At night, slaves gathered around fires in deaf places specially designated for them by the wardens.
In the nineteenth century, black slaves on American plantations also hold festivals. I'm not sure that they had holidays of freedom, but, as for the rest, everything happened in the following way.
At night, slaves gathered around fires in deaf places specially designated for them by the warders, away from the eyes of the master. There they danced, sang African songs, jumped over the fire. And, of course, they spoke. About different things.
I am sure that some slaves glorified the wisdom of the master, who allowed them to celebrate, and of high human qualities as guards, who did not disperse the feast with lashes. Although they could.
Some of them, warm with dancing and singing, shouted that the master was letting them celebrate, because he had been frightened by their courageous leaps. And as evidence, they increased the number of celebrants to the point that they even began to believe in their own strength themselves.
Besides, those gathered around the fires spoke about the dangerous persons, inciting to bring forward some demands to the master or to escape from the plantation. Or, even scary to think, to an uprising.
After dancing and singing, the tired slaves went to sleep, so that the next day to continue submissively the work for the owner of the plantation. But the life didn’t seem so hopeless to them anymore.
Belarus is the most unfree country in Europe.
Mikalai Statkevich, specially for Charter97.org