I was sold to a small plantation owner in 1850 as a laborer, receiving just enough to live and work. Along with other slaves, I was supervised by and worked with my master. We would sing songs of freedom to pass the time.
3 more hours, men.
(Singing) Oh freedom over me! And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free.
A few weeks later, my master suddenly died in an accident, so I was sold to a new slave owner. I was sent to the domestic slave trade where I was forced to travel by foot to a large cotton plantation a few miles away.
This is your new plantation, and this is your master.
Follow me to where you will be staying.
I began as a slave laborer working in the fields and was whipped by my overseer when I didn’t complete an acceptable amount of work. I rarely saw my master because he hired overseers who would force us to work as long as they wanted.
This will teach you respect. You will do as I say.
After a few months of hard work, my master trusted and respected me, so I became the head driver of one of the slave laborer groups. However, I still worked under the overseer.
Keep working... Finish collecting the cotton in the field over there and we will meet our goal for the day.
...go home to my Lord and be free...
After a year I replaced one of the master’s unreliable house servants. That job was physically easier because I was assigned domestic tasks rather than laborious back-breaking work.
Time to start cooking, and when you're finished with that, you can clean the living room.
Yes sir, and your daughter is all cleaned up from her fall.
I am free!
Finally I bought my freedom, but as a black man in America, I faced many challenges such as finding a job and being accepted by whites. it’s better to be free than a slave.