The Most Effective Ways Used by African Americans to Challenge the Institution of Slavery

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Africans were abducted and transported to the American colonies, where they were forced into slavery. The majority of Africans were compelled to labor on cotton and tobacco plantations. By the middle of the 19th century, abolitionist movements had been established to end slavery in the United States. Beginning in the 1820s, slavery spread rapidly, especially in the Northwest Territories. In addition to providing labor on cotton and tobacco plantations, prominent individuals enslaved people responsible for performing household tasks for their owners. As the 19th century progressed, many African Americans banded together and created various antislavery movements to abolish slavery in the United States. This paper examines the most effective strategies employed by African-Americans between 1820 and 1865 to challenge the institution of slavery. Free and subjugated African Americans fought slavery in the United States actively and passively. Daily resista

The Most Effective Ways Used by African Americans to Challenge the Institution of Slavery

Arguably, free and enslaved African Americans used both active and passive ways of fighting against slavery in the United States. Daily resistance was the most common way of opposing slavery. The African Americans would destroy any goods or farm products produced from their labor. They were confident that the whites would only listen to their grievances, which was majorly ending slavery if they destroyed the goods because they would not have any products for trade. Besides, they would also break tools used on the farm to ensure they were not forced to work. Some African American slaves would feign illness to avoid working or getting forced to carry out other house chores by their masters (Walton et al., 2020). Moreover, the day-to-day resistance included setting properties on fire and sabotaging, resulting in significant losses.

            Running away from the whites was another form of resistance against the whites. The majority of the African American slaves ran for a short distance not to permanently escape from the whites but to withhold their labor as a form of economic bargaining. In an attempt to gradually end slavery in the United States, the slaves advocated for negotiation whereby a constant process was followed that involved discussion on the pace of work, monetary rewards, freedom to engage in cultural practices away from the white's oversight. However, some of the enslaved African Americans tried to escape slavery permanently. They would travel long distances to the Southern region as some southerners were against slavery (Reed, 2018). Consequently, the whites started to gradually lose slaves, particularly in their farms, resulting in reduced human labor. Nevertheless, the majority of the slaves who escaped slavery were boatmen and coachmen who were familiar with the outside world.


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