I ask this because the history shows the American slave system was beniegn compared to slave systems around the world. My ggg grandfather, who, as a young man living on his own in Alabama, working as a keel-boatman, wrote that he had to defend himself from a slave who attacked him on a city street. The slave picked a fight with HIM, while the master stood by encouraging the slave to harm my ggg grandfather. My ancestor says he eventually had to fight both men and walked away the victor. The Master was being a bully and using his slave as his muscle. This is not the image you normally have of slaves. American slaves didn't like slavery for the obvious economic reasons, and restrictions but how bad were their lives? How much as humans did they find themselves controlling their situations? The stories are vast that the slaves did have lives of their own, more than is taught in the schools today. Modern Southern culture is full of gifts from those slaves who produced music, art, customs and foods found in any free society, not like the rest of the worlds slaves of the period, who usually died in the first weeks or months of captivity.