Efforts of local abolitionists to challenge slavery


Reading Response

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Chapter Four

Chapter four elaborates the efforts of the local abolitionists to challenge slavery and the slave trade in Washington. “Slavery Must Die” describes the attempts of the local white leaders to protect slaves and abolish black migration to the City. Although Congress wanted to abolish slavery, the slavery in the capital city did not seem to end. Nonetheless, the abolitionists worked secretly to free the Washington-area slaves. With the win on abolishing the slave trade, the city leaders resorted to capture and punish the runways. Slavery was a peculiar intuition in Washington that the city leaders did not want to lose. Even though Washington was the president’s City, Washington was the center of national slavery drama, and some leaders vowed to preserve slavery. When the nation faced civil war, slavery opponents and activities exposed Washington’s struggle over human bondage. The chapter ends with the City getting into unprecedented transformation. The fight against slavery was a win. The 3100 men, women, and children held captive in Washington became free. The end of slavery took over sixty years of relentless resistance, political agitation, desperate escape, and the outbreak.

The author maps out the politics of the struggle to overcome slavery.  Although the City was the habitant for black people, they had to fight for freedom when the stay became unbearable. Washington represented the overt racial repression: low wages for black people, bad schools, poor housing, and unemployment prevailed among the black community.   The blacks were leeway than the whites because racial segregation dictated black lives. The author introduces civil rights fighters such as Julius Hebson, the local head of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE). The leaders advocated for black power and rights. The undemocratic City did not give the residents political rights to voice their concerns. I believe the black people’s freedom may have delayed without the help of the Washingtonians.

The chapter reconnects with the rest of the chapter by demonstrating the end of black slavery, which is the book’s overriding theme. In other chapters of the book, the author describes Washington as the national battleground for contentious issues. The president’s neighborhood practices, slavery, and racial segregation were standard. Meaning he was aware of the sick state of the City. Unfortunately, there was little effort to end slavery. Therefore, chapter four demonstrates the political struggles that ended black slavery.

Chapter Five

Chapter five describes the transformation period of the City of Washington. The City hosted former slave migrants who joined white radicals and educated black leaders to reconstruct the City. Congress took great control of the City, and there was a need to rebuild the City’s legislation like freedom relief, black men’s suffrage, and public education.  With the reconstruction, the blacks got some privileges like the right to vote, black leaders won elections, access to private and public jobs, improved living conditions, national model schools for blacks, and implementation of anti-discrimination laws. Washington was once at the forefront of the slave trade, and slavery evolved into a city of racial and political change.

The author illustrates the City’s transformation that set in after the slave trade and slavery. Although diplomacy was long coming in Washington, the civil war was worth the change. With the onset of civil war, it was nearly impossible to believe that the former slaves and slaveholders could live together in harmony. The role of slavery in sustaining the Confederacy and recording gains over the union prompted Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.  The author narrates the union’s precarious balance between despair and hope, defeat and victory, and the willing strategy of black Americans to join the war.

200000 African Americans who joined the war as soldiers and sailors shaped the reconstruction of the City. Although some whites were reluctant to participate in the struggle, the African Americans gave enough strength to the union to achieve freedom and empower formerly slaved people. I believe that the ending of slavery plays a significant role in redefining the world. The most powerful world economies managed to destroy the slavery and human bondage in the capital impacted the world.  If slavery did not end, an independent Confederate States of America would have practiced slave slavery in coal mines, steel mills, and railroad building. The evolution of slavery into industrialization may have served as a devastating example that would attract the reaction force.

The chapter connects with other chapters of the book by defining the aftermath of the end to slavery. After reading the previous chapter of the book, one may desire to explore the aftermath of slavery. The whites showed no regard for The black slaves. Racial segregation became paramount. The author describes the emergence of new global power. The American trial war, emancipation, and reconstruction would not have existed without the slavery and slave trade. Therefore, chapter five reconnects with other chapters by expounding on the events of racial and democracy in Washington.





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