Where Is Your Black God? 2016 Part 1 – Nat Turner to Elijah
Nat Turner (October 2, 1800 – November 11, 1831) was an enslaved African American who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831, that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 white people. In retaliation and overreaction, white militias and mobs killed more than 200 black people in the course of putting down the rebellion.
Turner led a group of slaves carrying farm implements in a rebellion against slavery. As they went from plantation to plantation they gathered horses and guns, freed other slaves along the way, and recruited other blacks that wanted to join their revolt. During the rebellion, Virginia legislators targeted free blacks with a colonization bill, which allocated new funding to remove them, and a police bill that denied free blacks trials by jury and made any free blacks convicted of a crime subject to sale and relocation. Whites organized militias and called out regular troops to suppress the rising. In addition, white militias and mobs attacked blacks in the area, killing an estimated 200, many of whom were not involved in the revolt.
In the aftermath, the state quickly arrested and executed 57 blacks accused of being part of Turner’s slave rebellion. Turner hid successfully for two months. When found, he was quickly tried, convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged. Across Virginia and other southern states, state legislators passed new laws to control slaves and free blacks. They prohibited education of slaves and free blacks, restricted rights of assembly for free blacks, withdrew their right to bear arms (in some states), and to vote (in North Carolina, for instance), and required white ministers to be present at all black worship services.