Opinion Essay

Submitted By catmaster123
Words: 821
Pages: 4

11/07/13
HIS-214-872
Chapter 5 of Freedom on Mind:

The Antebellum era was an era of conflict and political agendas. As noted by the author in chpt. 5, neither one of the propaganda illustrations for abolitionists or proslavery southerners were forthright. They both had their shortcomings and were skewed to sway people to their own opinions. In figure 5.6, an illustration drawn by George Cruikshank, a man who never visited America but was told of Scipio’s story, drew his rendition of these evets. In this illustration we see many contrasting subjects. First off we see the slave Scipio with dogs attacking him and his arm out against them while a white man is holding his gun to Scipio. Then we have Scipio’s owner Augustine St. Clare, who obviously gathered the men to start the hunt for Scipio, but is now shown telling the white man to not shoot Scipio. As you look to the other side of the illustration you see the other white men on the hunt and you see a black child and man. The illustrator chose to put specific detail into the black mans face and eyes, which you can see looking at Augustine with terror and amazement. Then in figure 5.7, the illustration depicts the life of Henry Bibb who witnessed his child and wife being tortured. These illustrations show a white man (presumably their owner) with extreme anger or enragement on his face about to whip Henry Bibb’s child and wife. Interestingly enough in the top illustration the white man is not looking to the child whom he is about to whip but at Henry Bibb who is on his knees presumably begging him to stop. In the second illustration we see the white man looking toward the women he is about to whip, and you see two women hanging their heads crying, while a child looks as though it is about to run in and stop the whipping. In both illustrations we see a white man just standing or sitting there watching apathetically. This may possibly been showing that even if you are not doing the torturing, it is just as wrong to standby and do nothing as to be the one doing the torturing. These illustrations also have verse’s below each one, possibly trying to persuade the white southern Baptists, that slavery is against God’s will. In much contrast to these we see the pro-slavery illustrations in figure 5.8-5.11, showing white men and women teaching the black children in Sunday school and with a school master. It is very interesting to note that the white men and women in these illustrations are made with sharp lines, possibly trying to convey that they are prim and proper, while the black children are shown with much rounder lips, noses and with blank stares on their faces, possibly showing that they are uneducated. This also maybe trying to convey that by not being slaves they would be missing out on all these opportunities to be educated by white people. In essence both propaganda illustrations are misleading, and though the actual photographs from the 1850’s and…