AFR 317 - Matt Thurner 2/8/2010 AFR 317/ HIS 317L Reading...

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Matt Thurner 2/8/2010 AFR 317/ HIS 317L Reading Questions (Ch. 4) 1. Maria W. Stewart argues that the living standard of free blacks is only a “little better (Stewart 31)” than enslaved blacks based on the limitations set in place to defy blacks from having any enriching opportunities as free people. Prejudice carried over from the lives of slaves has brought about a discriminatory treatment that limits the freedom that blacks are actually given. Instead of being able to pursue glory and unending opportunity, free blacks had not yet broken the barrier of idle, hard labor evident in a slave’s lifestyle. This discrimination has caused the majority of the free blacks to treat life with almost no zeal, and to, “care but little whether we live or die (Stewart 32).” She argues that being free is deeper than words, and that a free black cannot live up to this idea because of their overall lingering image of enslavement. Such a seemingly dull perception of life resulting from this discrimination has brought about the depiction that free blacks appear “lazy and idle (Stewart 32).” Stewart argues that if they were in fact able to strive for more opportunity and live out the gift of freedom, these blacks would feel a much greater and noticeable disengagement from being slaves. 2. Free blacks made the effort to form their own independent churches because they were generally not accepted in churches with white people. Richard Allen presents an account of a black gentleman being kicked out of a predominantly white church, nearly forced out before he could squeeze in his last prayer. Blacks were constantly moved around inside the church, never actually having a designated section or place to worship and feel comfortable doing do. This religious instability and discrimination prompted the free blacks to create a
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AFR 317 - Matt Thurner 2/8/2010 AFR 317/ HIS 317L Reading...

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