Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Parker Pool

The Federal Writers Project is a collection of slave narratives collated in the 1930's. It is hosted online by the Library of Congress. I have focused in particular on the story of Parker Pool. Pool's story begins with him explaining to the reader about his family history in great detail, he talks about his parents and grandparents and also discusses how his great grandparents were "right out o' Africa". I feel like this shows to the reader how slaves were viewed as breeders as well as free labour. In great detail, Pool goes on to tell readers about his daily life on the plantation. He speaks very highly of his owners and how they always provided plenty of food and clothes, he mentions how everyone is happy on the plantation and that no one ever tried to run away. When discussing religion, it is stated that the slaves were allowed to attend church in a segregated section. They were never allowed to use books or read the bible, however, this touches on the lack of education that these slaves had. Pool goes on to tell the reader about one of the two times he was "whupped". He says that his masters never hit him, and he was only ever whupped when they wanted show off. This exemplifies to the reader an ignorant acceptance or perhaps a lack of understanding of the situation. Pool closes by discussing what life was like after slavery was abolished. He explains how tough times where as although he was a free man, he was still working for a white man, and he was getting paid a wage that was to low for him to look after himself. This raises many issues about how slaves weren't respected or properly cared for by the government following their release.

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