Families were separated during the time were being sold to slave owners. Northrop was married and had two children when he was kidnapped. It was the owner’s decision to buy whomever they wanted and how many slaves they wanted. If a woman had children, the buyer could choose to buy her children or not. In the film, we see a woman get sold but not her children. Also, some owners raped the slave women and produced offspring. This affected the slave’s spouse and children because there was nothing that they could do to protect her from continuously being raped and/or having children.
This also strained the slave owners marriage because eventually the wife would figure it out; the favoritism that he might show towards a female slave, seeing the light skinned baby the slave recently had, and the colored eyes of this new born baby. In the film Edwin Peps and his wife Mistress Peps have marital problems because she’s jealous of the attention he’s giving Patsy, their slave. Patsy gets physically abused by Mrs.. Peps and raped by Mr.. Peps. The economy was also affected because the slaves earned very little wages, not enough to buy their own freedom or their families.
The slave owners respired because they would pay a onetime fee for a human being and have them live in their property in small shacks and they worked their fields all day. They owned enough slaves and hired Caucasians to supervise the slaves. Helping them get richer and gave them enough time to think of new technologies to get richer from. Prior to the slaves being shipped from Africa, most were Muslims. When they arrived, most were forced to convert to their owner’s religion. In the film, they showed the master Edwin Peps preaching the Protestant Christian religion onto them.
They learned the songs and cause most didn’t know how to read they accepted that religion as their own. When they arrived from Africa they weren’t taught the English language. In fact, the owners rather they not learn. It was a threat to them if their slaves learned how to read and or write. The ones that knew how to read and write never shared this information with their owners and maybe other slaves because they feared the owner’s reaction. In the film, Northrop continuously told his owners and others that he not only was smart but a free man. No one listened to him and if they did, they warned him to keep quiet.