The Hero Wall

The Hero Wall

Welcome to the Hero Wall.
This was created to showcase your favorite hero that did not make it into the Black Heroes book. Feel free to post OVER and OVER and let the world know who is YOUR favorite hero!

Nat Turner


(October 2, 1800-1831)


When black people were enslaved, the most powerful way they could resist and protest against slavery was to rebel. Faced with imminent and sure death, throughout history enslaved black people chose chose a freedom or death attitude and did what they felt was necessary for themselves and their families. In places like Cuba, Jamaica, and successfully in Haiti, large groups of enslaved people rose up against their captors. But in the American South, there were a lot of obstacles to carrying out a rebellion. The plantations where enslaved people worked were far apart, so it was hard for them to communicate with each other. Also, white landowners were the only ones who could have guns. There were also laws that made it hard for black slaves to travel or meet up with others, and there were rewards offered for capturing black folk who had escaped slavery. All of these things made it difficult to organize and resist.


If you look up Nat Turner on the internet, you will see words like “He showed that slaves were not always happy about their servitude”. Understand, slaves were NEVER happy about their servitude and even if a few seemed to be, they would switch places with a freed slave in a heart beat. But unlike the type of black person that moves far away from black people and look down on those that have not risen from their unfortunate conditions, Nat Turner was on who inspires us to not only look back but to reach back, and help our brothers and sisters still oppressed underneath discrimination and physical as well as mental chains.


Nathaniel Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia where he would spend his entire life. It was said that he was highly intelligent learning to read and write at a very young age. Like almost all of the young black slaves at that time, he was brought up a Christian and frequently attended church. Not only did he have a deep connection with the highest power, he would frequently have visions which he believed were messages from God. He showed a great interest in the Bible and could be found at any time of the day reading from it or preaching from it. He would soon become known as “the Prophet”. But Nat’s reading was not limited to the Bible. He would learn of the salve rebellions of Gabriel Prosser in 1800 in Richmond and Denmark Vessey in 1822 Charleston and this inspired him greatly.


Under the most terrible conditions of human indignity, Nat Turner ran away from his ‘master’ only to return because a vision from God would lead him back to help other slaves become free. After this slave owner died, he was sold to another whom he would say was “a kind master”. During this time, however, Nat Turner felt that he had received a message from God in the form of a Solar Eclipse and that this meant that it was time to strike fear into the whites letting them know that no longer will black people in America endure mistreatment and passive servitude and that by bloodshed only will white people understand that this will not continue in America.


So, in the steps of the late Denmark Vassey, Nat started preparations for a rebellion against the white slaveowners of Southampton County. With a few trusted fellow (real n*gga) slaves, he began to buy muskets and gather horses.

There was soon around 70 enslaved and freed blacks ready to get down with the cause. And on August 13, 1831, an atmospheric disturbance seemed to make the sun appear bluish-green, which Turner took  as the final signal, and began the rebellion a week later on August 21. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people they encountered.


Nat Turner’s rebellion was the largest and most successful slave rebellion in American history. It struck fear into the hearts of white slave owners, and it challenged the myth of the happy slave. It showed that slaves were not content with their situation, and that they were willing to fight for their freedom. They attacked and killed around 60 white slaveowners and their families, including women and children. (This was not pretty and it was not supposed to be. It was a REAL rebellion which paid back the blood spilled from countless black women and children over 400+ years.) The rebellion was, however, short-lived, and Turner and his followers were eventually captured and executed. The slave rebellion led by Nat Turner had a profound impact on white slave owners and laws were changed to keep slaves even more confined following this day.


Over time, it would become known that black people were not going to continue being quiet, and calm, and so-called happy. Slaves in America would not continue to suffer their enslavement silently. They protested in many ways, from subtle disobedience to violent uprisings. They even sabotaged tools and equipment, caused fires, and in the case of Robert Smalls, commandeered large battleships. They used their culture to express their frustration and sang songs and told folk tales about their plight, and even used religion to guide them through their unjust enslavement. Some slaves fled and formed communities of runaway slaves called Maroons having to live in dangerous areas such as swamps and wooded areas to avoid being caught. No matter what, all would soon began to realize that the problem of slavery was one to be corrected, and the hero Nat Turner put this directly in the faces and psyches of white people which this fear of black retaliation can be felt even to this day.




Add your black hero in the reply section below and it will soon be updated to the page!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *