10 Myths About Slavery Debunked

Submitted by: Gerry1of1 5 months ago in News & Politics


Controversial issues on slavery always have misconceptions and misinformation surrounding them. Not everything you thought about slavery is accurate. This video digs deep into debunking those myths.

List of myths addressed in the video...
1. White slaves in America
2. America invented slavery
3. The first slave owner in America was black
4. The Union fought the civil war to end slavery
5. The South seceded over “state’s rights”
6. Few southerners owned slaves
7. Factory workers were like slaves
8. Black soldiers fought for the Confederacy
9. Africans were captured by Europeans
10. White people ended slavery

And here are the sources used for this list...
Ira Berlin, Generations of Captivity (Harvard University Press, 2003)
David Davis, Inhuman Bondage (Oxford University Press, 2006)
David Oshinsky, Worse than Slavery (NY: Free Press Paperbacks, 1997)
Natalie Davis, Slaves on Screen (MA: Harvard University Press, 2002)
Slate
History
Gilderlehrman
Snopes

There are 23 comments:
Male 1,798
I don't agree with his assessment of "indentured servitude". Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to imply that indentured servitude is as bad a full-on slavery, such as what happened to the Africans brought to the US during the hey-day of the American slave trade, but it is still a form of slavery. The guy doing the video even contradicts himself on this point, when he refers to people in "debt bondage" as slaves (he doesn't speak this part; its in text on the screen at about the 3:39 point), and indentured servitude is, not always, but quite often, a form of debt bondage. No, indentured servitude was mostly no where near as bad as the chattel slavery that was forced upon Africans in early America, but it is still slavery. Therefore, at least in my opinion, there were, indeed, white slaves in early America, although they were not treated as badly as their African "counterparts".

I also find myself questioning his assertions about the causes of the War Between the States (to quote Guns 'n Roses, "Whats so civil about war, anyway?). Yes, the documents that he so quickly flashes across the screen do specifically mention slavery multiple times. However, pause the video, and actually read the text. The slavery, while certainly an issue, was not the main issue. The main issue was the fact that the Northern states, despite an order by the US government, were protesting against, and refusing to "assist with", in a way, slavery. I say refusing to "assist with" slavery, due to them refusing to return escaped slaves to their owners. Yes, slavery is wrong, I do not dispute this fact. However, a basic precept of slavery is that the owner, well, owns the slave, just like any other piece of property. When an escaped slave was discovered, the discoverer had a legal obligation to return the slave to its owner. I'm not saying that this practice was a good thing, or was the (ethically) right thing to do, just that it was the law. At the time, it was no different than someone, say, receiving stolen goods, and refusing to return them to their rightful owner. It was a violation of the law. The US government had issued an order that any escaped slave found was to immediately be returned to its owner, and the Northern states were, more and more, refusing to do so, and the government was not properly enforcing its own order. This is a direct violation of the rights of the people of the Southern states to own slaves, making the secession of the Southern states directly about states rights. Yes, slavery was a center point of the rights involved, but slavery was not the central issue, the violation of rights was. As I said, pause the video, and actually read the text that he jumps through so fast. Its all there. He is, at least, correct that Lincoln's election to the presidency was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back" and led to the beginning of secession, which was already being threatened beforehand. 

At least he did mention that the vast majority of African slaves were sold into slavery by their own people, which is, sadly, true.
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Male 3,435
whosaidwhat What other rights were being violated exactly?  I mean these rights that had nothing to do with slavery?
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Male 1,798
daegog I just said. What part of it was confusing?
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Male 3,435
whosaidwhat What im trying to figure out is you keep saying a violation of states rights.

Was there some other right, that had nothing to do with slavery, that was being violated?  The right to bear arms?  The right to assembly?

It seems like you are saying there was some other right or set of rights (non-slavery related) that had something to do with the south leaving the union.

