Effects of Slavery

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Slavery is an enormous obstruction of human rights, yet it is an very large industry that still exists today without the knowledge of many people. Slave owners and traffickers have many techniques in order to hide and run their business. Slavery has many vigorous effects on both the victim and the slave owner including dehumanization, physiological and physical trauma, and excessive amounts of power and superiority.

One effect of slavery is dehumanization of an individual under bandage. Slavery dehumanizes one in various ways, making them less than or insignificant. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery and it is very common today for traffickers to buy and sell women as objects. Some forced labors includes labor or services that are performed or provided by a person and are obtained or maintained through force, fraud, or coercion, or equivalent conduct that would reasonably overbear the will of the person (Harris 16).This shows that an owner has complete control over a slave including the power over their life or death. When one is subject to abuse and confined to their workplace their emotions of the victim are eliminated and irrelevant to the owner, making them vulnerable and easy to use and manipulate. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass describes how their food was set down upon the ground [and the] children were called, like so many pigs, and like so many pigs they would come and

Rivera 2 devour the mush (Douglass 23-24). This quote is very horrific because it shows how they are treated as though they are animals. Even Douglass refers to himself and all of the other slaves as pigs. He also mentions how they live in terrible living conditions, as they slept on the floor, and were hardly given any clothes or blankets. A slaveholder often times treats a slave as not only their property, but wild animals as well. Slaves are generally branded as items and are subject  to very harsh whippings or beatings and are made a mockery of. Violence is a popular form of punishment in slavery.

In Django Unchained, it shows how Django and his wife are brutally branded with the letter r, for runaway, on their cheeks, after they try escaping. Djangos wife was then brutally beaten as he was forced to watch her suffer in pain. Violence and markings are large ways to strip one of their identity, thus causing dehumanization of a slave and making humans into brutes or beasts. It is a large outcome of slavery that remains little-known.
Another effect of slavery is psychological and physical trauma. Slaves and human traffickers are isolated, given a false sense of superiority, and are unaware of the situation they are in due to lack of literacy. Psychological trauma includes feelings such as, fear, anger, and hopelessness. In Django Unchained, Django reveals all of the anger that the experience of slavery had built in him when he goes back to the plantation as a free man and kills his former slave owners. 

This shows that slavery is a monstruos infection of cruelty and that the violence involved can destroy a victims sense of morals and emotions. Psychological trauma of a slave can even cause a slave to accept their situation. Douglass describes that in order for a slave to be content, He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceases to be a man (Douglass 85).

Rivera 3 Douglass focuses attention on the fact that slaves are mislead into accepting their situation. Since no sane person would accept these horrific conditions, it is a slave owners goal to destroy the minds of slaves. An owners techniques to making sure this is possible are to simply keep the slave an illiterate and by using of threats and violence. Aside from violence being a form of physical trauma, many slaves also suffer from infections such as STDs or are pulled into  substance abuse. In The fight against sex slavery, Sunitha Krishnan talks about three different toddlers who were sold into slavery and were raped multiple times and by multiple men. She goes on to tell how all three of these children died soon after due to sexually transmitted diseases. Later, she talks about other victims who also died from substance abuse. Krishnan makes it very clear that the effects of slavery are very consequential and lead to many deaths everyday and that these real-life traumas cannot go unnoticed.

The effect of slavery also impacts the slave owner by giving them superiority and power. In the world we live in, it is socially important for one to assert their dominance and masculinity, and slavery allows the owner to do so. Slave owners profit income, control, and labor from human trafficking. Owners continue to maintain their role in slavery as long as the rewards are high and the risks are low (Harris 20). Money is a big way to show power and since people can be hidden more easily, slave owners are able to make a lot of money in the human trafficking industry.

Sunitha Krishnan mentions that slavery is a 10 billion dollar industry in modern day slavery. Slavery is a violation of human rights yet slave owners continue recruiting trafficking victims due to their motivation for money. Now, human trafficking and slavery is the third largest organized crime, effecting the rest of the world as well. There are several occasions in Douglass. 

Rivera 4 narrative of save owners killing their slaves. One incident was when Mr. Gore, without consultation or deliberation with any one, not even giving Demby an additional call, raised his musket to his face, taking deadly aim at his standing victim, and in an instant poor Demby was no more (Douglass 20).

He goes on to tell how everyone in the plantation was horrified, but Mr. Gore still seemed cool and collected. This not only shows excessive abuse of power, but also  that slave owners become numb to all their emotion more than the slaves do. When one is able to gain large profits and abuse their powers to the extent of killing people without penalty, they, along with the slaves, start thinking that what they are doing is right, and backing up their position with the bible.

Slavery is a global market that affects many people today, however many people are unaware of the atrocities it causes. It is important to bring awareness to modern day slavery in order to bring an end to it. It is already the third largest industry, but if we keep letting it grow, who knows what could happen to the next generations. 

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Effects Of Slavery. (2019, May 16). Retrieved April 20, 2024 , from

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