The Spirit Of Freedom Never Stopped Amongst The Slaves Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Slavery, America, Slave, United States, Democracy, Resistance, Freedom, Europe

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/08

The word Sankofa means that in order to move forward you must reclaim the past. It is in this respect that Gerima postulates in his movie that it is important to dig into the past so as to find the future and at the dame understand the past. From this perspective, people need knowledge of their history since this a powerful tool that can aid in the emancipation of the consciousness and reclaim their humanity. Knowledge of the slavery is important as it shows the plight of the African Americans and how they struggled for their independence from slavery. Though some have argued that African Americans only resisted when they were being transported to American in his film Gerima paints a clear picture of the Africans resisting slavery, not only during the trade, but even during the era of slavery. It is evident that Africans never stopped fighting their master during their transportation to the farms and even after they reached the plantations. The spirit of resistance remained alive amongst the slaves even after they arrived in the plantations.
Slave resistance and slave abolition movements trace their roots back to European urban culture, intellectual movements, elite European religion and most importantly the African-American slave resistance. It was only until the 19th century that all these forces came together as one unit to fight and end slavery. It was these concerted efforts that saw the end of Atlantic slave trade, and American slavery abolished in the 19th century. The abolishment of slavery was largely spearheaded by the African Americans in the plantations who strongly resisted the white man's control through various ways such as strikes and rebellion movements. One such movement is mentioned in Gerima’s film.
Despite there being plenty other forces that criticized slavery trade and slavery, one powerful force that wanted to end slavery was the slaves that organized resistance movements. As mentioned by Gerima there were slaves that ran away from the plantation. These slaves were famously referred to as the Maroons. After running away, they established independent movements and communities in regions that were beyond the direct control of the colonial rulers. Examples of such groups include the mountain of Guadeloupe, canyons of Jamaica Swamps of Florida and Sertao of Brazil. The nature of some of these Maroons communities grew to a level that they were militant and powerful enough to establish treaties with the colonial powers.
Slavery resistance movements began as early as 1527 and as plantations expanded through the seventeenth, eighteenth and even the nineteenth-century plots to revolt against their masters always lingered in the minds of the slaves. Gerima shows how such plots developed. Africans-Americans could stock some food and weapons ready to revolt against their rulers. Most of the revolts occurred in small scale with an aim of seeking justice. One important thing to note is that some of these resistances were in large groups such as the Maroons and at some points it involved arena revolution. The results of these revolutions were tremendous and helped to get the autonomy of the Africans. A good example of a large-scale revolution is by the antislavery movements in the 1791 slave revolt In Northern Saint-Domingue that eventually escalated to the Haitian revolution. These revolts played an important role in spreading the antislavery ideology and also influenced the first universal emancipation. It also led the establishment of the first republic by the former slaves. It is with such an eye that Gerima argues that the spirit of rebellion against slavery always remained alive amongst the slaves even when they were in the plantations.
There are various other ways that the African Americans revolted colonialism apart from the formation of movements such as the Maroons. Among the major protests were sabotage of animals, crops, and tools, murder of owners and suicide. There are various rebellions constituted an additional strategy of protest. In the south, there was a large population that made their fear of insecurity even greater. In fact, one of the largest rebellions during the slave period involved hundreds of slaves in South Carolina andStono in 1739. During the course of this uprising about 25 whites and 50 slaves were murdered. In the wake of these uprisings, colonial authorities thought of establishing what is called the black code. The main aim of such codes was to contain that slave activities and to reduce the rebellions from the slaves. The genesis of this code was in Virginia in the year 1660s and served as a model for other codes. Under these codes, slaves were totally banned from traveling to other places without a written permission from their owners. The codes also restricted the slaves from congregating in large numbers without whites being present. As well, the slaves that were found guilty of murder, rape were hanged. Those with petty offenses were maimed, whipped and branded. Such treatment infuriated more anger among the blacks, and this is what created more revolts.
Ideally, Africans never stopped fighting for their freedom, even after they arrived in the plantations. It is evident that their efforts for freedom ranged from armed struggle, killing their masters and many other techniques. The formation of groups of communities is perhaps one of the most sophisticated and powerful tools that the African American used to champion for their freedom. Gerima has tried to bring out some of these issues in the film. He clearly shows the determination of African to get freedom even on the slave plantation.

Work Cited

Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 08) The Spirit Of Freedom Never Stopped Amongst The Slaves Essay Examples. Retrieved May 16, 2022, from
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"The Spirit Of Freedom Never Stopped Amongst The Slaves Essay Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 08-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 16-May-2022].
The Spirit Of Freedom Never Stopped Amongst The Slaves Essay Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 08, 2020. Accessed May 16, 2022.

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