Week 3 Blog Post: Omeka


The visual document I selected was titled “Insurrection on Board a Slave Ship.” There is a sense of hypocrisy in the title itself. The word insurrection meaning uprising or rebellion was used against the enslaved Africans on the slave ship. There was an uprising against being taken captive and not knowing that they were being sold into a horrific and horrible act. The image depicts violence with the government using their guns to fire onto the enslaved Africans on the top deck. In the part of the image, there is the depiction of enslaved people jumping off the boat. Even though we may not know exactly what was going through their minds, there is an assumption that they would rather jump into the terrible and dark sea than be taken captive into an unknown world with a terrifying background. I think this can show the courage and bravery that many enslaved people had. Those on the boats carried this will to try to fight. There isn’t much on who was on that ship and a research question would be whether that ship had a catalog or a book that documents everyone on the boat and those who jumped overboard. When learning about slavery one thing that usually doesn’t come up is that many chose to die willingly before reaching the United States.



The second document I picked was written by Frederick Douglass. It occurred May 11, 1847, in New York as he was speaking about abolition and anti-slavery in America. One thing about this document is how it had a ton more information and that is because Frederick Douglass was very well known and to this day if you were to say his name many would at least be able to say yes, I have heard of him. This isn’t the case with many other enslaved people in America. We don’t get to see many other documents from those who didn’t have the chance to gain the social network that Douglass had obtained. This work was written and given to an audience of his anti-slavery followers. The article was obtained through the Library of Congress. A question that I would have is how white abolitionists agreed and helped Frederick Douglass with his arguments. A question to follow up on that would be if they also had raised risks of safety due to the nature of their stance. Another question would be if there are many other escaped slaves who also did the work that Douglass was doing.

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