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In this part of focus 580 we have as our guest historian IRA Berlin a man who is generally considered to be one of if not lead leading scholar in this country of slavery he said distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland and this spring has been spending the spring here on the campus teaching and talking about his area of research. He has authored several books including slaves without masters of the free negro in the antebellum South which won the first book prize of the National Historical Society. Another many thousands gone. The first two centuries of slavery in North America won a number of awards including the Bancroft prize for the best book in American history. His most recent which in a sense carries on the work of many thousands gone. The most recent is titled generations of captivity a history of African-American slaves that make some very basic points about slavery and perhaps the most basic is that it was not a static
kind of institution that indeed slavery over time changed. And from one area of the colonies. To another it was different. That book is out and came out just last year so you certainly can find it in the bookstore library if you want to take a look at it. He is in addition to his teaching here. He will be giving a public talk about some of the research that he has done on the topic rethinking slavery. Eighteen hundred eight hundred sixty one it's free open to the public at 3:30 in the afternoon Friday of next week this is April 9th. We're talking about an room 213 of Gregory Hall on the campus so if you're interested if you're in and around Champaign-Urbana if you're interested you can certainly attend of course you'd like to read his work you can head out and look for the books here though in this part of the program we're also interested in taking phone calls questions comments. You can join us by dialing the number here 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll free 800 2
2 2 9 4 5 5. Well thank you very much for being here. I'm delighted to be here. Thank you for having me. One of the things as I explained one of the things as I was sitting down and thinking about what kind of conversation that we might have that I came across was an op ed piece that you wrote it appeared in The Washington Post in one thousand one hundred seven at the time and people will recall this was when Bill Clinton was president nine states and he he was talking about how it is that. We might address the issues of race and the divisions between black and white Americans and he put forth the proposition that perhaps what we should do that is what the United States should do in a formal kind of a way is to issue an apology for slavery apologize to African-Americans for slavery and it's a legacy and he he was some people said they thought they would be a good thing. He was also widely ridiculed for having said that. And but it certainly did touch off discussion of the issue. And here you wrote this piece and the headline in the piece is
before we apologize we should learn what slavery means that is to say you know we don't know we're apologizing for before we start thinking about apologies and maybe we could start there because one piece that you make very strongly is that. While slavery has helped to shape this country make it the place it is that most Americans know very little if anything about it. Well I think that's I think that's correct. I think that's a fair a fair statement. It's it's awkward and often painful to admit your to admit your ignorance but for most of our history as you said we are a slave society. Slavery dominates the American economy it produces the capital upon which our great economy and great wealth is built that cotton rice tobacco sugar bringing that capital into the country the people who control slavery
controlled slaves are able to use that great wealth to dominate our politics our presidents Washington Jefferson Madison Monroe through Jackson Polk Tyler and so on and so forth all slaveholders substantial slaveholders the majority of the Supreme Court justices prior to 1860 including the two great CH chief justices slave holders the slaves and of course the ideal of American society the great ideal of freedom. We can say comes precisely out of the experience of slavery it's a slave holder who writes a founding statement of American nationality. Old men are created equal. Precisely because of this great sensitivity on the issue of freedom and of course the great supporters of that the ideal and articulators of that ideal from Richard Allen through
Frederick Douglass through Dubois and Martin Luther King are slaves or the descendants of slaves so slavery plays an extraordinarily large role in our society it's important for us to know something about what it what it is. Maybe I would ask you to expand on something that you that you did touch on and it's something that I know that you take up in. The recent book and generations have captivated I think also in the thousands gone and that is the idea that perhaps when slavery was first in early America slavery was. Then the United States was or the colonies was it was a society with slaves but that somewhere a transition occurred from a society with slaves to a slave society. And that is the term that you have what exactly is the difference between us today. Well what I mean by a society with slaves is the society in
