Friday, February 8, 2019
Black Thunder :: Black Thunder Essays
Black ThunderIn the year 1800 Thomas Jefferson was campaign very hard against John Adams for the presidency of the United States. Across the Atlantic, in France, Napoleon Bonaparte had consolidated his leadership of France. Meanwhile, in Santo Domingo (later Haiti), Toussaint LOuverture, with the succor of his countrymen and tropical diseases, repelled 20,000 French troops and formed a new black republic.The exploits of Toussaint did not go unobserved by slaves in the United States, especially in Virginias Henrico County. In Black Thunder, Gabriels Revolt Virginia 1800, author Arna Bontemps tells us what legacy the era of revolution brought to the slaves of Richmond.The chief character and leader of the slaves is Gabriel, the youngest of three brothers. although he is the biggest and strongest of the three. Gabriel and his brothers, Martin and Soloman, be the property of plantation owner Thomas Prosser. Gabriels ascendancy to the leadership post of the slaves is secured when he b ests Ditcher, a huge slave, who defeated Soloman and Martin in previous combats.Gabriels awaken and enlightenment to freedom starts and grows from his many trips into Richmond as Mr. Prossers carriage driver. In Richmond, Gabriel makes it his duty to eavesdrop on the conversation of M. Cruezot and Alexander Biddenhurst, Frenchmen whose discourses be a lot laced with phrases of equality and liberty. These Frenchmen ar referred to as Jacobins by the whites. Moreover, Gabriel and others are regularly listening to a freed slave, Mingos reading of the Bible they find passages about the Children of Israels preservation from Egypt and Davids s demeaning of Goliath interesting. The slaves consider themselves another Children of Israel in another time.With a natural yearning to be free, and the enlightenment to reinforce and fuel his urge, Gabriel starts to lay a plan to smash the shackles that bind him. Everything is in place, the revolt is self-possessed to be executed, but the une xpected and most unwelcome thing happens -- a thunderstorm. The streams become inundated, the roads turn into rivers of mud, and Gabriels legions are bogged down, unable to rendezvous with him. The torrential rain breeds superstition and it in turn breeds desertion. Some of the slaves say the stars are against them, and others question the rightness of their mission. A dwindling force is not one(a) that insures victory, so Gabriel postpones the revolt to await more favourable weather.During this time, Pharaoh and Ben, two slaves who are assigned the task of rallying support from the slaves of Carolina County, are having second thoughts about going through with the plan.