“Many Rivers to Cross” a true eye opener

“Many Rivers to Cross – Age of Slavery” is one of the best videos I have watched in regards to slavery in American History, I was very happy it had subtitles. The film overall gave me a good idea of how slavery was in that period of time and the speakers throughout the film made it more powerful rather than just having one person tell the whole story. One of the points that was brought up that caught my attention was when the first slaves were starting to be freed and it was marked how freedom does not equal equality. I thought this part of the film was very powerful because that problem has been faced for many many years and it is sad to say there are still traces of this idea that some people are not as equal. Inventions like the cotton gin intensified slavery and it almost seemed like America dug itself into a hole because some people were starting to contemplate the idea of freeing their slaves but they had become too dependent on slavery. Something I really liked about the film is that it showcased character that did not have successful uprisings. Gabriel’s revolt never took place but I believe it was very important for them to include this in the film because history does not have perfect happenings and there are many times when the “good side/intentions” fail. People like Gabriel may have never had his revolt but his courage and bravery was crucial for other slaves to initiate an idea that showed them they did not have to live the way they did. Something that caught my attention was the fact that some free slaves had to buy their spouses, I can’t even imagine having to put a price on your husband/wife, these people were treated like animals and it is hard for a person like me to understand how someone could treat a human being like that. One of the parts of the film that gave me a feeling of malaise was the part where it talked about slaves being very expensive so owners would buy female slaves to potentially breed their own slaves, this was another one of those parts of the film that made me question how a person could do something like that and be able to sleep at night. I think slavery shows how insane people’s desire for power can be but at the same time in brings up the point of not knowing anything else. These slave owners were sons of slave owners who were raised with that mentality and I think that plays a big role in this part of history, the horrible tendencies that are passed down in white families at that time. Nat Turner gave me the chills, his actions screamed revenge and it made me think that slavery had to be incredibly horrible to motivate someone to made slave owners and their children. I was a bit upset that Harriet Tubman was only mentioned for a quick minute but her story was not explained whatsoever. I believe this film overall was really really good and by far the most powerful section was when they told the story of Margaret Garner and her children. Margaret’s actions really made me understand how horrifying slavery was because it had to be so bad she decided she would kill her children before they were sent back to slavery. This part made me very sad and was an eye opener. Throughout the whole film I just kept thinking how these slave owners were able to sleep at night having done these horrifying things. Films like these are very important for every American to watch because it sends such a powerful message. I very much enjoyed the film.

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