Before need to abolish slavery were the
Before slavery was ever morally questioned, many African-Americans felt that their dreams of freedom would never come true. For a while it was believed that nothing could be done to erase slavery, and frankly the only people who felt a need to abolish slavery were the literal slaves. To everyone else there was no problem, so therefore no need to fix anything whites did not deem broken.
However, Nat Turner and David Walker are two exceptions to the previous claim. Although religion and education shaped Turner and Walker’s ideas against slavery, the paths they choose to follow and decisions they made were entirely different; David Walker created an appeal in hopes of abolishing slavery and creating equal rights for all black people, whereas Nat Turner lead a slave rebellion to inflict fear and kill any and all whites in their path. David Walker’s appeal is arguably one of the most radical anti-slavery documents of them all. The appeal was shocking to all because it called for slaves to revolt against their owners and take action over their own lives. Walker planned to deport all free blacks from the U.S. to a new African colony.
This pushed the south to their limits and filled the white man’s air with paranoia. As a result, the state authorities passed new and stricter laws against anti-slavery material and against slave education. However, the impact of the appeal was still very monumental to all blacks affected by serving as a rallying point. It also made the North enthusiastic because it was one step closer to being a slave free region.
Nat turner on the other hand, was born enslaved to a man named Benjamin Turner. Benjamin allowed Nat to be literate and religious, thus leading to his interest in “signs” and ability to hear divine voices. One day Turners dreams came true when he witnessed an eclipse of the son. He believed that this was his moment to come together and rise up so he began to assemble the only effective slave rebellion in U.S.
History. Turner and his gang went house to house massacring each and every white person that got in the way; so much so that the militia was sent out to capture any runaway slaves and a church bell was rung out in distress. Afterwards though, Turner hid for many weeks due to the high fear and anger he inflicted throughout the South.
His rebellion caused widespread panic and forced southern legislation to increase prohibitions on movement, assembly, and education of all slaves. Within a week the rebellion was squashed and blacks were either sent back into slavery or killed, including himself. As shown, Turner and Walker have completely different techniques and goals for the how to achieve freedom. However, they both have an immensely strong connection to the Lord and feel that in some way they are being spoken to by a higher power.
Majority of black people wished to be just as their creator made them; free. Turner believed he spoke to by god and received a specific path to follow in order to be free. Meanwhile, Walker was a priest around the same time as his appeal so religion weighed heavy on his decisions. He later goes to say “if any are as ascertain who I am, know the world, that I am one of the oppressed, degraded and wretched sons of Africa, rendered so by the avaricious and unmerciful, among the whites.