This I Believe about slavery

Devin - Fairfax, Virginia
Entered on November 10, 2008

I Believe

Culture is a particular society at a particular time and place. The American culture is believed to strive off of liberty and freedom. This culture has changed a lot over time. During the time of Slavery, America was everything it claimed it was not. I believe slavery is unethical. I think slavery goes against everything I respect about our country. We are a country based on free will and rights. I believe our country went against everything we structure our culture around during slavery, but did we know any better?

I believe slavery was considered normal in our past society. I truly believe many slave owners were unaware of how unethical slavery was. Many whites had grown to see blacks as slaves, not people. African Americans were seen as a product. This product then became a product of many generations.

As years past, slavery became a way of life for the slaves and slave owners. I believe by the time slavery had made it through generations, the slave owners and slaves knew no other way of life. Children, whether white or black, had been raised around slavery. Slavery was disturbing and cruel, however, it was a part of the culture. Sociologists argue that people are products of their culture. Beliefs and values are developed at a young age and serve as a backbone for people’s outlooks throughout life. If slavery were considered right, would you have known it was wrong? If so, would you dare to be so different and separate yourself from the lifestyle?

White plantation owners needed a lot of work done on the farms in order to keep crops and production running. I believe slavery was a horrible method of solving their problems, but it was what they were structured around.

Slavery is hard to interpret. We were not alive to experience it from either perspective. From what I understand, I can develop several beliefs. I think slavery was horrible and I believe we have changed significantly over time. Are my beliefs right or wrong? Has our culture structured me to have such beliefs? If I am only a product of my generation, can I make judgments on the past? Does this mean only future generations will have the answers to many of our questions? Much like how we judge the past, I can only assume the future will judge us. I guess we can only hope we are products of the “right” generation.