African –American slaves were able to assert agency within it
The African –Americans were not allowed to assert agency within it but they use to form informal agencies. Slaves used to form their agencies, sometimes a group agency and sometimes they worked on individual levels for protesting slavery. Douglass when was hired by William Freeland who was one of the kinder masters, Douglass had during his slavery tenure. Douglass started educating his fellow salves and even planned his own escape (Douglass, 2009). Slaves when caught for planning their escapes were made to learn a trade designed for slaves. Douglass became a caulker and was allowed to hire his own time with which he saved money and went to New York. Douglass was hired as an American Antislavery Society lecturer. Slaves use to live in exhausted conditions with overwork, little food, limited clothing articles and no beds. If slaves tried to break rules, they were beaten brutally and were even shot by the plantation overseers.
Did slave holders enjoyed total domination
In Baltimore, slaves enjoyed relatively more freedom than other places. They received that freedom from the non-slaveholding segment among the urban population with their set standards for decency. These standards prevented the slaveholders from behaving with extreme cruelty towards their slaves and they all live in a city that has increased possibilities for open society. Douglass here in Baltimore met whites who opposed slavery and treated Douglass as a human being. On the other hand, there were places on the country side which were under high surveillance by the shareholders over their slaves and the slaves did not have any considerable amount of freedom and mobility (Douglass, 2003). The slave owners took sexual advantages of women slaves. Slave owners beat slaves brutally especially out of jealously in any other slave or slave owner paid attention towards any women slaves. For example, Douglass’s aunt Hester was beaten by her master out of jealously because another slave from other plantation paid attention towards her. The slaves sing songs to forget or explain the kind of pain they were experiencing due to mistreatment and beating by their masters and used jargons that conveyed the depths of the hardships of the slaves.
Douglass had faced a very painful life and had witnessed acts of cruelty that included beatings for no causes that sometimes extended to murders of the slaves by the white slave owners as a form of punishments for no justified reasons. Douglass says that blacks were in no ways subhuman but were treated in dehumanized ways through the brutal and cruel practices of slavery.