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Sketches of Slave Life: or, Illustrations of the ‘Peculiar Institution’ (Second Edition)

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Title:Sketches of Slave Life: or, Illustrations of the ‘Peculiar Institution’ (Second Edition)
Author:
Randolph, Peter   
Published:   1855
Tags:autobiography, non-fiction, slavery, U.S.A.
Description:

A series of observations on selected aspects of slave life, all drawn from Randolph's experiences in slavery. Randolph's "sketches" range from explanatory essays on "Food and Clothing", "The Hours for Work", and "How The Slaves Contrive To Get Food" to more passionate treatises on the inhumanities of slavery in "Slaves On The Auction-Block", "Flogging", and "Overseers". In each of his essays, Randolph strongly emphasizes the humanity of the enslaved and the suffering caused by both the everyday regulations and the extreme abuses of the plantation system. Randolph's text is particularly notable in its active efforts to undermine contemporary views that enslaved African Americans lack the same emotional responses as whites; that they are content in slavery; and, as scholar Marion W. Starling has pointed out, that slave-holders would not deliberately harm slaves because they were valuable property.

—Jenn Williamson [Suggest a different description.]

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