Monday, March 19, 2018

How slave owners shocked a #1 social mocker


Racial insults shouted by people short on vocabulary and humanity are not heard often these days thankfully. How different were social attitudes only eight or so generations ago.
How doubly interesting it is to see how it bothered that social mocker Charles Dickens, who used ridicule of region and age and more to amuse his readers. I don't recall reading a story where he made fun of race, but few other characteristics were safe from his observations.
How very interesting to find this social critic penning his shock at US attitudes to race when he toured America in 1842.
Some of the barbs are revealed in his book, American Notes For General Circulation, which is quoted on that excellent book-excerpting emailer, Delancey Place dot com.
DelanceyPlace reports, 'In 1842, thirty-year-old Charles Dickens, already flush with the success of such books as Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers, made a tour of the United States, and published his observations in American Notes for General Circulation.
'He encountered the pervasive and brutal realities of slavery, including advertisements for slaves published routinely in local papers.'
The book, reports Delancey Place, is a fervent condemnation of slavery and includes some published announcements he saw.
Dickens saw 'Cash for negroes,' as the heading of lists of advertisements in journals. He noted, 'Woodcuts of a runaway negro with manacled hands, crouching beneath a bluff pursuer in top boots, who grasps him by the throat, agreeably diversify the pleasant text.'
Continues on the blogs for my sailing adventure story, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com



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