hoping that if she ran, he would sell them.  Now, I know this sound bad, but the father of the children was ready to purchase them from Dr. Flint.  Though it took quite a while, but eventually Dr. Flint did sell them to a slave trader who unbeknownst to him was sympathetic to Ms. Brent and her family.  Dr. Flint did not want to sell them, but because of his obsession with her that he barrowed $500 with interest to go find her in New York where he thought she was.  It was this that caused him to be low on money, so he had to sell them.  The person he borrowed the money from was harboring Ms. Brent in the attic of her home.  After reading about this I laughed so hard, for she had finally gotten the better of him in some way.

Mr. Douglass Had tried to run a way about three times before he finally made it to New York.  There he had no friends and did not know who to trust.  This was until he met a man by the name of Mr. David Ruggles who helped him to secure passage to New Bedford.  Before he left for New Bedford he met a woman who would be his wife Anna.  They traveled together to their new home.  For Ms. Brent her journey to freedom took a long time.  She did not try to escape, but once and it was a long journey.  Hiding at one friends home, then she went to another’s hiding in her attic for quite a while.  The next place she hid was in the crawl space above her grandmothers shed.  In all these situations she had multiple close calls with Dr. Flint.  Eventually she made to Philadelphia and then New York and she was a free woman.

 

Analysis of “Indians of the Rio Grande”and “Jacques Cartier: First Contact with the Indians”

Through reading these narratives we see through the Eyes of the Spanish, French and the Iroquois.  In the case of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, “Indians of the Rio Grande” he talks about How they are as he puts it “They are very merry people”.  Even when they have nothing they still celebrate and dance.  In his journal he talks about the eight months he spent with the Avavares Indians and how they became as medicine men to the tribe.  These people also seem to almost worship Cabeza de Vaca and his men.  With most of the tribes Cabeza de Vaca I feel he saw them as naïve and poor, but grateful and giving.  The same could almost be said with the experiences of Jacques Cartier: First Contact with the Indians.   Though when Cartier first sees the natives he is fearful of their numbers and decides to leave.  After a confrontation the two sides meet on an Island and Iron out their differences through signs and trade.  The native here were basically willing to give Cartier and his men the clothes on their backs for trade.  This was common amongst all the tribes he met.  Another thing he noticed was they were all fisherman.  They lived on the lakes and stream in boats they also loved their ceremonies’ and dancing it seem whenever they met a new tribe.

In comparison they Native the tribe saw the Europeans as crooked and out of balance in the mind.  As it is said in the Dekanawida Myth &the Achievement of Iroquois Unity “North of the beautiful lake [Ontario] in the land of the Crooked Tongues”, by Crooked Tongues I take that to mean the Europeans, otherwise they would have used the other tribes name.  It is because the Europeans see the Iroquois and other tribes as naïve and gullible that they take advantage of their kindness.  Then when resources start to become scarce and a lust for war starts to break out amongst the tribes that Dekanawida calls the leaders of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida, and Cayuga.  This was to stop the tribal wars and confront the Europeans whom they call “Adodarhuh”.  They see them as if they were a broken people and in the Myth they were able to sing and cure the Adodarhuh of their evil ways.  So the European invasion lead to the formation of

Document Analysis 2

This is a comparison and contrast analysis of “The Expulsion from Spain, 1492” and “The Chinese Rites Controversy”.

While going through the reading this week I noticed that the biggest sources of tension is the merging of religion and government.   As I was reading “The Expulsion from Spain, 1492”it seemed as though the Jewish people were highly persecuted by the Catholics of Spain, Portugal, Fez, Berber and the Genoa’s.  Spain with King Ferdinand who had first banished them from the country and taking over the land that the Jews owned.  This was the time of the Spanish Inquisition in which any person not a Christian was in great peril, due to the torture and being burnt at the stake for being a heathen.

