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My life as a slave

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April 2, 1865, War ended

I have just heard wonderful news! It is said that president Johnson had ratified the thirteenth amendment, which banned slavery. I am so happy that I’m finally a free woman. Now I may start a new life without my horrible and brutal landlord named Howell Cobb. Also, I have legally changed my name to Glorianne Dorce again. My sister and I were separated from our parents five years ago; we have not seen them since. Though, once we ca go to my grandma’s house in Maryland and I can finally see my parents, and go to work. Tomorrow my sister and I shall go to the north, on a train. In two days we will see our parents. We can finally be a whole like we used to be. Right now I must go to sleep, so that I will be ready for my first day of freedom. I just cannot wait!!

April 15, 1865, Arrival

I have arrived to Maryland after a week. I am feeling so many emotions; happy because I finally get to see my older brother, parents, and my grandma. Though, now I am tired for I had to make sure that we went to the right stops, and had to protect my little sister from any danger. Although, no matter how many times I try to explain my emotions, you will never know how I feel with words, they do not even come close to how I actually am right now. The only way you could really know, and understand is by actually feeling the pain and loneliness. Then, you would understand the feeling of relief and happiness I have to see after such a long time of having been apart from your family. Although cutting this short, I have missed my family so much, and to see this day in which we are together again, it is like a miracle. Now I can say that I am the happiest person in the world. However, there’s one exception though, I have heard a terrible news, and my father had passed away from the wounds that he got from the beatings.
March 1865, Freedmen’s Bureau
I am so happy, I may not consider a citizen but at least the congress actually treats us like people who actually work for a living. This law that the congress had passed out for us, will help me to feed, shelter and cloth my family. Now I can buy my sister a new dress she always wanted for her birthday. Now my little sister can actually receive and education. My mother said that she can work with my uncle on his plantation that he had inherited. They say that this will support us until we can work. But, I work in the afternoons just to help while my little sister learns how to sow and crochet from grandma.

May 1865, labor systems

Oh, I am so mad how the South could be so cruel!! No wonder the North said that the South is greedy, dense, and so horrible. I have a cousin named Gabriel; he lives in the South, working on his old owners land. I told him they would treat him like dirt, but Gabriel told me that maybe he could get lucky and would not be the case. Now there are these so called “labor systems” as these white folks say it. However, I believe that they are exactly similar to slavery. There are different forms of this labor. For example, the Gang labor is when landowners try to recreate slavery by using groups of workers under the supervision of a white overseer. Also, the overseer gets to whip them for not obeying orders.

There is a different method that sounds a little bit fairer for in the Wage labor system the landowners pay their workers after they sell their crop or give workers a portion of the harvested crop. The contract system is very much like a white free mans contract in which you must work for that certain amount of time no matter how much you want to leave. That is a little bit fairer then the other ones if you ask me. Although, the share cropping is like is the second worst of them all. It is when a freedmen or a poor white man contracted to work a piece of land for the boss. However, the owners of the land were very cruel and made their workers in great debt though the south had also passed a law called the dept peonage. This law stated that you could not leave the owners land until you have paid the dept.
Not only that but, there are these laws called the black code which prevents African Americans from having their civil rights equal as of the whites. Though, we must just wait and see on how we can survive this unfairness. Oh my people have gone through so much, furthermore, in the South we are not even free from the hatred, and they have put down our spirit. Though , I much rather be a full minded caring African then a cold hearted and cruel white person that does not even deserve peace. Anyway, other then those terrible news my family is doing quiet fine. My sister is learning to sow and I have been teaching her how to read for quite a while, soon she shall help the family. I just can’t wait until I can be an actual citizen of the United States of America.

June 1866, Civil rights act

My goodness!! I am a United States citizen; my father would be so proud of me and would be laughing of joy right now. We are now celebrating dancing, and are not being able to believe that we have actually made it this far and in peace. My grandmother says that this is the perfect beginning for the next generation. Yes, I do know that we have a long way to go but if we could out live and fight for our rights there would be no reason to say that in the next century or so we will be equal in everybody’s eyes no matter what the color of our skin, that someday we’ll be recognized for our character. This act of the congress shows us that there are some good hearted people, it may not be the majority of the people but it is better then nothing. The congress calls this the Fourteenth Amendment; this gives us the guarantee of citizenship and equal rights to all the people born in the United States, except the Native Americans.

This does not seem fair to me that these rights are not given to Native Americans but I am just happy that they are actually changing something. I bet my cousin Gabriel is cheering and making a big festival all over his house with friends, and family.


September1866, Ku Klux Klan

I have heard terrible rumors from all of my friends that in Tennessee there is this horrible group that is called the Ku Klux Klan. They burn the cross, ride white horses at night to burn the African American houses. Furthermore, this clan has terrorized, their hatred is so powerful that now I am afraid to walk to work by myself without having to carry a knife under my skirt to protect myself. My friend Mary- Elizabeth was raped by them, she looked so fragile the only thing I could do for her was to cry and also pray for her and hope that one day she will be all right. These men are so dense and just plain crazy in their believes, that if you have a different color of skin to them it means that you do not belong in society, and don’t have the same rights as everybody else. In my opinion, the only people who actually deserve to have all the rights of an American should be the Native Americans because they are originally from America after their ancestors some time ago came to these lands as a nomads in a pilgrimage. They have come to the United States just like us.

Now, I just hope that I can live the fear of actually going to work today. I sure hope that the government may help its citizens of all races to live in peace.

September 1868, the convention

The constitution of 1868 is perfect for my family. This shows that the congress has given all voting rights to adult males. Too bad, is not for women as well, as long as I live I will fight for my and the future generation rights of every race and genre. Moreover, the constitution prohibits slavery, most in important of all they supported the free public education so now everyone can have an education. No longer are we treated as animals, now to be whipped is against the law. Where my cousin lives there is a new capital. The capital of Georgia it is called Atlanta. There is one problem for Democrats; they have removed the African Americans from office. The Republicans tried to fight but at last they have not won the battle. Although I am very happy that my men can vote for what is right and also our friends in office with different skin who see a better future for the world.
Though, I am still sad for my grandma has died in her peaceful sleep. She was always a patient woman about her freedom and she got to live through it. However, the freedom I have wished for since I was a little child is coming little by little. I am so happy though, but often take over my fear of losing everything, and going back to all the hardships. I’m always haunted by so much that I often wish I could get it out of my head but I can’t. Right now I am happy just to be alive, this is not close to my description of freedom but someday we will get there, if not in mine in the next generation or in a century. I will guide my people in spirit to set my people free. If we still have these kind of people who try to protect our rights, I know we will be all right.

February 2, 1870 the Fifteenth amendment

My people are so happy and so am I, for all the hard work we have gone through. Thank God for helping us in our hardship so that we may be able to look in the future. I am very proud of the colored and white Americans that have united us as the United States of America. Now colored males and females shall be able to vote and put our voices together. I am very confident that we will be equal without a doubt. Though, I know it will not be easy for any of us but we will take it step at the time, for patience equals perfection. Then, soon the world would have enough knowledge of actually seeing beyond the features of your outside but the feature of your character.


By a person who wants change
Glorianne Dorce





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

LukeM said...
Jun. 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Though this is not the best article, it certainly looks like you are a writer with large potential.

Also, I scanned the article for historical innacuracies. Though some ideas are unorthodox, everything checks out as far as I can tell. It would be nice to see a line or two about Andrew Johnsonand  the fourteenth amendment, in relation to how he rode around the country giving speeches *against* the amendment. After all, he was a racist who was later impeached.

 
Chibbie replied...
Jun. 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm
thank you very much :)
 
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