Myne Own Ground

1066 words 5 pages
Myne Own Ground:
Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676
T.H. Breen and Stephen Innes, Oxford Press, 1980

T.H. Breen's book "Myne Owne Ground" brings about a different perspective of what living in the south and being black was like. It shows how a black was capable of great things and able to amass wealth equal to that of wealthy white gentlemen but is never recognized for it. Unlike other history books this one doesn't go on about slavery and it cruelty but instead offers a few examples of the accomplishments blacks were capable of. One such example was that of a man named Anthony Johnson who was able to escape slavery and establish himself as a hard working man and then later on as a land owning free black. He
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Some prior knowledge of slavery has to be known before reading this book so that you don't finish it thinking that blacks were just persecuted. The reader must know of all the difficulties blacks faced while in slavery so that they can read this book and see all the difficulties they faced outside of slavery also. The author allows you to see the unfairness blacks faced even when freedom is finally attained. The first portion of the book convinced me of the dedication it took to create a life worth living in that time. However it was the explanation of how property and other possessions decided one's position in life that influenced me the most. Anthony Johnson was above most free blacks of that time for the sole reason of having a good deal of wealth. I believe that any white of that time should have looked at that and at the least given him some amount of respect instead of looking down at him as they all did.
"Myne Owne Ground" was a good book for showing the different lives free blacks lived, especially when someone does not know of the hardships of freedom. Slavery was not a good thing and can even be said to be the most embarrassing thing that has ever occurred on American soil. Just thinking about all the things blacks went through to be where they are at now make me have a great deal of respect for them. Throughout the book I experienced a good many up's and down. First I went up