which slavery is just one system of labor and one system of social relations among among many. And of course in early America that's precisely what slavery was. A system which existed throughout the Atlantic and ended up existing in mainland North America in the American colonies but existed alongside a variety of other social relations free labor indentured servitude probably the majority of European people at various times that were held in a variety of forms of coerced labor relations. So slavery is not an unusual system in that in that respect and in the society with slaves. People who enter insula in slavery participate in the society in a variety of different ways and economic ways and they use the legal system. They
they are members of churches and so on. A slave society what we mean by that is the society in which slavery becomes the dominant social relationship and as the dominant social relationship and the dominant economic relationship it informs all other relationships not simply between master and slave but between husband and wife between parents and children. Between non-slave holding a whites and and slave holders. Ultimately between ruler and rules because the slave holders become the ruling class the dominant social class and their values then inform the values of the entire society. Now that those two kinds of societies existed in mainland North America and developed in different times in different places. Did you did all of America in some way become a
slave society or was it only the South that was the slaves as well historians historians argue about that. We can say that all of America had slavery and that slavery doesn't disappear to the north philly end of the 18th century and then lingers on in many parts of the North until well into the 19th century. So there are still some 20000 slaves say in New York in the 1820s that is in the third decade of the 19th century we forget about how long slavery lasts and of course there remain people who had been enslaved then there remain people who own slaves then still you know still beyond still beyond that that year. Now whether the northern states were became a slave society is a question as I said historians argue about. There is there is some evidence that at some points during the
19th century in the 18th century the north is if not a slave society itself on the verge of becoming a slave society. And it is the society which of course is unmatched in a larger system of production in which slavery is influencing north and society in very powerful ways that is northerners engage in the slave trade. They insure slave vessels they supply slave plantations in the north an economy then becomes heavily invested in slavery even wildly the slave population remains at a relatively modest The 20 to 25 percent rather than the 90 percent that is in South Carolina. Well certainly a point comes where it is where slavery becomes essential to the economy of the self in way that it was not to the north. Can't can you imagine things
having gone in a different direction. Well we certainly can't imagine things going in a going in a different direction as I said during the middle of the eighteenth century when it seems that the North is teetering towards becoming a slave slave society part of the reason it is it is investing so heavily in slave labor. During the 1740 second 1750s is because a series of wars in the Atlantic changes in the economy and Europe cut off the supply of indentured servitude. That is white labor for a front from Europe and as the supply of labor is cut off from Europe more and more slaves are coming into the northern and Northern society northerners. Open up a direct trade with Africa. They're now importing slaves directly from Africa. It's very possible to imagine how the North could become a slave society and indeed if we you know if we
take this. Into the 19th century and we think and we talk a little bit about Illinois. That is our own home ground where we're you know we're sitting in the Northwest Ordinance eliminate slavery from the territory of Illinois only to the state the state of Illinois. But of course there is a powerful movement which comes within an ace of succeeding to to roll back the Northwest Ordinance to bring slaves into into Illinois and Indiana and Ohio and indeed the slaves are brought into Illinois Indiana and Ohio under so-called 99 year indentures a subterfuge for four for slavery it is easy to imagine slavery spreading into into the Midwest during the 19th century. The difference between the economies of Kentucky
and southern Ohio the difference between the economy of Missouri and Illinois and Indiana is not is not that great. It certainly could have gone a different different way. There was nothing for ordained about the 6 split between north and north and south that's a commitment that men men make at great cost to themselves that is the elimination of slavery from the northern states. Just as the final elimination of slavery and civil war is you know is of course enormously costly costly struggle. Our guest in this hour focused 580 is Ira Berlin he is a distinguished university professor at University of Maryland He's an historian he's spending this spring here at the campus of the University of Illinois major focus of his academic work has been slavery in North America and has written a number of books in the most recent is generations of
captivity a history of African-American slaves that came out last year. So if you're interested you can seek out the book questions or are welcome to 3 3 3 9 4 5 5 toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5. We've been in the same beast that was dying by the 97 piece from the post you wrote about some of the things that that slavery was about. And you write that it was about domination and also that it was about resistance. Maybe we could talk a little bit about those things and in the first I guess that the thing is that people never should never forget. Is the level of physical violence that was visited upon people as a way of maintaining slave slavery cannot exist without slave holders having a monopoly of force being willing to use that force in ways that I think most of us would consider unconscionable and that force has to be backed up
