David Walker Essay, Research Paper
What are the advantages and disadvantages of David Walker s approach to the topic of liberation from slavery?
David Walker led a radical life characterized by devout zealousness in voicing slavery as atrocious and striving for ultimate manumission for his brethren. Walker s mother was free from slavery that meant David was also free. According to North Carolina law during slavery, children inherited the status of their mother. The fact that David was a free man magnifies his love for his African brethren by spending most of his life as an educated abolitionist. He assisted the Underground Railroad and was known to provide money and clothes to people coming to town who had successfully evaded capture (Turner 12). Walker s charismatic personality aided him in extending his sincere, heartfelt thoughts, ideas and observations to his fellow brethren. He approached the topic of liberation from slavery by writing the Appeal. He wrote to enlighten the minds of African Americans focusing on issues of the avaricious, white American who practiced tyrannical iniquity that has afflicted his brethren for hundreds of years. David Walker s approach of liberation from slavery has advantages and disadvantages insofar that it depends on the reader s status and worldview. Furthermore and hypothetically speaking, the reader is a slave owner than consequently, they would be extremely agitated with Walker and want him killed, hence a disadvantage to Walker s approach. On the contrary, suppose a slave, although illegal for African Americans to read, gathered the information comprised in the Appeal. As a result, the Appeal would instill the servilities with a fiery motivation to diminish the ignorance and yearn to be free, hence a advantage to Walker s approach.
Disadvantages to Walker s approach most definitely came into effect when the Appeal made it into the hands of the white, slave owner. In 1826, Walker resided in Boston owning a small shop where he sold clothes. Apparently, Walker would sew a copy of the Appeal into the clothes he sold, so the literature could be circulated and read discretely in the South. The Appeal was written for African Americans, so my theory as to how the white man got possession of Walker s critique is as follows. The slave owner most probably found a copy not hidden properly, or perhaps caught the slaves assembled and reading the treatise on the plantation. The radical and extremely bold statements documented in the Appeal agitated slave owners and racists greatly. Racists called for Walker s life. A group of wealthy planters offered a ten-thousand-dollar reward for him dead or alive. Georgia and Louisiana passed laws against the circulation of the Appeal. Violation of those laws was punishable by imprisonment or death (Turner 14). These are the disadvantages in that many slaves were violently beaten or killed for possessing a copy of Walker s text and going.
There are vast advantages that derived from Walker s Appeal. Walker enlightened his brethren about the cunning, avaricious ways of the white man and how it was inhumane and undeserved. He preached through the Appeal that there is only one master, and it was definitely not their so-called slave master, but in fact Walker exclaimed to them, that the only master is the Lord God. Walker opened their minds by explaining that the white American has been keeping the slaves ignorant. According to Walker addressing the white American, And as for the greater part of the whites, it has hitherto been their greatest object and glory to keep us ignorant of our Maker, so as to be that we were made to be slaves to them and their children, to dig up gold and silver for them (79). Slaves were not allowed to practice religion, read, or write, and consequently, kept ignorant by the white man. They didn t know better to follow the orders of their so-called master . Walker exclaims, and practically orders his brethren of sense to help diminish the ignorance of the African American. In Article II Walker says, Men of colour, who are of sense… I call upon you therefore to cast your eyes upon the wretchedness of your brethren, and to do your utmost to enlighten them- go to work and enlighten your brethren! (48). These advantages stated are those of Walker s strong desire for his brethren to be benighted no more.
In summation, the advantages and disadvantages of Walker s approach to the topic of liberation from slavery was binding on the audience reading the Appeal at the given time. Walker s approached slavery by writing his Appeal and a disadvantage for him and his followers was that he was assassinated outside his shop in 1830. He died for what he believed in, and I m confident he is proud of that. On the contrary, this was an advantage for the white Americans who wanted him killed because of the Appeal. Furthermore, the advantage previously addressed, the enlightenment of the slaves, was advantageous to the slaves and Walker. And lastly, it is disadvantageous for the white American because some slaves no longer being ignorant would revolt as Nat Turner did shortly after Walker s death. Personally and with the utmost confidence I say that I would rather focus on the advantages of Walker s approach and admire him in that he influenced many African Americans after him to be dedicated and out what they feel is right.