The Effects on the Public Opinion

Door KarenHill gepubliceerd op Thursday 19 March 19:51

The Effects on the Public Opinion

The public opinion is frequently altered by various publications appearing in the mass media. The present paper aims to identify the impact that the two publications had on the public opinion and perception of race issues in the North in the early years following the abolition of slavery. The first story tells about the life of Solomon Northup, a black free man who was sold into slavery after its abolition. The second one presents the slave girl’s remarks that reveal sexual humiliation and exploitation of enslaved females. Both publications had adverse effects on the public opinion in the North.

First of all, it should be noted that the race question involved many slaveholders who earned much money by selling black people. The story about Solomon demonstrates the precautious position of the black population in the American society. Such situation would have never happened to the white-skinned person. Considering this, one might suggest that the publication of this story deepened the black population’s concern over its unequal status and unstable position. In fact, Solomon was lucky to escape from slavery. His story became known to the public just because he escaped. Surely, there were thousands of similar black people who had no opportunity to make their voice heard.

The second story about the enslaved girl demonstrates tortures inflicted on women in slavery. Obviously, they suffered not only physically but also emotionally. The worst thing is that they were not allowed to report to some agency or authority. Moreover, the last sentences of the story show that even the progressive-minded North was far from being perfect. People were segregated there, and whites refused to treat blacks as equal human beings.

On the whole, these two stories deprived black individuals of the illusion that they eventually became free. Although their status was really improved, these writings warned all black people in the North that they were not completely free in the American society. Furthermore, the above-mentioned stories demonstrate the complete absence of protection and risks that could spoil the living of the black population within the USA. White people were well-aware of this situation due to the publication of such stories. Those who continued to sell black individuals into slavery were definitely encouraged by such publications. The governors of the states and representatives of the public agency realized that the black population was still regarded as the inferior one. In most cases, the public opinion was against the black population. The publications promoted the spread of rumors in the North. 

At the same time, the publication of these stories was necessary. At least, they prevented many black individuals from the girl’s illusions about the North. Such publications were important to the society since they allowed its members to react to them and avoid their recurrence. Moreover, they are important to historians as they illustrate true situations that happened to black women. Finally, they probably aroused rage and anger among black people and encouraged them to fight for their rights. Otherwise, they would have been oppressed until the end of their lifetime.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the mass media have a great influence on the public opinion that later transforms into political voices and official policies. Obviously, the miseries presented in the two stories demonstrated the vulnerability of the black population and convinced the rest of the helplessness of their position. Most probably, such kind of prejudices existing within the society eventually resulted in segregation laws.

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