In Portugal they were fleeced and were allowed to stay there for a few months then forced to leave.  In Fez and Berber, they would not even let them in the cities in Northern Africa, thus many Jews died outside the wall.  The few that escape to the north were robbed and treated horribly by the Genoans, who were more like pirates than anything.  A few of the Jews of the time did find safety in the northern African country of Tlemcem only because it was a Jewish kingdom.  More of the Jews made it to Naples, Italy where the king took them in and helped the refugees out.  Even those who disliked the Jews (The Dominican Brotherhood) took pity on them there.  More of the Jews were taken to Turkey where they were received as artisans.

In comparison to the Jews, the Christians subject of the sultan could sell their children into slavery.   This was not like the type of slavery The US had through the 19th century.  People did this because they had very little money and it was better than selling them to a lord.  These slaves were educated and armed.  All though they were taught from the Koran instead of the Bible.  Of course during this time period, the Muslims were the best educated.  These slave became some of the Sultans most trust advisors.

The conflict between the Confusionist of China and the Catholics of the Europe was there conflicting ideologies.  This very apparent in “The Chinese Rites Controversy”.  The early Jesuits told the Emperor of china at the time that if they converted to Christianity that they would be able to practice their own rituals.   Unfortunately, Pope Clement the XI was a bit power hungry and did not want them to practice the rituals.  This lead the Emperor to ban the rhetoric of religion from the country.

So as you can see Religion played a big rule in the politics of the period.  From the Spanish Inquisition to the Christian slaves in turkey all the way to the early 18th century where Catholic Pope tried to rule over Christian convert four thousand miles away.  We still see these sort of conflicts in today’s society as well.  Though they come in different forms and in different countries.   Will we as the human race ever let go of the negative parts of religion?  I would like to think it is possible.

Schedule for the Summer

I am writing this out in order for me to keep up on my site.  I have a tendency to do a whole bunch of post in a short amount of time and then flake out.  Not this summer though.  I am going to post on every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday by 11:59.  This will also help keep me on schedule for the fall semester.  I cannot believe I will have my AA in Liberal Arts at the end of this year.  I am also taking two classes this summer Intro to Creative Writing and Adult First Aid and CPR.

Coming up I will be posting projects from my Photography class and my last history paper I did on the four largest race riots of the 1960’s.  I am taking a Creative Writing course this summer.  So, expect me to be practicing on here.  I will also be doing a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a study abroad trip I was invited on next summer.  I chose from China or South Africa I will do a poll to see where my subscribers sit on this issue.  This Friday I am planning to upgrade my site from free to the personal plan.  Another way to get me more active on here as well.  The weekends are set aside for cracking out the camera and working on becoming a better photographer.  I want to make sure I have a diversified skill set.   A jack of all trades, master of none.  I just cannot handle be strapped down to one profession the rest of my life.   The only traveling I will be doing is in the greater Twin Cities area.

The last thing is on August 12 I will be going to the St. Paul Aint’s  game.  This is a minor league baseball team normally called the Saints.  The Freedom from Religion Foundation and Minnesota Atheist’s is sponsoring them for one night.  It is a night dedicated to Atheists, of which I am, watch baseball and make fun of ourselves.  This is to show Minnesota that atheists are just like everyone else, we just don’t believe there is a god of any sort.  We have morals and ethics it is just we set them for ourselves, not a book.

If you have any comments or would to request a location for me to photograph that you would like to see here in the Twin Cities leave a comment below.  I will see what I can do.

Journal Entry 7

It is quite disturbing to me, as a student of history and culture, that our current administration denies scientific facts.  The last time something like this was going on Europe was in the dark ages.  Disease were rampant like the Black Plague and Leprosy.  This was at the time the Catholic Church’s doing.   While Europe was going through all this it was the Arabic Empire in the middle east that was advancing thing like medicine, navigation, philosophy, and alchemy (the beginnings of chemistry).  Now we have an even bigger crisis on our hands, Climate change, and we now have people in power who is stuck in the area of Dark Age Europe.  This time it is due to straight up greed.  For thousands of years the rich have ruled over us with money, knowledge, and might.  The people of the United States were starting to take the power away from the elites in the mid to late 20th century.  Then we allowed the greed back in to our political arena.

