Slavery in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” « …
Films about Slavery and the transAtlantic Slave Trade
By emphasizing its impact on African American characters such as Sethe, Paul D, and the community, this novel is written to recover African Americans’ past history of slavery.
Ama, A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade ..
To render her novel a sense of historical reality, Morrison bases her story on two historical facts: newspaper clipping of a slave woman: Margaret Garner, and the "unspeakable" experience of African Americans during the Middle Passage.
Beloved, by Toni Morrison | Booklist Online
1850: Compromise of 1850
The annexation of Texas to the U.S. at the end of the Mexican-American War (1848) led to growing concern and outright hostility about the slavery status of new territories. The Compromise allowed for California to join the Union as a free state; the organization of Utah and New Mexico territories without reference to slavery (the populations would decide for themselves when they sought admission to the Union as states); the prohibition of the slave trade in Washington, DC; and, most important to the plot of Beloved, stricter fugitive slave laws. The Fugitive Slave Bill stated that captured runaways could be returned to their owners, regardless of where they were captured (North or South). Furthermore, in court, only masters could testify; enslaved peoples were symbolically voiceless.
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By that time slavery had been shattered by the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation and the succeeding constitutional amendments, though daily reality for the freed slaves continued to be a matter of perpetual struggle, not only with segregation and its attendant insults, but the curse of memory.