History of Slavery

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Public history goes way beyond purely academic writing due to the following reasons; public history uses methods that are unique to the historical practice, emphasizing on the use of knowledge in history which is beyond antiquarian purposes. Also, it focuses on professional training and practice, and it aims at deepening and empowering the public to connect with the past. This essay addresses the benefits, limitations, and strengths of public history basing arguments on Jacob’s book Life of a Slave Girl. Benefits of Public History Harriet Jacob in her book Life of a Slave Girl, she presents incidents that help the public to be aware of how Christianity was like in the past. Like Fredrick Douglas, Jacob quickly distinguishes that some slaves, northerners, and the English who were from the hypocritical Christianity practiced “true” Christianity as was practiced by the southern whites.

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The blacks are withheld from obtaining the education, ability to communicate, and the free will to deliberate their ideas. These blacks are frightened to surrender by the tongue and by lash. Women slaves are thought to be short of virtue as indicated by not being married therefore bearing children outside wedlock. Nonetheless, it is not their failing because they are exploited by their masters and thus lack the opportunity to cultivate ethic or modesty. In his book, Jacob denies assumptions that because the slaves sing, dance, and are engaged in celebrations such as rituals and Christmas are happy. The blacks demonstrate love and support even to her babies and her brother. While in the North, the blacks had to come together to protect themselves from the whites who tried to arrest them in the wake of the Fugitive Slave Act.

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Form the acts displayed in Harriet’s book, this community’s stress on nurture and help as a mean of starving off the worst of slavery. It would have been difficult for Harriet to accomplish her objectives were it not for the black community. Thus, public history is beneficial as it portrays the position played by the black community. Lastly, public history assists in establishing intelligence as a discipline with the past. Knowledge about the past helps in answering questions such as: who are they, who they work for, what are their achievements, and what they are capable of doing. In this field, public history is used in filling the gaps about where the profession originated and solved intelligence’s identity as an academic discipline.

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Limitations of Public History Public history has numerous limitations since historians can only interpret events since the past is just something that can only be represented. History could only be reliably employed if individuals could travel back to time and witness the real events. Besides, historians are required to have appropriate language skills. 8 However, the number of historians who have language skills necessary are few, creating an obstacle to understanding the old articles that are yet to be surfaced. In contemporary times, a public history that is incomplete becomes a serious limitation since governments are yet to declassify documents that would assist the historians to fill in the gaps. Additionally, the improper use of analogies in public history limits the application of history in current events leading to misinterpretations.

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Analogies are tools that are applied to create an understanding of the logic of a certain topic. Tasked with the duty of representing African American experience’s breadth within a space that would act as both a museum and a monument, the individuals and the personal are focused by the curators. Some of the artefacts on display are shackles that are displayed alongside child and the adult slave shackles which create an image among individuals of the tremendous forces of oppression. 10 The dramatic exterior of this museum announces its work which is to tell America’s story using the African American history and culture. The museum’s design evokes the caryatids among the West African and the black craftsmanship is represented with their intricate iron work.

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The shell within the museum’s space opens into views such as monuments and buildings around the museum which tell of the slavery history. Additionally, it has emphasised on remarkable persons and their persona effects are felt. History works by making use of the figures in upending the traditional accounts to the American history and its democracy. Conclusion Public history has significant benefits and limitations as displayed by Harriet Jacob in her book Life of a Slave Girl. These benefits include; public history helps readers comprehend how Christianity was like during the slave period, it also helps in understanding the myths about slaves. It as well creates a comprehension of the roles played by the black community during the slave era and establishes an understanding of how the North embody the negative traits of racism.

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