This time like no other time before we have a tool that can help defeat the power grabbing sycophants, the internet.  With this tool we are more connected than ever.  We can become better organized and educated if we the people are willing to work for it.  It is days like yesterday, when I was up at the March for Science that gave me hope for the human race.  10,000 people marching in the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota and millions though out the country and around the world to say “Stop with your ignorant policies.  We need real change, not just lip service.”  Making money is not the end all be all to life.  It is but a part of life.  It is the experiences that make life worth living, not how much stuff we have.  We have been trapped in this mind set that “money makes the world go round.”  It is not it is us the people who give meaning to our lives, not some pieces of paper that are back by nothing but trust in our leaders.

We the people have worked to hard to bring this society to where we are today technologically and socially to let it slip away.  This I feel is just the beginnings of a battle for our world and every living thing on it.  We must be willing to give up our conveniences and lives to bring about a better world for the future.  We have a chance to create a peaceful revolution on our end.  If we stay strong and are committed to peace those who are in power will have to listen.  it will be a long and hard battle this way.  But in the end we will be able to look proudly at ourselves for sticking to out convictions.

Remember we are not alone in this.

There are millions around the world waiting for us to take the lead

and show them it can be done.

I know this is Idealistic but with out Ideals we are just as bad as those we oppose.

A call for calm

     In this historically trying time where people are scared, angry, and hateful. We must remember who we are as a species. We have a tendency to let our emotions get the better of us. Without really trying to find out what caused these situations. This goes for both sides of the Isle and I admit I have let my emotions get to me as well. We must each take some time to look inside ourselves and do a critical analysis. No one is perfect because there is no such thing as perfection. if there were this would be a pretty dull place. Everyone has their own ideas and opinions but before we go out there and committing acts of violence on one another and before families become so far damaged that they can not be repaired let us take a few minutes to reflect on ourselves. this is something most of us do not do or even know how to do.
          We all feel the pain of our current economy. We are all struggling. This is just like in the 60’s and 70’s when protesters would spit on vets and call them baby killers. Which was wrong.  Just like back then the elitist class with which both Clinton and Trump are a part of are pitting us against ourselves so they can control us with our own fears and hate. Why? Because it is easy to do when we are all distracted with family issues, working long hours, and just trying to get by. it has been like this for thousands of years. There is one thing that is different now than in the past our level of Technology.
       Look at what the possibilities we have the power to change this world for the better if we just have the will to do so.  The rich are not always the smartest people in the world.  Some of them just inherited their wealth, some worked for it and others have stolen it from honest hard-working people.  We give more help to the big corporations that give huge bonuses to their CEOs for maximizing profits by underpaying those they need to run their businesses like: Cashiers, cooks and stock people.  We the citizens of this world need to focus on bring the power to the people.  Not the elites.  We know whats best for us not people who have not spent much time in the failing economy that we are in.  We are the ones with the real power that most of us don’t realize we have.  I do not condone violence in any way.  This is why here in America we have the first Amendment.  As a reminder here it is.  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibition the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances .”  
     The the right to Peaceably assemble if the right to protest which has been used so much over the Past One Hundred or so years.  Martin Luther King used it to fight the Jim Crow laws and the right to vote as a full human,  Women used it to get the right to vote and to have control of their own bodies, and LGBT used it to get the right to marry.  We now need to use this again so that we may have a fair and free society and to keep the peace.  This is going to be a huge hurdle for us to climb but we can do it if we work together as one.  We must set aside our differences to focus on this goal.  We need to hold our leaders feet to the fire and makesure they are doing what is best for all of us not just the privileged few.
This is our time to shine and rise to the Occasion.
We have the power and the brains to make this possible.
Otherwise this civilisation will go the way so many before have gone and collapse in on itself.
Peace be with you all 

Day 4

Well today was the end of my first week of school.  I had Intro to Cinema and History of World Civilization 2.  After my classes I had a meeting with my TRIO SSS (Student Support Services) advisor.

