Allen and Hammon

An interesting thing stuck out to me reading Richard Allen– his experience extremely closely mirrored the way I was taught about slavery when I was a child. I was taught that most slave owners were actually very good to their slaves, that they treated them like family, and that most people only owned a couple of slaves. It wasn’t until high school or later that I realized how few slaves actually had this experience. It makes me wonder if Richard Allen and Jupiter Hammon’s testimonies informed historical accounts of slavery so much for white people that their accounts became culturally ubiquitous. The idea that white slave owners might take their accounts and begin spreading them as normal cultural fact makes a lot of sense to me. They both assuage white guilt in a way that most slave accounts couldn’t possibly do.

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