Text Only Skip to content
Skip header navigation.
Skip sub-section linksSTLCC Home » Programs » Global Education » Global Dimensions of Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Religion in America » The Downward Spiral - Volume I

Within this section

The Downward Spiral - Volume I

Student Assignment - Film Viewing Guide

“The Downward Spiral” Volume I
(From: “Slavery and the Making of America”

The Dutch first settled the area we know today as New York City. Under Dutch control, the territory was referred to as “New Amsterdam.” Once the British took over this territory in 1664, the name changed from “New Amsterdam” to “New York.”

  1. Who were the Atlantic Creoles?
  2. What kind of tasks/work did the first slaves provide? What was the importance of this work?
  3. What were some of the rights of these early slaves?
  4. What did the status of “half-free” mean?
  5. Why were female slaves brought to New Amsterdam?
  6. Who were indentured servants? How did the status of indentured servants compare to that of a slave?
  7. How did white indenture servants and African slaves initially work together to achieve common goals? If caught, what were the consequences for each?
  8. What caused the arrival of skyrocketing numbers of slaves in Carolina?
  9. How/in what ways did slaves hold on to their dignity within the slave economy?
  10. In 1779, why did the Stono Rebellion occur? What transpired? What were the consequences? How did whites respond?
  11. How were slaves able to maintain their human dignity through the trials and ordeal of slavery in British North America (colonial America)?
  12. What is the most important thing you learned from this documentary film?
  13. Identify one question this documentary film left unanswered for you.