by still a more powerful force that is the force of the state when the Union Army arrives in you know and in the South after the Emancipation Proclamation. The game is over and everybody knows the game is over that monopoly on force has been has been broken. Went to Sun which sure destroys the slaveholders power on the island of St.. Center meaning the game is the game is over. The one one of the things that slavery is slavery is the system of violence. It's the extraction of labor by one create group of people who take people's labor take their creativity take their lives and use it for their own purpose and as a result of course to gain enormous benefits material benefits psychological benefits we can understand those in a variety of in a variety of ways. So that's one of the things that slavery is the difficulty in
understanding. Slavery is that it's also something else something else which is contradictory almost the opposite of that. The first thing that violence that is slavery is also a life. It's not simply death. Slaves are at great cost to themselves. Don't give in to the imposition to the violence. Instead they create the families they create a religion in churches they create systems of learning they create language they create philosophy they create music and dance and cuisine. All of these things are you know are created by slaves in the face of this of this violence and in some ways one of the things that we know is that the period of slavery may be one of the most culturally creative periods in American history so much
so that if we try to extract that which was created during the slave period the music the dance the food the language the philosophy you know all of that if we tried to somehow extract them from American life and try to imagine what American life would be without the creative impulse of of slaves it's you know we realize American life would be greatly impoverished. Our job in trying to come to terms with slavery is to try to somehow understand both of those things and not diminish either one. If we try to somehow diminish the imposition and the violence we certainly do a great injustice to what slavery was. On the other hand if we leave out. The great creativity the family life the religious life
you know. Then again we do a great violence to what men and women created at great personal cost to themselves so somehow in coming to terms with these two things that we have to keep them and keep them in balance and not you know deny either one and it's hard to appreciate I think to understand an institution which is our greatest nightmare. The thing that probably I think if any of us had a choice to say well you know we could go back and do it differently. Yeah we would do it differently. It's also a thing which has given us a great great gift. That's. I think that's a really interesting and I can appreciate the difficulty there because I'm sure there are people who would make the argument that and in talking at all about the ways in which it affected American culture and you might say it affected positively that you what you're doing is that
you're somehow lessening the other side you're lessening the physical violence and I'm sure that there are some people would say that you know that there's no better that doesn't balance. You know it's it definitely taps to that. You know the other side. That's right. You know that's right. Because to deny one is to deny the reality of slavery to deny the other is to deny the reality of slavery to keep them you know and somehow it's it is not to you know it's not to say that you know that you know that it's just it's just what happened. And we you know somehow have to you know have to live you know in the shadow of both of those and both of those things. That's our inheritance as you know as Americans. It's a burden and it's not easy to come to terms with those you know those kinds of those kinds of burdens it's easier to say well you know I didn't really have anything to do with me. My
parents got off the boat you know in 1880 and they were against slavery then my father was against slavery My grandfather was against slavery. You know I'm against slavery. It's not it's you know it's not it's not me but the Declaration of Independence is me. The Constitution is me. The Gettysburg Address is me. It is those things that we celebrate as Americans you can't pick and choose your history I'm afraid in that you know in that package of the things that we that we honor and we say is us as Americans are some things that we'd rather not unpack. Well I get it that gets again obviously where I'm I'm underscoring the point you already made but it gets back to this issue of just how the people need to understand just how how deeply. The institution of slavery shaped the country not just in a historical sense and not just
in the the 19th century but in but where we are right now. That's that's correct. It's for most of our history were a slave society it's not that it's not that far it's not that far away. We probably can get back to people who experienced the slaves directly in one or two generational jumps. It's you know there are people who are being interviewed former slaves who are being interviewed in the 1940s and early 1950s It's easy to imagine they have children who are alive who are alive today or certainly grandchildren who are alive today. It is not something you know which is in some deep you know recess of the American American past. There are you know there are there are connections. And for a long time we've denied that we've denied those connections and I think we're trying to
