As an African American during this period, I am very proud of the things I achieved. Two of the things I’m most well known for would be my outspoken distaste toward slavery and my support for women’s rights. After I escaped from the treacherous clutches of slavery I began touring the nation, giving lectures and spreading my opinions. A good example of this would be during the Seneca Falls Convention. This was the first major push toward women’s equality and I’m proud to say I was a part of this.
Along with the women and men representing this cause, I believe I was a strong influence as well because I gave a male perspective and showed that not only are women wanting equal rights, but men are in favor of this too. My influential ways don’t end there- as I was the one who convinced Lincoln into letting African Americans participate in the civil war.
Because of this, I do believe the outcome of the war was affected. Even though African Americans weren’t treated great at this point, the cause was moving towards the abolishment of slavery as I began pushing for the Emancipation Proclamation which went through in 1863.
I believe my actions speak louder than words when it comes to being asked what my ideal America would look like. It would be everything I push for a world in which everyone is treated equally and has the same opportunities as everyone else no matter what their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or gender is.
After being a slave for a large portion of my life the idea of equality is very important to me. Not just among the races but genders too as I believe women are a very important part of society and can make even greater contributions if they were allowed the basic American and voting rights that men possess.
As much as I would like to believe the Market Revolution brought only improvements to the industry, economy, and communication- I cannot. All of these things came at a price and in my opinion, it was not a fair price. A prime example would be Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. While | agree it did help the economy as cotton was a major export, it also called for more plantations which lead to the need for more slaves as cheap labor. This alone completely turned me away from the Market Revolution as it contradicted one of the biggest things I stand for. During a time when many favored slavery, this was exactly the type of thing I didn’t need impeding my efforts.
While participating in an unusual activity known as “speed dating” | surprisingly stumbled upon two like-minded individuals whose company and conversation I enjoyed immensely. One of these people was a fine man by the name of Samuel Gridley Howe. Mr. Howe’s passion for making education and opportunities equal for everyone was refreshing. He was the founder of the first school for the blind in America which I found inspiring as he made such an effort to aid an underserved population just like I had been doing with the antislavery movement. At the mention of antislavery, Howe enlightened me with his efforts towards this cause too by working on an antislavery newspaper alongside his wife in Boston. Not only did he do this, but he and a group of other abolitionists also stormed into Faneuil Hall in an attempt to free a captured slave to show their opposition to the Fugitive Slave Law. All of these things were very pleasant to hear and I was eager to keep talking to such a fine gentleman but our time was cut short due to the ridiculous rules of “speed dating.” Disappointed at first, my dismay turned to delight as I was paired with a very nice lady named Sarah Grimke. She was a very confident, strong-willed woman who believed strongly in equal rights for everyone, was against slavery, and of course, she was a feminist. Miss Grimke was a very passionate feminist who fought hard for equal rights upon coming to the north. Quakers did not accept women as public speakers at this time but Miss Grimke being the strong-minded woman she is, didn’t let this discourage her. In fact, because of this, she was even more inspired to do something and cause a change. Originally from the south, Miss Grimke wrote Appeal to the Christian Women of the South in which she detailed how women could do something to overthrow slavery. This caused controversy as many thought women shouldn’t be engaging in such topics but Sarah Grimke took this as the fuel to her fire and continued to write more pieces advocating the abolishment of slavery and women’s rights. Samuel Gridley Howe and Sarah Grimke are people I would want to talk to again as they both stand for everything I stand for and are fighting to make a change.
Just as I started to appreciate this “speed dating” nonsense I was paired with two people who I couldn’t have clashed with more. One of these people was the infamous Eli Whitney. As I made clear before, one of the reasons I did not like the Market Revolution was because Whitney invented the cotton gin. Deciding to give him a chance, I asked him about his honest feelings about the Market Revolution to which he gave me a very disappointing response. He did not seem to care about the increased number of slaves in the south but rather was focused on talking about his cotton gin. It is unclear whether he was for or against slavery but based on his creation that encouraged slavery, I am being led to believe that he was for slavery- something I was against greatly. And for that reason, I do not ever want to see the likes of him again as slavery is a very important issue to me and he did not seem to care. I thought I had met the worst of the worst but then I was paired with a very narrow-minded man named Joseph Smith. Being the founder of Mormonism, he was very strong with his beliefs that concerned the religion and did not leave room for any other opinion. His firm beliefs consisted of women’s roles being at home with children and abiding by the rules of their husbands. Of course, I did not agree with this at all as I believe women are equal members of society. I would not like to speak to this man ever again as his views contradict something I feel very strongly about. It’s a shame I was not able to have a good experience with these two men as I would have liked to have more allies supporting what I stand for.