citizens, and climbing the social ladder to the extent of moving on a plane of equality with the poor whites. ( Greene, 1916, p. 163)
A thorough investigation of slave advertisements, especially those for runaway slaves, tells us that although everyone was affected in one way or another, some were affected differently and more severely than others. In scrutinizing such advertisements, it is also important to remember that they were all written from the standpoint of the slaveholder and therefore certain inherent biases are observed. Notably, for obvious reasons slave owners were more obliged to present favorable characteristics of slaves to be sold and unfavorable characteristics of those who had run away. Advertisements are critical documents in trying to put together the puzzle of slavery -- a puzzle that would otherwise remain incomplete if not for their existence.
Patricia Bradley ( 1987) suggests that slave advertising during the colonial period provides a "mirror to the dilemma" -- a mirror that more and more African-Americans are examining because they realize what an integral part slavery plays in the recovery of their past and how much its scrutinization will play in their future.
Whereas there was a period in history when blacks wanted to forget that slavery ever happened, they now realize that instead they should read, analyze, and document everything remotely related to slavery 4 as well as those atrocities that followed: namely, Jim Crow, discrimination, segregation, racism, prejudice, racial bias, and bigotry. The legacy of slavery did not wash away as easily as snow does on a rainy day. Instead the remnants of slavery clung to the liberal Northerners and the Southerners in the land of Dixie in the same vein that the image of the Southern Belle has become a staple of the Southern plantation. In other words, certain images that were dominant during slavery were carefully transferred into contemporary society.