african studies book prince halls

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For this week’s readings, students should pay close attention to the way these writers convey their individual messages in their own unique ways. As you read their writings, below are a few questions to consider: What stands out to you? Who is the intended audience? What are some of the points raised? Why are their writings important and what was the purpose for writing them? What specifically are they are trying to communicate through their words?

*Students do not have to answer all of the questions, but need to attempt to answer some of them.*

Read Pgs. 39-54: Prince Hall’s “A Charge, Delivered to the African Lodge”, on June 24, 1797; Absolom Jones’s A Thanksgiving Sermon; and Richard Allen’s “An Address to Those Who Keep Slaves and Approve the Practice”.

here is an example on how my discussion should look

Thanksgiving Sermon

In regards to Absalom, it seems like he is speaking to everyone, he wants to educate us on what past slaves in different countries and the slaves just prior to his time were going through, not to build sentiment or empathy but to create an emotional bond through learning. What really stuck out to me was how he talks in a manner that educates, it doesn’t come off as offending but rather makes you want to inquire further into what he is talking about. As he says “thirdly, let us conduct ourselves in a manner as to furnish no cause of regret…” It makes you realize how mature and educated this author is. This type of text is important because not only does it provide a historical peek into the past but it also provides a historical look in the mentalities of the authors back in that time.

The Address to Slave Owners…

Right off I think it is important to tackle that fact that the main audience Allen was targeting were slave owners which at the time were plantation owners. The word choice of Allen’s was rather poetic in a sense where he seemed to add dramatics to the slave conditions and speak in a more loftier sense using terms such as “beast” and “merciful”. I can’t decide if that was too add emphasis or if that was a common way of speaking back then, the terminology is what stuck out the most to me. I think this address wasn’t an effective address but in this day and age it can be seen as a literary stepping stone towards understanding the mentality and reasoning of people in that era.

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