Captive Mentality

While I was reading chapter 14 of Sernett’s African American Religious History, there was one quote from the prestigious Richard Allen that stuck with me. When describing his early experiences as a slave, he talks about how he had a master that was more of a father figure to him. Allen’s master often supported his inclination towards religion and was described as a tender man. Interestingly enough, the mentality of a slave remains the same whether the master is humane or not, looking from Allen’s perspective. He describes slavery as a “bitter pill, notwithstanding we had a good master.” which grasped my attention(Sernett  141). In terms of Allen’s view, a good master didn’t change the fact that he was property that he could be bought and sold by another man. I enjoyed reading his take on this because it gave me an idea of how Richard Allen viewed himself in terms of worth. He saw himself as more than one third of a person, which could be a result of his spiritual aspirations.

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