To Be a Slave Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Julius Lester
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Most of the time when a slave was going to be __________, he/she _____________ know about it in advance.

2. What was a second reason Africans appealed to the colonists as slaves?

3. What was the title for the trusted slave that would often help administer whippings to other slaves?

4. In 1860, less than ______ slave owners owned more than ______ slaves.

5. What animals did the master who taught his son to call him "Papa" use to teach his black son and white son about brotherhood?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the KKK and what did they do?

2. Discuss what Patsy Michener meant when she said, "Two snakes full of poison. One lying with his head pointed north, the other with his head pointing south."?

3. Describe a typical day for a slave working on a plantation.

4. In Chapter 5, what does the story of Paul symbolize?

5. What was Julius Lester's purpose for writing "To Be a Slave" and did he accomplish it?

6. How does Ball describe his first encounter with white people in the Prologue?

7. Why do you think Tom Robinson from Chapter 6 could not believe he was emancipated?

8. What was the overall reaction from the slave community once they were freed?

9. Discuss the reasons why Indians and whites did not work out for the colonists for manual labor purposes.

10. What was the story of Powhatan Mitchell and what did it signify?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Even after emancipation, slaves were not truly freed. They had freedom but not a free life. Discuss the difference of what it means to have freedom and what it means to have a free life. How did slaves have one and not the other? Or do you think they had both or none after the Civil War ended? What was life like for slaves immediately following the war and was it something that could have been prevented or carried out differently?

Essay Topic 2

The very last line in the novel is "...the white folks have been and are now and always will be against the Negro." Discuss what Thomas Hall means when he says this. Has this statement proven to be true throughout the novel? What is the KKK and what was their purpose? How does it relate to Hall's statement? Include any example that you can to support this statement using stories from the novel. How did the treatment of blacks from years ago affect the status of blacks in society today? Does the statement still hold true today? If so, give an example. If not, up until when did it hold true?

Essay Topic 3

What is freedom? What is freedom to different groups of men? What did freedom mean to a slave? Slaves certainly wanted it. How did they go about attempting to achieve their freedom both before and after the Emancipation Proclamation? How did the whites feel about the freedom of the slaves both in the North and South? When the slaves did attain freedom, how did they feel?

(see the answer keys)

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