The Abolitionist is a film about five people; Fredrick, William, Harriet, Angeline and John Brown who are motivated by different occurrences to be antislavery crusaders. Their lives are intertwined by these circumstances and at one time or the other they meet and their efforts bear fruits when slavery was abolished in all states of America. All these character had different outstanding traits that made it possible for them to pursue their cause, which was fight slavery.
William Garrison was a believer of God and felt that his sole mission was to fulfill the will of God and these contribute majorly to his role as a slave crusader since he saw it as a sin against humanity and God. Angeline who is a daughter of enslaver in Charleston was equally religious and all acts against slavery were against her faith. She is portrayed as a loving and caring person as she always minded what was being done to the slaves. She always condemned his brother Henry for beating his slaves but her mother could not listen to her. Harriet is a sympathizer with the people as she writes a book expressing the feelings the slaves. John Brown is a radical person, which is opposite of who Fredrick is. Other than fighting slavery through writing about it as Fredrick did, John opts for a more violent and tactical way to deal with the slave owners.
Public relations played a big role in the abolitionist movement. Although it affected it negatively in some instances, it really helped. In the state of Charleston Garrisons, pamphlets were burned to prevent the public from being radicalized against slavery. Since William was a newspaper founder he controlled what information his movements was publishing and this made the abolitionist movement to be really widespread in the states.
Majorly the abolitionists used print journalism to curb and fight slavery. This played as very big role in the abolishment of slavery. Through journalism, William and Fredrick got to reach masses of people and mobilize them to fight slavery. They gave hope to the hopeless and strengthened them to be more vigilant about antislavery. Journalism attributed to Angeline build up of courage to stand up to her mother who she was afraid of and fight slavery which leads to being banished from her hometown whereby the mayor threatens to jail but the courage that she had developed sees her through as she even dint have plans of going back home.
Fredrick and Williams’s relationship really shaped the antislavery movement as the autobiography of Fredrick reached many people and these mobilized them against slavery.
Uncle Tom’s cabin was important because it expressed the feeling of Harriet who was a witness to the brutality of slavery and she depicted the violent acts against slavery and painted a picture of how the slaves were being treated and this touched and changed the minds of many Americans and it helped them to fight slavery.
Burning of pamphlets in Charleston by the mayor shows how the governments were willing to undermine the media’s role in antislavery movement.
From the film, we get to learn that the abolitionists were passionate and caring. No matter how hard enslavers made it for them they did not give up on the slaves they were willing to go over a cliff to ensure slavery was abolished and they succeeded in 1865 when slavery was banned forever in all states.
Grimberg, S. (producer), Rapley, R. (Writer). 2013. The abolitionists. USA: Apograph Productions.
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