come to terms with them the apology that you started off the show. It was one attempt to come to terms with you know with their various lawsuits which are going on now against the corporations. Our attempt to come to terms with you know them. Reparations you know it is attempt to come to terms with them but there are also other ways you know we've see a whole variety of popular culture being infused with Again this attempt to come to terms with slavery in the movie Beloved. I missed the glory. The variety of TV TV shows we've got museum exhibits many many of course books CDs and websites and so on. I think all of these all of these or attempt to come to terms to them because slavery is ground zero of our history
we have a number of callers here Wilco. We have somebody on cellphone will go no ok. Well that will go line number one. Champaign. Yeah you've come up to part of my question you start out by saying something about being upheld by the state and that it couldn't exist if I would have slavery without that being held up by the state. And I wanted to just kind of follow through then. How that evolved into the Jim Crow laws and how that was fought in the civil rights movement and. And so yeah we have violence in America today and we often kind of talk about that as being you know some kind of cowboy mentality when we think about is individual violence but I guess I'd like you to talk more about systematic violence in our society that might in some ways come out of that old system or being evolved into other systems. Well I was I was speaking to the institution of slavery and I think there is you
know as I said the institution of slavery can't exist without the without the muscle of the state being able to come and put down slave insurrections capture runaway slaves back the master when the master which is God is not is not enough. Now the the end of slavery of course creates a very different very different dynamic. After you know with a man with emancipation at least by Constitutional law ever everybody is everybody's a citizen and the kind of differentiation that goes on in exploitation that goes on then has to take a take a different form. And so the State will play out will play a very different play a very different role in that
and in some in some ways the system of Jim Crow and the segregation and discrimination and disenfranchisement is not a continuation of slavery. It's put in place precisely because you don't have slavery. In other words you didn't need segregation when you had a slave society. The role of master and slave were quite well defined. They lived in very very close proximity. Be ridiculous to try to segregate. Yourself from your slaves if you were a slave owner what you want to do is you want to control them it's the system of segregation then developed precisely because you don't have. You don't have slavery and you have a. You have a constitutional structure which at least promises promises equality and in that system that you need to create other
kinds of systems of a social differentiation and other systems of exploitation and her sisters were somewhat more rare regional. And now we have these arguments about states rights. Well it's not clear whether they were somewhat more original the date they certainly took different forms in different in different regions but one of the things that we learned when we liquidated the system of system of segregation was that we liquidated it in the in the south by a law. But then when. Civil rights workers and freedom marchers are moved to the north. They discovered that there was a powerful system of de facto segregation in place. In the in the north and in some ways that the system of the facto segregation which kind of existed under the radar of legal
segregation was was powerful was insidious and has turned out to be even more difficult to eliminate than the system of legal segregation. And you think the prison system and the violence in the prison system in any way is a legacy of slavery and often. Stop at that point. I think there may be there may be connections but I think it's the connections have to be have to be explored I think it might be just too easy to collapse it to collapse the entire history. Into one I think. There are certainly there are certainly lots of connections between in costa ration and other systems of other systems of social control and social domination but I'm not sure that it's you know it's a direct inheritance from
chattel bondage. I don't think the last caller and go on to next person listening in Chicago. This is lie number four. I want to turn the conversation but what you are saying about culture a long time ago actually is in my American literature high school textbook. There was a quote by Mark Twain and I was never it. To find the source of the quote. But he basically said that it and slave owning cultures the slave owners culture declines and in fact it's the slave culture that's developed and that fascinated me because in the 60s they said African-Americans and have a culture. And your comments about the flourishing of culture during the slave period is the first time I've ever heard anyone outside of that quote from Mark Twain. But you didn't take the extension that he did he seems to feel that the slave owning culture did not the right under slavery. I think when you say culture I guess you're defining
