To Be A Slave by Julius Lester | Teen Ink

To Be A Slave by Julius Lester

December 7, 2011
By Anna Parker BRONZE, Aurora, Illinois
Anna Parker BRONZE, Aurora, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

To Be a Slave Summary

To Be A Slave is the intense and heartbreaking collection of stories from those who were slaves themselves. The book is written by the slaves who experienced the horrible and torturous journeys through slavery. The stories take place anywhere from the start of slavery in 1776 to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The majority of the stories take place in the southern colonies as they were for slavery until it was abolished in 1863. To Be A Slave is written by Julius Lester, a slave whose life was completely changed as he was separated from his family at the age of 10. The book is written from the point of view of slaves and organized in letters from the slaves with occasional explanations from the author. Written completely by slaves themselves, To Be a Slave really pulls at the heartstrings from its vivid descriptions of the slaves being whipped and the horrible shelter conditions to the sad stories of those who were separated from family at as young as the age of three.
The letters are written by those who experienced slavery. Just a few of these people include Josiah Henson, a young boy separated from his brothers, sister, and mother at the age of five. Another was Charles Ball; a plantation worker owned by a very wealthy man but yet was forced to sleep in a shack with many other slaves. Another author of the letters included Solomon Northup, a plantation worker that was whipped unless he had picked at least 200 lbs. of cotton daily as well as many more.

To Be A Slave really shows you what slavery really was like in the words of black men and women who lived through slavery rather than sugar coated through the minds others. As said by the Julius Lester, “History is not just facts and events. History is also pain in the heart, and we repeat history until we are able to make another’

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This article has 1 comment.

history101 said...
on Jan. 22 2014 at 9:56 pm
This book means a lot that is it lectures from slaves themselves. I feel bad that they were treated worst than the animals they cared for. God bless america.

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