The relationship between the slaves and their slave owners was mostly with dislike since the slaves resisted acknowledging their identity as slaves, while the slave owners had to control their slaves and use them as their human property. The outcome of such a relationship is that the slave owners focused on controlling their human property while the American slaves focused on creating a culture that would allow them to survive as human property.
Slave owners used various means to control their human property including the restriction of legal rights, citizenship and literacy. These restrictions implied that the American slaves were literally prohibited from engaging in any activity that would free them as slaves and remained a human property to the slave owners. Slave owners also used slave patrol to monitor their slave behaviors. Slave patrol meant that their activities were being monitored and that slave owners made sure that they engaged in their tasks as human properties. Use of punishment was also used by the slave owners to control their human property. Common forms of punishment included Colonial mutilation vs. antebellum whipping. The main reasons for controlling their human property included the elimination of cases associated with resistance and revolt; ensure that the slave culture did not gain popularity and ensuring that the slaves performed their duties as required by their masters.
On the other hand, slaves focused on creating a culture that facilitated their survival as human properties. This was achieved through family and marriage, which was recognized but not legal. Family and marriage helped in strengthening unity among the slaves and hence their survival. Additionally, there was inward resistance from the slaves because majority of them did not identify themselves as being slaves. The cabin culture adopted by the slaves also enhanced their survival as human property because it facilitated the preservation of African cultural traits and interrelationships among the slaves. Religion also enhanced their perseverance, since it created a promise of heavenly afterlife after the suffering of earthly life sustained slaves through hard times.
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