“Students at one of the area’s largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived “a life of plenty, of simple pleasures.”
“Angela Kennedy, whose daughters have attended Cary Christian since 1996, said all the booklet does is help students learn about both sides so that they have a basis to form their own opinions. She pointed out that the students also read Abraham Lincoln’s speeches.”
The point that they raise to defend having this little ‘peace and love’ booklet, published in 1996 (not 1796) in the curricullum is as a way to “counteract” the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” that would have you believe that all slaves were beaten regularly and were mistreated. So the kids are presented with a “fair” land owner variation of the story that they always treated their slaves well, and never ever beat, raped, or lynched their slaves… In fact, they weren’t slaves at ALL … they were volunteers, and they were treated like family. You know, that part of your family that you don’t speak to, that you can beat on a whim, that you can deny schooling and healthcare to, and that you can sell to someone down the road if you choose to. Just like family.
I’m curious if the booklet featured any illustrations… You know, showing how that game they often played with a rope some hoods, and some torches was played.
‘Fig 17. Jimmie and Toby play at a game of lynching.”‘
‘Fig 27. “Don’t hit me massah! I’s be good” Toby said, laughing heartily”‘
I’m put in mind of the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” and their portrayal of German prisoner of war camps in World War Two.
To quote a couple pieces from this contemporary little booklet apparently being used right now in a southern Christian School;
“Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence.” (page 24)
“Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.” (page 25)
“Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South — and had a much easier existence.” (page 30)
I’d actually like to see a copy of this booklet. I know that things like the quotes in the original story could be out of context or outright fabrications. If anyone has photos of this booklet, I’d like to see them.