culture is a system of prize values. Well no I'm talking about. I thought he was talking about literature art and music and design. Well I think I think you know culture is a product of human interactions and it takes a variety of different forms. As we see in very constrained situations and in situations of great prosperity you know slaveholders had had of course much greater material resources. Then the people they the people they they old and they too created a created a culture of the values we put on that culture I think are you know or you know were up to or up to up to us. I think probably it might be maybe the best way to think about that question is the think about the question that
slaves and slaveholders lived in very close proximity. They influenced each other in a whole variety of different ways and shared many aspects of their many aspects of their of their culture. You know a. A slave holder who worked in you know worked in the fields with his slaves or supervised his slaves in the field. Inevitably picked up many of their many of their habits many of the idioms of their speech. He came home he or she passed them on to his children in the kind of unconscious way that you know that culture is trance transpired transposed. Slave holders were raised by slave women who who nursed them who took care of them and so on. So
you know culture moves in all kinds of all kinds of all kinds of directions and ultimately what we're saying is that within the slave population there is much of European culture as well as Native American culture and in mint The white or European The Senden slave holding population. There's much of West Africa. We as a people are a product of you know the coming together of Europe West Africa and Native America. And they were influenced and you know in ways which we can some of which are very visible and some of which you know we can you know we need truckloads of anthropologists to tease out. I think so because I mean when I think about it I can't think of a great Southern writer from that period. I mean there's no chance in a work crew for Nathaniel Hart Thorne that's coming from that area. So in fact what you have
from there are the Uncle Remus story. So I guess this is just the superficial looking at and I'm just wondering if anyone ever examined that that issue. There are many students of Southern literature who study both. Both the literature of the plantation and the you know the literature which will be later formalized of of of slaves that comes out of folk tales and stories and so on and. You know as you do you know we talk about the Joel Chandler Harris Well Joe Chandler Harris in doing the Uncle Remus stories of course is expropriating. Many of the many of the stories which are stories which come out of West Africa traditional African folk tales and of course he's giving them a particular spin a particular twist in which he of course is patronizing the tellers of those stories who he
sees as GENIO but rather ineffective. You know men you know men very different than the kind of kind of purposeful dominant competent men that he of course thinks he's thinks he's one of the critics of. Let's Mark Twain's contention again that the slaveholders culture is suppressed and it is the slave culture become beginning to nominate and I'd like to hold to the position that they're mixed up in a variety of ways but I think you've got a position as well. OK thank you and thank you for the call. Let me introduce Again our guest. We have about 15 minutes left in this part of focus 580 We're talking with Ira Berlin. He's distinguished university professor at the history. Professor let me try that once again. He's an historian at University of Maryland. He's distinguished university professor there
and is one of the country's leading scholars of slavery slavery in North America and he's written several books the most recent is generations of captivity a history of African American slaves and this spring he is here visiting the campus of the University of Illinois to teach and talk about this very subject. Other questions are certainly welcome. 3 3 3 9 4 5 5 toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5. Next to a caller in Bloomington Indiana. Line number three well. And like in like the caller before last I was fascinated by your criteria for slavery. You said you can't have slavery without force and without the power of the state. I don't agree with that criterion but the reason that it fascinated me so much was because under those criteria the Bible does not allow true slavery because in the Bible the power of the state favored the slaves
that allow me to quote the biblical law which is which favored the slain. This is from Deuteronomy the book of Deuteronomy the fifteenth and sixteenth verses of the 23rd chapter of Deuteronomy. Did Romney 23 the 15th and 16th verses you shall not give up to his master a servant who has escaped from his master to you he shall do well with you in your midst Where he chooses in one of your towns where it pleases him best. You shall not defraud or oppress him. That is and that's what the Bible says about the state slaves and clearly anyone holding a slave in biblical times had to be good so good to that slave that the slave would not run away because if the slave did run away the law favored him. Does slaveholder would probably never get him back. And by the way in the Bible the word slave is almost never used as almost always called it almost always come. SERVANT. Well the bible of the Qur'an.
