african am paper 2

african am paper 2 - Strength Within A Segregated Society...

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Strength Within A Segregated Society Strength defines a person throughout their life, and leaves the legacy of that person for the future. The ability to be a strong person inside such a rough society is a feat in itself. Throughout this paper five individuals will be discussed; these individuals are: Elizabeth Keckley, Zora Hurston, Harriet Bailey, Philis Wheatley, and Thomas Jefferson. All five of these people showed their strength in very different ways throughout their lives, but all left a legacy. To begin with, Elizabeth Keckley is known to be a very strong woman throughout her works. Keckley had a very strong and also stubborn spirit. This shows through with the story of how she bought herself freedom. She was a person who put everything on her own shoulders no matter what the problem was. The amount of self-reliance she expected from herself was like no other. Everything thing she did was through her and only her. She believed that you control your own destiny and legacy, and it is the individual’s job to create that destiny and identity. Keckley was very safe about her own destiny, which was why she relied on herself and only herself throughout her life. Her view on self- reliance carried over to the aspect in her life that is called strength. When Keckley was a slave she had an owner by the name of Mr. Bingham. Mr. Bingham would beat her on a normal basis, but one night she decided to take a stand and show the strength that she held deep inside of her. “Again I went home sore and bleeding, but with pride as strong and defiant as ever. The following Thursday Mr. Bingham again tried to conquer me,
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but in vain. We struggled, he struck me many savage blows. As I stood bleeding before him, nearly exhausted with his efforts, he burst into tears, and declared that it would be a sin to beat me any more. My suffering at least subdued his hard heart; he asked my forgiveness, and afterwards was an altered man. He was never known to strike one of his servants for that day forward.” (Keckley, 374- 75) This was a very big turning point within Keckley’s life. The self-reliance that she bestowed on herself throughout her whole life followed through and showed her strength to her master. The emotion shown in this paragraph is outstanding, “Again I went home sore and bleeding” (Keckley 374). This beating was a normal occurrence in Keckley life as a slave. Mr. Bingham was not a very submissive slave master; he left Keckley bleeding most nights she was beaten. Time had taken its toll on Keckley and she had built up enough strength to overcome the obstacle that she was faced with. The strength that was shown by her was belittling to Mr. Bingham and uncovered the lack of strength that
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african am paper 2 - Strength Within A Segregated Society...

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