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The overwhelming truth about the slavery system in America that went on between the 17th and 19th century is that all blacks’ class position was that of being slaves. They had no right to own anything, not even themselves. In general terms, all blacks occupied the same class position during the slavery period. However, some were fortunate because of the role they filled when it came to differentiation and technical division of labor by their masters. The three major roles filled by the slaves were the house servants, the artisans and field workers.
According to Kennedy, Cohen & Bailey (2010), this system of differentiation, house servants were the upper class slaves, artisans came second, and the field slaves occupied the bottom class. The house servants led a better life because they ate the same food as their master. They wore cast-off clothing that once belonged to their master’s family. Their place of accommodation was better off than that of the other slaves because they lived close to their master. Some learnt how to read and write from interacting with their master’s children.
On the other hand, the artisans also led a decent life compared to the field workers. This is because they were given preferential treatment over the field workers because they had talent and skill (Kennedy, Cohen & Bailey, 2010). This helped them attain the artisan position in their master’s plantations. They earned extra money by selling their products locally.
Kennedy, D.M., Cohen, L., Bailey, T. A. (2010). The American Pageant: a history of the
American People. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
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