Certain passages may spark conversations that pull history into the mix.
- The fate of black woman on the plantation and how this affected both black and white woman alike.
- The presence of the “mulatto” women and why lighter skin was historical seen as more desirable. Discuss the concept of passing. (Text to look at: James Weldon Johnson’s The Auto-biography of an Ex-Colored Man)
- Reasons why such a system as slavery was sustained in the south. Look at the economic, political, and social basis. (It was the South’s only economic source of profit; it provided the basis for their social hierarchy that constituted the heart and soul of social politics in the south; the involvement of poor whites, etc.)
- What led to slave revolts? Examine the history behind them.
- Examine how in many cases, education was like a double sided sword for African Americans who on the one hand wanted to be educated, but on the other, detested it in that an education made one more intellectually aware of the unjust system from which he could not escape. (Sources: Frederick Douglas’ slave narrative and the trope of the “talking book” in other early Black slave narratives)