Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)

Blight, David. “A Slave’s Audacious Bid for Freedom.”

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Blight, David. “A Slave’s Audacious Bid for Freedom.” American Heritage (2008): 1-3. (3)
David Blight’s piece, “A Slave’s Audacious Bid for Freedom”, catalogues a long line of stories from escaped slaves, once which embrace the true definition of freedom. Specifically Blight narrates the tale of Wallace Turnage, a slave whose life story held onto the necessary disturbing nature of slavery, a notion which is so often muted in modern day culture and certainly never illustrated at all pre-Civil War. Turnage was born into slavery as the product of a young slave girl and a white man, an addition to the estimated “quarter million slave children of mixed race in the 1850s”.58 Following years of running, extreme beatings, slave owners and traders, and persistent physical danger Turnage escaped to the “waves of Mobile Bay” in a boat which just happened to appear on the shore. As if adding to the lick of that night in reverence to the lack of such his entire life, his boat came into contact with another filled with Yankees, soon experiencing “the first acts of kindness he had ever experienced from white people”.59 Stories in the way of Turnage, with examples lying in Northup Solomon and Dred Scott as well, represent perseverance in the human spirit, perhaps like no other, in that despite societal impossibility individuals such as these fought, with everything they had, to create a situation for themselves that was fair and just and a basic human right, without even a second guess to the difference and imprint they were making on their world.

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