Probably every sacred texts of every major religion of every major a civilization. In some ways deals with slavery often as in the as in the paragraph that you read from Deuteronomy. It provides protection for slaves and of course in so doing it's of course recognizing the slave holders the slave holders rights. When slave holders in the modern period our slave holders in the United States but slave holders elsewhere in the elsewhere in the world come to defend the institution they point to the Bible they point to the Qur'an they point to were Roman a law they point to common common law. They find support for the institution of the institution of slavery and in other words in
providing protection for slaves. These these texts are also legitimating of the institution of the institution of institution of slavery. Yeah. We can say one more thing about about the law or the law or with all of course it's a protective force. Is is a standard. We know we have standards in our own laws today and sometimes they're obeyed and sometimes sometimes they're not. In a slave society in a society where the slave holder is the dominant where the society where the slave holder is the judges sits in the legislature is the executive. When those laws come to be enforced they are generally enforced in such a way as they're not quite as kind to slaves as you know
as a as a fair reading of those laws would you know would would you know would allow In other words in studying the law as we would study the law and you know and other with respect to other institutions we not only have to take into consideration the law itself. But who's enforcing the law. You know I think in and during during when slaves were being held in America pre-Civil War those Those that there were fugitive slave law as the law slaves were beaten. I know that many of the people in the south tried to use the Bible to justify slavery but the Bible certainly would not have committed them to have used it a slave law certainly would not have a permitted them to beat their slaves because if they beat their slaves the slaves would run away and the Bible said that the citizens at large should have protected that runaway slave not given him back to his master and that was not what our our slavery laws stated in them in America.
That's correct. Thank you very much. Thank you for the go let's go on to another caller here in Urbana line number two. Hello. Yeah I just wanted to mention since you talked about your guest talked about movies that try to treat slavery. Last week I saw movie called Dogville which is being considered a controversial movie but is it. Those people who are interested in the psychology have a tendency to and slave people in very intense examination of that. So I thought I'd mention that. That's it. Thanks. OK. Other questions are welcome 3 3 3 9 4 5 5. Toll free 800 to 2 2 9 4 5 5. When I ask you about something else and again and forgive me for going back to this piece of it that I started out with a piece from an exam where you wrote that studying
slavery can teach us much about ourselves as men and women as Americans as white or black or neither or both or more. But perhaps the most important lesson is that slavery was only 10 generally and be laded Lee about race. Later on here in the next paragraph you write while slavery formulated notions of race it also shaped relations among white people between rich and poor high and low. Can you talk about class and how perhaps American notions of class are have also been shaped by it by the experience of slavery. Well the system of slavery of course becomes color coded and identified as between white slave holders and black slaves although as in any system there are outliers and there are of course black slave holders and there are probably some people who are largely European who are held as
the slaves we know whiteness and blackness is the phony and very you know very ambiguous like. But what's the system of slavery is that the system of domination is whose purpose is not to to in some ways in some ways elevate all white people over all love black people over all Europeans over all Africans that the system of slavery is a system which is purpose is to elevate some. People they turn out to be European and white some people over everybody else and that's of course what the system does as we as we know the majority of white Southerners are are not the slaves not slave holders or slave holders and their families make up a very small proportion of the Southern population and of course if we view it in terms of the history of the population of the entire United States it's still even a
smaller fraction of that. Yet those slaveholders are able to dominate the federal government through the control of the presidency through their control over the court system. Through the control over a Congress for most of our history as a you know as a as a nation slavery ultimately the US is a system of class class domination which becomes then becomes then mixed up and mystified by the question of question of race. It's you know these are these are two separate categories ways of thinking which then become a twisted amongst themselves very very difficult to separate and perhaps you know in trying to separate them we do an injustice to way there. There are entanglement has created exactly who we are.
