During slavery, some slaves were given a day of rest while others were forced to continue work. In some parts of the country, slaves were given a yule log to burn in the big house. As long as the log burned, they were granted rest during the holiday. Sometimes the log would burn until the New Year.
During the days of rest, some slaves would hold quilting bees, with both men and women. It was also sometimes tradition that slaves could keep the money they earned for the sale of goods during the holiday.
While the holiday season was meant to be a joyous occasion, slaves that worked inside the house would be worked hardest during Christmas, as many owners and their families would host Christmas parties.
The Christmas holiday would also be a time that some slaveowners gave wine and alcoholic beverages to their slaves. With business still in mind, the effects of alcohol were something unknown to many slaves, and most would overindulge. The increased lounge and slumber would discourage runaways during the break. This was a theory held by abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Despite, some slaves were given passes to see nearby relatives during Christmas time and allowed visitors from neighboring plantations.
Along with the traditions of the Christmas holiday in Western culture, slaves had dancing and singing in the slave quarters. Sometimes the white masters would come to the slave quarters to watch the celebration. Parents would give children small, homemade tokens.
Another celebration known as Jonkonnu, or a Christmas masquerade, took place on the plantations. It was a basic traveling show in which the slave would put on makeshift costumes and go from house to house to perform for gifts and money.
The traditions of Christmas during slavery were tools for celebration in the harshest working and living conditions for blacks. While the whites in the “big house” were being showered with gifts and feast, they shared a portion of those with their captives, and at the same time, used the opportunity to convince slaves that slavery was their best option for living peacefully and safely among the masters.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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