Tuesday 12th January
LC: To write a brief recount
Yesterday you collected information and made notes in your Home Learning book. You found information about what life was like on a cotton plantation in the USA as an African slave. Today, you are going to write a recount (diary entry) through the eyes of one of these slaves.
You need to write emotionally, as these people experienced and witnessed the most horrendous treatment from their slave owners.
Have a look at the information and features of a recount below - make sure that you include these in your writing.
As well as considering all of the features in the table above, please make sure that you take care with spelling, punctuation and grammar. Please don't rush it and make silly mistakes - you will create more work for yourselves as your teacher will be sending back to you.
YOU HAVE GOT ALL AFTERNOON TO DO THIS TASK - THIS SHOULD BE EVIDENT IN THE QUALITY OF YOUR WRITING!
Have a look at the diary entry below, it's a little long but it will give you some ideas for your writing. Please make sure that you read it!
3RD DIARY ENTRY - LIFE ON PLANTATION
The white men led us out onto the land. The sun was just rising. There were people everywhere working hard. Some black men started pulling at their chains, once they were off the boat. I did as told. I knew I would stand no chance. They led us to another cage, but this one was different from the one back in Africa. This one had cold metal bars, and was bigger. We were all put in the cage. They untied us from each other, but kept our ankles and wrists shackled. I could now see my wounds clearly. The blood was still dripping. I looked at some of the other men. Some had flat stomachs, and visible ribs. They were starved. I, Tuhey, and 4 other boys were the only ones that didn’t look starved. We were the ones that hadn’t fought. We hadn’t put up a fight. We had eaten our food, and occasionally gotten an extra bowl, for not having fits. It had done us good.
As we sat there white men walked by. They didn’t pay us the slightest attention. Some blacks would steal glances in our direction, with pity in their eyes. They knew what we were going through. They had survived, and they had gotten quite a life. It might not have been as good as the one back in Africa or the one in America if they were white, but it was good for being a black person in America. As the sun stood in the middle of the sky, a few men came over. One was holding a cane, and wearing white socks. His hair and face were just as white as his socks. He looked at us interested, and then whispered in the ear of another man. He was carrying a small brown bag. He put it on a metal table, and opened it. He got out lots of different things, which I had never seen before. The very white man went over to two other men, and whispered to them too. I never understood why he was whispering, it was not like we could understand him or anything? The two men smiled, and then walked to our cage.
They opened the cage, and grabbed me by my arm. Some of the women shrieked, while men tried hitting the white men, so they would let me go. I shook my head signalling them to stop. It was too late anyways. The two men held my arms tightly. The man that had carried the bag came over to me, and took of my shackles. The men and women in the cage gasped. He looked at my cuts. He shook his head, and then went over to the metal table. He got something from the table, which I had never seen before, and applied it to the wound. It stung. I tried not to scream. I flinched. The men holding my arms gripped my arms tighter. The man then went back to the table, then came back, and applied another thing onto my wounds. It was black, and hurt worse than the first liquid. I squinted and flinched again. The man then proceeded to cover me in what I thought was oil, and I was right. My skin was glowing, and my wounds were covered. The men then put me in a separate cage, and started going through the same procedure with every person in the cage. The cries of agony were horrible to listen to. It pierced my ears, and my heart.
After every person had been treated, the white men left. Hours passed. I spent them thinking about home. Whether my family were okay. Whether my sister had been caught. I cared so much for my sister. Suddenly a white man appeared outside the cage. He unlocked the door, and pulled out the man in front of me. He struggled, but the white man was too strong. What was going on? I could hear the other men in the cage whispering to the men of their tribe. The women had been separated from us.
The same man as before appeared. He unlocked the door again, but this time pulled me out. I followed him. He smiled. He stopped, and then pulled me up onto a raised platform. By the platform there stood about 40 people. Some were looking up at me; others were looking at a man on my left. He said something very loudly. Two men walked up onto the platform. The one turned me around, and looked at my face. He ran a hand through my hair. The other man took my arm, and poked my muscles. I tightened my muscle. The man nodded, and muttered something to himself. They walked away. The man next to me started saying words very fast, and it confused me. I decided not to think about it. As he talked I saw two hands stretching up into the air, again, and again. (They were bidding. I didn’t know at that time obviously.) At last the man uttered one word, very loudly.
“SOLD!” I clearly remember that word.
A white man wearing a big hat came onto the platform, grabbed my chains, and led me off. I followed without objection. What about Tuhey? I looked back, and saw the boy being poked by some men. I hurt me. I would probably never see him again. The white man led me to a cart, and pointed at the back. I didn’t understand the words he was saying, but I wasn’t stupid either. I sat down at the back of the cart, and watched the white man. He nodded, and then said something else to me. I didn’t understand, but I didn’t think it mattered. The white man walked around the cart, and sat down at the front. He pulled some ropes, and the cart started moving. I watched the landscape. The trees were green, and the flowers were blooming in the meadows.
As we travelled along the dry dirt path, another cart passed us. It also had some slaves on it. They were smiling, laughing, and speaking the language of the white men. Maybe I would be like them one day. Maybe I COULD be like them one day. We travelled a little further, and I decided to move further to the front. I was now leaning over next to the white man. He was humming an unknown tune. He noticed me, and then started talking to me. Suddenly he started repeating a word, as he pointed at me. It confused me at the time. I remember the word.
“Jack,” That was the word he repeated.
It took me quite a while to figure out what he meant by it, but I eventually figured out that that was my new name. I also found out that the white man’s name was George. As the cart turned a corner I saw a huge house, next to a big farm property. I could hear people happily talking, and I could see a few men, and women walking in the field pulling plants out of the ground. I looked around.
As we arrived outside the house we were met by a tall, plump man, with a dark blue jacket, black trousers, and brown hair tied back. He talked to the white man that had brought me here. While they were talking, I looked around. I saw the faces of many black people. Many black people who were soon to become my second family. No one could replace my family from Africa, but the people here were just as good as.
In the beginning, it was difficult for me to get used to the early mornings, late evenings, small food portions, but I managed. Felix, another slave, became like my brother, and he helped me learn the white men’s language. He helped me work through the long working days, and it all payed off in the end. I worked harder, and harder as I found out that that was how you got your rank here. As I mastered their language, I was allowed to join the white men, out to the city, to help suggest slaves. Of course it hurt to see the black people suffering, but I had learnt to make the most of what I had.
Up until now everything has just gone up, and life has been getting better. Although a day doesn’t go by when I think about my family, and friends back home in Africa. Do they miss me? I always wonder that. I always end up thinking the same thing. Probably. That my dear diary is how I was captured, how I was transported, and how my life in America has been so far, and I hope my life will just get better in the future.
Now please go to Seesaw and complete the task on the template provided (Diary of a Slave). If you need more space, please add additional pages to the template.