What is Happening with the Slaves?

McLean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricature shouts so many political messages. First it makes comparisons between the lives of the English in the New World with Africans living in The West Indies. In both comparisons we see a husband with his wife and kid. The English husband on the left looks miserable and sad as his wife comments on the conditions put by their country. On the other hand we see the African family that looks prosperous and happy, the father talks to the child about having a full belly, and in between them there is a man taking to the English about how they (the English) are living under protected rights and all but the slave don’t have such a luxury, but his point is refuted if you look at the African family on the right side, who even without protected rights seem to be doing just fine. I think this a anti-slavery cartoon, because the  At the bottom of the picture we see the label “Freedom” under the African family and “Slavery” under the English family and in between there are several scattered papers that say “anti-slavery report”, “brutal outrage” etc. This cartoon makes it seem that among all the outrage on the slave movement, and choosing between “anti-slavery” or “pro-slavery” many people are getting lost on what the government is doing. It is distracting the citizens on from the governments economic motives.

This cartoon gives an overall concept in humanity, Africans shouldn’t be treated the way they were because of their skin color and how they were placed in the American society. The slave trade took something that was perfectly fine and ruined for their own benefit.

“Surely the minds of the Spaniards did not change with their complexion! Are there not causes enough to which the apparent inferiority of an African may be ascribed……Let the polished and haughty European recollect that his ancestors were once, like the Africans…..” (Equiano 56).

After the Equiano talks about his cultures and custom, he concludes Chapter 1 by explaining how there is no difference between the Africans and the Europeans and that even God has his intentions on the way people are created. He seems quite aggressive about his point because he mentions how the Spaniards got away because of their skin color.

-Ravneet Dhillon



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