Tempie Cummins, Age Unknown
Tempie Cummins starts off her narrative by saying "The white chillun tries teach me to read and write" this surprised me when I first read it as it describes white children not showing the same discrimination as adults seem to have for African Americans as this time. This could therefore suggest to us that racism is something that is learnt through society rather than it being a natural instinct. The fact that the children are having to teach Tempie tells us that they are further educated than her even though they may be younger. This shows us that education for white children was more highly regarded than it was for black children.
Cummins then says "I allus workin" which shows us that she wasn't treated any fairer because of her young age and that she was still expected to work the long hard hours that adults would be given. This again shows the lack of compassion for African Americans.
Tempie later explains that "When freedom was 'clared, marster wouldn' tell 'em" this shows us that the slave owners just wanted to get as much work out of them as possible even if it was now not allowed. This reflects the views of many who only regarded their slaves as a labour force instead of humans with rights.
Tempie explains that when her mother hears of this new freedom she runs outside whilst the "Marster, he come out with his gun and shot at mother" this sort of action would be typical of a farmer trying to catch one of his animals when it runs away which implies that the slaves were seen as animal-like. This also shows us that the master did not care about the lives of his slaves and would rather murder them than let them escape his control.