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You’re Nat Turner and you’re famous because you have taken an unusual step in the fight against slavery. Why do you fight against slavery?
I fight against slavery because I don’t want my family to be treated as property that can be bought or sold. I think it is wrong to own people.
And you’re still famous for that, right?
Yes, because I played a part in the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
Is there anything about your childhood that led you to fight against slavery?
Well, I was born a slave on October 2, 1800 in Virginia. When I was a child my dad ran away so he wouldn’t be a slave. I always had that word "freedom" in my head because my dad had run away. It made me curious about what else was in the world besides slavery. I lived with my mother and my grandmother. I fight against slavery so I don’t have to worry about my mother, grandmother, or me getting sold as slaves. This would be bad because I wouldn’t ever see them again. Slave masters can do anything to slaves. A master could sell them and take them away from their family and friends.
Why do you worry about them getting sold?
I worry about them getting sold because they’re part of my family and I love them a lot. My best friend’s mother was sold. It made me so mad to see Jed so sad.
I heard that you ran away but came back. Is that true? Why?
Yes, it is true, and I came back because I had a vision in which the Spirit had told me to "return to the service of my earthly master." I always was a religious person and later on I became a preacher.
I also heard that you had a dream about the future that became your "special plan." Tell me about that.
Well, I did have a dream about the future that had a man with a sword. Then I saw white and black people on different sides trying to fight each other. I thought that was my "special plan" and my mother kept on telling me God had a "special plan" for me. In 1828, I heard voices telling me to stop slavery.
So what was your "special plan" to stop slavery?
My special plan was to kill all the owners of slaves and their families so no one could take their place and all the slaves would be free.
Did you ever kill any slave owners?
Yes, I’ve killed many owners and their families. I killed them at night. After I killed a slave owner and their family, I would ask the slaves if they wanted to help me. As a result, I would get more people to help me fight slavery. We killed at least 50 people.
Why are you remembered today?
I am remembered today because I was active in the beginning stages of the Civil Rights Movement. I was one of the first to stand up for an individual’s right. No one should be property to another human being.
Well, thank you for joining us and have a nice day. Bye.
Unfortunately, one year after we interviewed Nat Turner, he was found by Benjamin Phipps hiding in a forest. He went to trial and was found guilty of murder. For his penalty, they hung him.
Nat Turner Timeline
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