August 16, 2006;
Am I an abolitionist? That is a term from the mid nineteenth century here in America when individuals were speaking up against slavery and conducting the famous "underground railroad" to help escaped slaves to freedom from the bondage that they had endured in our southern states.
In those days slavery was a part of the normal business on the southern plantations and any person who was born of a slave woman was also a slave, even if their father had been the owner of the plantation. Slave markets and slave auctions proliferated and were sanctioned by the state, with slaves being bought, sold, bred and inherited as legally owned property, much as cattle were. Freed slaves needed their "letters of manumission" in order to prove that they were their own masters and that probably did little good if they were dealing with an illiterate mob.
Fortunately, the question of States' Rights was settled by our Civil War and all states became Free, even though Lincoln's famous "Emancipation Proclamation" only freed those slaves that were in the states that were in open rebellion against the federal government.
Of course freedom means little if you're illiterate, have no trade and only know the back breaking field work that you grew up doing as a slave. There still were (and still are) unscrupulous people who would take advantage of your condition.
It seems that the Abolitionist's job is not yet finished