Suicide Among African Slaves: The Very Last Resort to Freedom

2 Posted by - August 6, 2023 - LATEST POSTS, SLAVERY

There have been hours in my unhappy life, many of them, when the contemplation of death as the end of earthly sorrow-of the grave as a resting place for the tired and worn out body-has been pleasant to dwell upon. But such contemplations vanish in the hour of peril. No Man, in his full strength, can stand undismayed, in the presence if the “king of terrors.” Life is dear to every living thing; the worm that crawls upon the ground will struggle for it. At that moment [while battling a white overseer in self-defense] it was dear to me, enslaved and treated as I was. – Solomon NorthUp, Twelve Years a Slave, 1853

It was believed that African Slaves did not commit suicide, but former slave Ida Blackshear Hutchinson told of a girl that committed suicide during an interview, as reported by The National Humanities Center. A young black slave girl by the name of Lu loved music and to dance. So every chance Lu got, she ran off to go to the dances. The slave patrollers would try to catch her, but she had youth and speed on her side. She always outran them at night.

Lu would run to her cabin and hide her quarter for the dances in her mouth, as slaves during that time were not suppose to have or handle money. But one particular night, Lu got the quarter stuck in her throat, and instead of allowing the patrollers to beat and mark her up, she went down to the slough and drowned herself.

If patrollers could not catch up with the slave who they saw running, they would go to the master’s property, get the slave and beat them, and the master would allow them to do it. Generally speaking, the Blackshear place did not allow patrollers on the plantation at which Lu lived; however, because Lu was constantly running off, her master wanted them to make an example out of her.



  • Carla Carreston October 13, 2017 - 9:03 am

    Why is it that we can not access the truth about the inhumane and horrible injustices endured by black America. We find info in bits. Social media has been the main source of finding infotmation but you have to go through do many many ads that it becomes frustrating.

    • Sherman Mckie October 13, 2017 - 10:11 am

      I totally agree sister! I am fortunate enough to have various avenues to acquire knowledge but what about the mainstream? It’s simple to find information about a celebrity, our history should be as simple!

      • Floyd October 15, 2017 - 7:33 pm

        One will never find the true history or (Ourstory) in main stream. There are numerous books written about the past starting from the first Pharoah of Egypt to the end of Jim Crow. The authors are J. A. Rogers, Ben Jochanan, Browder of the Browder Files to name a few. My most favorites are Black Men of The Nile and His Family, We the Black Jews, Africa’s Gift to America, Africa, Mother of Western Civilization, The Black Indians by William Katz, Christianity Before Christ by John G. Jackson, The Shaping of Black America by Lerone Bennett, The Willie Lynch Papers, and the Black Seminoles. There are Thousands of Books on Our Story and one can call African American Art in Greensboro, NC if you want to order any one of those books above. Once any one start to do research, that person will not be able to stop because the information learn will strengthen knowledge of self as well as increasing self esteem. Take the plunge and learn who we are and where we came from which helps us project where we are going.

  • Toria October 13, 2017 - 11:55 am

    Might this be time to start new and improved factual history books based on important information found by non bias African Americans researchers as well other non bias researchers!!!

  • BILLY BUTLER October 13, 2017 - 3:15 pm

    what we need is some organization,historical society or such entity to create a repository for our rich history which is being lost everyday. It,s a shame that we as a people have to learn about our history in bits and pieces and in such a haphazard manner.

  • Myron Bayliss October 13, 2017 - 4:57 pm

    Back in the early 70’s, during Black History month, I went to a celebration of Black History held on the grounds of a local high school. I walked into a tent that had a sign out front that stated “Inventions by People of Color”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. As a college student interested in history, I never knew that black people had invented so many things, from the parking meter to the shoe last, to the blood banking system. I spent 3 hours in that exhibit, taking notes for further research. White history books simply didn’t include accomplishments/inventions by black people. To do so would have meant they were giving African Americans their “Props” & that was not to be!

  • Hilda M Saulsbury October 14, 2017 - 7:52 am

    Chattle slavery has ended. There is still some form of slavery that comes into existence, through lives of people who are unfortunate. All are blessed whenever there is an end. Mistreatment of people can affect the minds of persons experiencing a horrifying period in his or her life. Researching my past has allowed me to learn of various forms of slavery plus relatives who were freed before the signature of President Lincoln. Aftet his signature there was a diffent thinking of being freed.

  • Michael Hyman October 14, 2017 - 10:08 pm

    You must understand this History is the silver stake to America, see the Slave trade has to be paid for one way or another. The more that can be found out the higher the price the banks, the companies, the Government and so on will have to ANSWER for and to. This was a Business / Corporation deal, set up by the Pope and the Kings and Queens of Europe. The World ( UN ) is now forcing / Pushing the Europianing nation to settle this crime like they forced Germany and the nation of the East . In order to stop the Chinese, Germany , France,Russia , and Etc. As African countries become stronger it will be more of a problem to settle, because they to are asking for reparations. There can not be Justice without payment, so there can not be No Peace !!! Europe, is losing power as the days go by one day there will be a more level playing field and they know it coming unless they drop the big bomb !!!!

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