We have a few of the callers we're trying to get them in in the time remains. Somebody on a yeah. OK we'll go next to line number two in Champaign. Hello Professor I'm a southerner by birth African-American grew up in Arkansas near the Little Rock Central so I'm well versed in many of the issues. My question to you is a practice that existed in Arkansas and throughout the South after the ratification of the 13th Amendment abolishing legally slavery that is PNH and and something even maybe less insidious. If they had went on in my area sharecropping do you discussed pan-Asian how it perhaps in many of its messages may have been worse for African-Americans than slavery. In my writing no I have not addressed the question of the question of peonage In fact I kind of barely barely get into the period of period of emancipation I do of
course teach at the University of Maryland. Course in the history of the South I also teach a course in labor history where we address questions of peonage. Again the demise of the system of slavery necessitates the creation of a whole variety of different kinds of practices and institutions to to extract people's labor to assure the dominance of those people who are sitting on top of American society at that particular moment. We've talked earlier about segregation and disenfranchisement than we can fit peonage and varieties of forms of share cropping and share wages tendency you know into that you know that array of
institutions which develop. In the post to me it's a patient world. All right thank you sir. All right thinks next caller is in Southeastern Illinois insulin for the low and I don't mean this to be taken as a defense it's still a parade because it was a bad thing and I'm not defending it in any way so far as I know none of my ancestors were slave owners. However a couple of prominent blacks that I know of have my same last name so I don't know where they got that was from a slave holder or some abolitionists figure that they admired or something but anyway I think it should be put in a context of what things were like elsewhere on Bill Maher's program before he bounced out of the air. One white panelist on the show made a remark that was a black panelist on this. My panel is do I believe that you made the remark that when his people came over there weren't in
a cushy plantation jobs waiting for them. It was a joke of course but I think what people believe you know that they had already been made by another guest on this program some time ago that that dead slavery was in fact worse than chattel slavery because the chattel. So a voter had a monetary investment and that that slave was worth something to them and they standing that they weren't just naturally cruel that they had in a monetary sense they did care of it because if it was worth something or a chat or I mean a dead slave indentured for seven years perhaps I mean they could work them to death and seven years because the end is seven years and we're going to have anything out of many way. Program every movie rather gangs in New York. I didn't watch the whole thing because I didn't want to see it but there I
things weren't very good for white folks in New York City about that. There were and were at the point here where we're almost out of time can you. Ok make some point of it is that they're I mean they're bad Benny Benny Goodman that was quoted and now on the David Byrne thing is jazz bangers writing that when he was at home there were days when there wasn't much to eat. He went on to say I didn't I don't mean there were no he said there was nothing to eat and he said I don't mean that there was very much to eat I mean there wasn't anything. Well I think what we can say is that the slaves are not the only people who experience the experience oppression and I don't think anybody would anybody would deny that. Well and I'm just going to have to go and jump in here because and I'm sorry we have some other folks that we just can't take but we are at the end of the time we have used our time for people who are interested in reading more of the work of of our guest IRA Berlin you might look for his most recent book it
Transforming Slavery, 1800-1861
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Duration: 49:24
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Chicago: “Focus; Transforming Slavery, 1800-1861,” 2004-03-30, WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 10, 2019,
MLA: “Focus; Transforming Slavery, 1800-1861.” 2004-03-30. WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 10, 2019. <>.
APA: Focus; Transforming Slavery, 1800-1861. Boston, MA: WILL Illinois Public Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from