To Be a Slave Characters & Themes

Julius Lester
This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of To Be a Slave.
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To Be a Slave aims to educate readers about slavery in America and about the dehumanizing misconceptions about blacks that even the intellectuals of the day believed. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and statesman, supported the idea of the "natural inferiority" of blacks. Lester notes that corporal punishment by masters was commonplace, while lynching by the Ku Klux Klan was generally accepted by whites as a necessary practice. Religion, which many slaves used as a positive spiritual weapon against suffering, was misused by manipulative slave masters who hired preachers who maintained that God had created blacks to be slaves and servants, and that the greatest glory blacks could give to God was to accept their place in God's grand universal structure. Slaves were subjected to further psychological cruelty when they were forced to adopt the surname of their owner.

The large cast of...

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This section contains 355 words
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Buy the To Be a Slave Study Guide
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