Slavery And the Importance of the Underground Railroad
To be slave. To be owned by another person as a car, house or table is owned. To live as a piece of property that could be sold — a child from it’s mother, a wife from her husband.
Justin Lester – To be a Slave.
The common thread binding all enslaved people was the fact that the had no legal rights. slaves were considered property which could be bought and sold at anytime.
Slaves could not own property.
By law it was illegal to teach a slave to read and write.
Slaves could not marry.
Slaves had no rights over their children. (their children could be taken)
Slaves could not practice their own religion
Slaves could not come and go as they pleased.
As we know the Underground railroad was not actually a train operating along hidden railroad tracks. Instead it refers to an idea. The Underground Railroad refers to the efforts of enslaved African Americans to gain their freedom through escape and flight- and the assistance of people who opposed slavery and willingly chose to help them escape– through the end of U. S. Civil War.
Enslaved African Americans chose to escape because they desired their freedom slave masters was nice or mean. Wherever slavery existed, enslaved persons escaped. Enslaved African American who chose to resist slavery by running away were called fugitive slaves, but can more accurately be called Freedom seekers.