In Cinema we were learning about its technical history from the Zoeatrope to George Melies “A Trip to the Moon”.  It was interesting to see how they first attempted to colorize film.  It must have been painstaking painting each frame, even if it was a 13 minute film.  It is remarkable to see how far we have come in such a short period of time ( in the grand scheme of things).  I also started the readings tonight going through the influences of the different countries that had an effect on the industry from the late 19th century to 1947 is where I stopped for the night.  This cover things like the Kinetograph and Kinetoscope developed by William Kennedy Laurie Dickson in Edison’s labs (411 Barsam and Monaham).  Going into the Silent Period (214), The German Expressionists (418) and many more.

This afternoon I had History in which we watched a video (narrated by the late Leonard Nimoy)and discussed the Black plague, and he answered questions on the syllabus.  The video was something that I had seen before on the History channel so most of the information was not too new to me.  Like I knew they used Bodies of the dead as a form of biological warfare of the time and that doctors of the time were some of the most vulnerable do to the closeness of working with those who had the plague.  What I had missed the first time I had watched the video was the Flagellants ( an extremist Christian sect) that had started to gain traction do to the Catholic Church own ignorance and unwillingness to hear any ideas other than those in the Bible.  I started my reading for this class today as well.  The reading are on some of the creation myths of the world.  I have gone through the Iroquois, which is more of a matriarchal view of the world and the Japanese which from what I read started out quite nice then became very patriarchal.  At least that is how I saw it.  I will be rereading it to get a better understanding of them both.

After history I went to see my TRIO advisor.  I like going to talk to him we always have interesting conversations.  For those who do not know Trio is an organization that help first generation college students and students with disabilities navigate through college life.  They help you set up your schedules, filling out financial aid forms and help to keep you on track in school.  Some of the most prominent people who have been part of this program through the years (not at Normandale Community college where I go they just started theirs last year) are Oprah Winfrey and Angela Bassett.  This Program has been around since the 60’s and is federally funded.  If you are in college and they have this program check to see if you qualify it is extremely helpful.  Me and James (my advisor) talked about how my classes are going so far, some of my financial aid and a little about this blog.  it was a short meeting but it is the first week and he is swamped with the new semester and people on his team. He did ask me if I “If I thought that I would have any problems with the number of classes or the classes themselves.” I dont really think I will of course while writing this blog my self doubt started creeping up again.  This happened before this time I feel I have the support I need to concur it.  beside I always feel like this until the end of the semester.  By then I have seen where I am at and know what I need to do to get the grades I need and want.  Hell right now I am waiting to get my invitation to Phi Theta Kappa our Honor Society. Over the past 2 semester I earned a 3.53 GPA in my college level courses.  If you add in my remedial courses it is a 3.68 GPA.  So, as long as I keep doing what I am doing I should have another good semester.

Works Cited

Barsam, Richard Meran., and Dave Monahan. “10/Film History.” Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. 5th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2016. 411+. Print.

Home

I have lived in Washington State, California, Florida and home is Minnesota. I have been a cashier, custodian (Disney World), Photographer/Videographer (Discovery Cove), salesman, Transportation Security Officer (TSA) and soldier.
I am currently a student at the ripe old age of 41 and am Studying to become a Social Studies Teacher. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (honor society).
I want to travel more and see this great big world we live in. Explore new cultures and share what I have learned. I believe everyone has different experiences in this life. So, that we can grow and learn from each other. In order to make this world a better place for future generations.

I have many reasons for starting this blog, one of which it helps to build up my writing skills.  I will be posting each draft of what I have written, this way I can get constructive critiques of my work and people can see my writing process a bit.   If you have constructive criticism of my work please let me know do not be shy.  This will help me to become a better writer which is one of my goals.

Next I am pursuing a career in Social Studies education sot that I can become a teacher and join the Peace Corp.  This blog will serve as a journal of sorts for me to express my feeling on certain subjects and help me to see how I have evolved as a person and a life long learner.

Lastly this blog is about me and my experiences over the past 40 years.  There will be journal entries, thoughts on life society, Ideas for thing we can do better and I will even put up some of my work from school after it has been graded, I don’t want to risk plagiarizing myself, lol.

If you have any questions for me or would like to here my opinion on a subject, you can leave them in the comments below the writings or you can leave me a message on Facebook or Twitter for the time being.  I am still trying get a handle of all the uses for social media so bare with me.