We live in a world where demoncracy is the main and most important rule which leads our lives. Therefore, many Americans today cannot imagine or even have misunderstandings about what is slavery and how it influenced those African Americans.In "I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery", the author, Margaret Biser, a white woman, writes her experience in a historic site, which includes a house and a plantation, where she finds those misconceptions and classifies them into five categories. Her statement is vivid and convincing, and I totally agree with her.
In the article, Biser describes the visitor’s five main misconceptions about American slavery in details. First, they think the slaves were taken good care of by kind- hearted slaveholders. Second, in their opinion, field slavery was bad while household slavery was pretty good. Third, they think slavery and poverty are interchangeable. Fourth, they do not understand what slaves faced under the exploitation of slaveholders. Fifth, they take “loyalty” as a fair character the slaves should have. in the end of the passage, Biser also gives us a suggestion that in order to let more and more people know slavery, we need to “talk to them, not at them”.
Considering the structure of the article, I think this is a very logical and convincing article, we can easily know what the author wants to tell us. Besides, Biser gives us a vivid description about the five misunderstandings. To support each of them, She always describes a situation where she meets the misconception and the visitors’ reactions about it. Thus, we could have a deep understanding about why they misunderstand American slavery and then think about how to dismiss those misconceptions efficiently.
Considering the content of the article, the five categories Biser classified are very typical and common in our daily life, which are effective to make readers to happen association or cognition, and arose consent. For instance, what impressed me a lot is her analysis about why these misconceptions are so prevalent. There are two reasons. First, many people just repeat the ideas they get from the surroundings, which actually do not convey the true information to them. Second, most white Americans do not want the feelings of guilt for the past. As the same time, some people do not want to show sympathy to African Americans.
Of course, in addition to the advantages, the passage also has a shortage. The author lets readers realize that the society do not really know the American slavery, and suggests that being generous is a useful way to persuade Americans to accept the facts about slavery. But actually, she does not deeply analyzes how to improve the nation's awareness about it and comes up with an effective method.
In a word, this is an excellent and thought-provoking article. Americans still need to struggle hard to let the society know what is the true American slavery.