Nat Turner

Overall, this week’s readings moved me to tears in a way no other weeks have. Reading that these people were denied the right to take comfort in the one thing I think no one should ever have to ask access to have or practice- religion, really shook me. But what really got to me is the fact that these people still found the time to preach patience for life through spirituals, in a show of faith that most christians these days can barely think of.

However, one part of the reading got to me in a different way. Religion and Slave Insurrection awakened feelings of guilt within me. I found myself falling into the same type of thought patterns that the white people in those days must have had, that Nat Turner was a crazy fanatic that must have been ill. In some part, I feel like my thoughts were influenced by the manner in which Turner’s thoughts were interpreted and presented: by a white man. I think it is obvious in some parts that his hatred stops him from giving an unbiased account of Turner’s childhood and religious zeal. Because of this, I felt guilty for judging Turner, and then I felt guilty for feeling guilty over judging a murderer. How could I empathize with someone who murdered mothers and children? But along that same line of thought, how could I empathize with people who went along with, and dare I say, advocated, the owning and abuse of human beings? Even typing this right now makes me feel guilty for even attempting to empathize with either, and brings back feelings of confusion.

Leave a Reply