Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Nat Turner (2/10/1800 -11/11/31) His Legacy of Rebellion Remembered.


Nat Turner was born October 2, 1800 in slavery on a plantation in Southampton County Virginia. He became known as a popular religious leader among his fellow slaves, and he became convinced that he had been chosen by God to lead his people to freedom. Today on August 21st, he and 5 other slaves, killed their master  and his family, and joined about 60 other slaves from other plantations, and started  a general revolt, because they coud  no longer face race oppresion and slavery in a hypocritical nation founded on  revolutionary ideas of freedom and equality. As an act of neccessity and as a as a means of survival  they were forced to use violence as means to an end, in an effort to escape their daily lives of burden and suppression.
His rebellion became one of the bloodiest and most effective in American history. Igniting a culture of fear, as the insurrection spread from plantation to plantation. However it was brutally put down, with most of the rebels being summarily executed . Nat managed to escape, and eluded  capture for a couple of months,  but on November 5th 1831 was found guilty at a trial of the crimes of conspiracy to rebel and making insurrection. Unfortunately too, in the aftermath, many slaves who had , had nothing to with the rebellion, were beaten, tortured and murdered. New legislation was passed that further restriced people rights. It would be a long road, but from this point on, there would be no turning back.
 Nat Turner actions  acted as a catalyst for the many struggles that lay ahead, leaving a mythic footprint for those who came later,  and   he became a powerful symbol of black autonomy and it's fight and struggle for freedom and emancipation. He had lit a fuse that would refuse to go out, to rise phoenix like at the time of the Civil Rights  movement in the 1960's.
He had given all slaves a chance to see freedom and herald it on it's way. He died as he had lived, with courage and conviction,  apparently he walked to the hanging tree, without showing a sign of fear, famously refusing to speak any last words. we will always remember him, a man whose breath was forever free.

Nat Turner
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read man's history, is man's original virtue, it is through disobediance that progress has been made - through disobedience and through rebellion."
- Oscar Wilde

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