In the context of history, an overseer was a person who supervised and managed the labor of slaves or workers. The role of an overseer varied depending on the industry they worked in. For instance, plantation overseers were responsible for managing the work of enslaved Africans working in the fields. They were tasked with ensuring that the enslaved people met their daily quotas, and enforced harsh punishments if they didn’t.
Overseers were often tasked with carrying out the orders of the plantation owner or manager. They also kept records of each enslaved individual’s productivity, health, and behavior. In other industries such as mining, overseers ensured that the workers were adhering to safety protocols, and reporting any accidents or injuries that occurred on the job.
The concept of an overseer is often associated with the Atlantic Slave Trade and the brutal exploitation of enslaved people. Today, the term overseer is not commonly used in modern workplaces. However, the legacy of the overseer remains an important reminder of the atrocities committed against marginalized communities throughout history.