The nationalism of the slave community was essentially African nationalism, consisting of values then bound slaves together and sustained them under brutal conditions of oppression. The centrality of the ancestral past to the African in America. Stuckey draws on material from slave songs, tales, rituals and ceremonies, and above all religion to build up his picture of the essentially African character of slave culture and to describe the process by which, as he sees it, people of diverse ethnic origins in Africa where fused in the New World into one African people.  It is surely not possible to read completely out of the story the various influences of the American environment and the process of creolization. Stuckey himself has to admit the important role of the English language in bringing together slaves of diverse African backgrounds; he also acknowledged that some slaves were exposed to considerable white influence, but that they appropriated only those values which could be absorbed into their “Africanity”.  Pleading that, for all its distinctiveness, it was a vital variant of the larger Southern Culture to which blacks contributed so much. Excessive claims for the “autonomy” of slave culture deny or belittle remarkable black achievments both in forging a distinctive culture and community life in the face of all the handicaps imposed by slavery, and in contributing so much to the development of Southern and indeed us culture. A modest but useful first step toward reducing these large portions to manageable proportions may be to turn to the day-to-day realities of the relationship between master and slave. There were10 blacks for every white in Jamaica in the early 19th century and 25 serf for every nobleman in Russia in 1858.  The Southern slaveholders normally lived on the farm or Plantation, and slaves lived their daily lives surrounded by whites. The less acceptable face of the much discussed paternalism of the Southern slave system was its interventionism and constant inclusiveness. The drastic reduction of the level of independence in the antebellum slave community in such Basic matters as raising its own food or offering organized resistance in anything like a strike against the authority of the master.  Unusually wide dispersal of slaves in ones and twos among various owners virtually forced the development of a social life beyond the individual holding. J. William Harris shows how, in an area of smaller forms in the Deep South where slaves were in close daily contact with their owners, the slave Community spilled over farm and Plantation boundaries to become a kind of wider, underground spiritual and social community. That broader community was nourished by religious services and the influence of ignorant creatures, by marriages between slaves of different owners, by the owners practice of lending their slaves to one another, and buy an underground network of social contacts and activities which the slave patrols were powerless to prevent, and to which Masters often turn a blind eye. Simply by counting heads and emphasizing the physical presence of many whites lnside the slave population, one minute exaggerated the degree, frequency, and directness of personal contact between owner and owned. Even on a small or medium-sized Plantation, which 15 or 20 or 30 slaves, the master may not always have known the slaves as well as individuals or taken much personal interest in them. Master saw a great deal of the domestic servants – although, like all classes who are accustomed to the presence of servants, owners and their families developed the ability to talk and act as if the servants were not there. However, the paths of the field hands and their masters – at least on the larger Plantation – may only infrequently have crossed. James Oakes insists that, while blacks and whites shaped each other’s Destiny, they did not do so through close personal contact mMutual understanding.