Slave Community on the Plantation
Slaves were majorly the young, strong men in their teens and twenties who worked under cruel conditions on the plantations. The slaves in the plantations worked either in the master’s home or in the fields. Tasks were assigned according to physical stability. Completion of the work assigned on the fields was mandatory. Sluggish slaves were punished through beatings, whippings, drowning, or hanging, which were never justified and solely depended on the overseer’s verdict. Steadfast slaves were rewarded with clothes and visits.
Mirth existed that slaves in the plantations were barbarians, uncivilized, uneducated, and worse than animals. However, a critical study into their ways of life depicted that they were people with strong cultural norms despite their anguish at the hands of their masters.
Family ties existed. The slaves maintained stability in the families, their hard labor notwithstanding. The men acted as the heads of the families. Married men were very productive, and their offspring guaranteed the prosperity of the plantations. Slaves gave names to their kids and thus were able to transfer their culture to the offspring.
Slavery in the plantations affected immensely the slave religion, living standards, work, and relationships. In spite of all these, the slaves were a religious community who incorporated Evangelism Christianity into their traditions and way of worship through songs and dances. The slave’s children invented so many games and engaged in little chores of fetching wood and water and even taking care of the younger ones while the adults were out in the plantations- six days a week of 15 hours of hard labor.
The slaves considered each other as a solid family rich in customs and values passed down to their children and not a helpless, dependent community. They were never intimidated by their white counterparts and masters but instead considered themselves as worthy beings.