Slavery was an institution that stained our country and caused a great divide between the races. For Horatio, a four-year-old slave boy, in Slave Auction (A Short Story), he experienced the horrors of slavery first hand, from being ripped from his mother’s loving arms to watching her being tortured at the auction block to falling ill due to a broken heart to being shipped several states away to a family he did not know.
I chose to use a child as the main character in Slave Auction (A Short Story) because I wanted readers to really empathize with the plight of slaves during that period in history. It is difficult for almost anyone not to feel great sorrow at seeing a child suffer such physical and emotional torture. A child is so innocent. A child has no understanding of hatred toward a fellow man at that young of an age. All Horatio knows is that he is alone. All alone.
One website that was instrumental in helping me understand first hand what slaves experienced living on plantations was Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938. “Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.” Explore the Site here.