You said slavery was a center point of the rights involved, im trying to understand the non-slavery points involved.
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Male 1,798
daegog Is it not a right to have your property returned to you? The Fed was refusing to enforce it's own order saying that runaway slaves were to be returned to their "owners", which is definitely a rights violation.
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449
Re: #4. Just because Lincoln said those things doesn't mean that's final. Lincoln wasn't the only man in the North fighting the war, and the video even mentions Northern generals freeing slaves on lands they'd captured. It also tests the comment in #10, that white people didn't end slavery. Were these generals not white? It's hard to get a clearer example of ending slavery than marching in with a bunch of soldiers and telling some slaves that they are now free.

#10 is bad because it's mythmaking itself. Blacks don't get enough credit for their own activities in ending slavery, but to say white people did nothing is nonsense, and misses out on both the generals mentioned above and the growing abolitionist movement. The picture is simply more complex than "it was race A or race B that did it"

Overall a good video, but point #10 was a bad one.
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Male 39,900
Nice picture ! The guy on the left is grabbing her boob! (。 ㅅ 。)
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Male 40,739
5. At that time? Slave trading was the #1 economic element in the slave states. That's because new slaves were forbidden to be brought in, it made existing slaves (and their offspring) enormously valuable. So while slavery was an issue for the South indeed? It was because of economics and thus fell under State Rights eh? I think.

6. I had no idea it was that many! Learned something new eh?

10. I agree with johncourage below, it was indeed white people who ended the slave trade in Western civilization. No outside nation forced them to do so, UK and others ended it because their own WHITE citizens told them to!

If he's talking mostly about America and Europe (as he says he is in the intro) then why suddenly focus on ancient China? Claiming they invented 'freeing the slaves' is just as silly as saying White people invented slavery.
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Male 4,149
Cool pic BTW. I wonder if that is from a painting.
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Male 40,739
trimble Yup: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slave_dance_to_banjo,_1780s.jpg

Slave painting dance = first image in a search, lolz!
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Male 4,149
5cats Yeah, that's a nice one too, I was kind of talking about the lead cover pic of the naked slave-girl auction (I'm going to Hell).
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Male 339
A pretty good video.

Until the 14 minute mark: Saying that white people ended slavery is not equal to saying the captors freed the captives. Not all white people owned slaves. This is a planet full of individuals. Saying that all white people were complicit in the slave trade, even in the beginning is as much a myth as the other items on the list.
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Male 127
i think if it wasnt for slavery, black people wouldn't be all over the world and they would still be living in mud huts in africa
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Male 40,739
monsta420 Essentially yes. It's a harsh truth but a lot of good came (eventually) for the descendants of those who managed to survive the slave trade. Not that that makes it good or anything I hasten to add!

A sprinter from Jamaica (iirc, might have been Dominica?) said the reason so many powerful athletes came from his nation was because the strongest people survived the hell of slavery. He was black of course, lolz! And it's true.
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Male 4,149
monsta420 Agreed, and as horrible as it was there are a lot of descendants of North and South American slaves I can't imagine the World without.
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Male 20
Hey Gerry, I miss seeing your posts. You haven't changed your profile pic. That's awesome!!! I used to frequent I.A.B. you, catz, squirrel. I remember you guys got me through a rough time. Went through opioid addiction. Clean and back on I.A.B. boy, its like walking into a store that has changed everything around.
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Male 39,900
joey-morris You were more fun when you were stoned....(ᵔᴥᵔ)
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Female 9,572
joey-morris I'm glad to hear you are getting over an addiction, welcome back.
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Male 4,914
joey-morris Welcome back! I'm glad all of our IAB nonsense could serve some useful purpose. And congratulations on beating an addiction. That's really great to hear.
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Male 40,739
joey-morris Awww! Glad you're doing better! Welcome Home!
http://imgur.com/gallery/8wTxkJu
Slightly nsfw... a tiny bit.
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Male 1,739
Another myth...that there are less slaves now than there were during the Civil War.
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Female 9,572
bliznik And not just what we think of slaves either. There are diffenrent kind of slaves doing different work, including sex slaves.
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