Slavery in America and Oppression of Blacks in America even after Slave Freedom
Slaveryin America and Oppression of Blacks in America even after SlaveFreedom
Slaveryin America and Oppression of Blacks in America even after SlaveFreedom
Slaveryin America started when the first slaves from Africa were brought tothe Jamestown’s colony in Virginia, North America, by the Britishcolony in 1619 to assist in the production of tobacco, which was thena lucrative cash crop (Schneider & Schneider, 2012). Enslavementof the African-Americans became rampant in the entire colonies ofAmerica during the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries. Theslaves helped in developing the foundations of economy of the newAmerica. The cotton gin invention in 1793 hardened the core slavery’ssignificance to the economy of the South. It can be stated that theslavery in America and the oppression of African-Americans continuedeven after slave freedom. As a result, most of the slaves wererendered homeless.
Tofind out the atrocities that took place during the period of slaveryin America, and oppression of blacks in America even after slavefreedom, I arranged for a meeting with a leader from a social serviceagency to discuss various issues concerning the topic. The discussionwent for an hour, and it was carried out in the leader’s office.The issues that were discussed are as below:
Basisof Slavery in America
Adiscussion with a leader from a social service agency confirmed thatthe North America’ European settlers turned to slaves from Africain the early seventeenth century because they were plentiful, and acheaper source of labor than the indentured servants (Wright, 2017).Slavery spread in the entire colonies of America after 1619, when aship of the Dutch brought twenty Africans on shore at the Britishcamp of Jamestown in Virginia (Schneider & Schneider, 2012).Though it is not easy to provide accurate numbers, some historianshave approximated that about six to seven million slaves were takento America in the eighteenth century alone. As such, the Africancontinent was deprived of some of its ablest and healthiest women andmen. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, theAfrican-American slaves worked a lot on the southern coast’sindigo, rice, cotton, and tobacco plantations.
SlaveMasters and the Slaves
Thediscussion with the leader confirmed further that the majority of theslaves in the South lived in the small plantations or large farms asmost of the slaveholders owned close to fifty slaves. The masterssought to make the lives of their slaves extremely miserable byensuring that the slaves depended on them totally (Schneider &Schneider, 2012). Moreover, the masters came up with a restrictivesystem in which, codes were used to govern the lives of the slaves.They were forbidden from learning to write and read. Their movementswere also restricted as numerous slaveholders took sexualemancipation with slave women. The loyal slaves, while thedisobedient slaves were harshly reprimanded. Astringent pecking order among the slaves, starting from the skilledartisans and the advantaged house slaves down to the common farmworkers, assisted in keeping them alienated and less likely tocoordinate themselves against their masters (Urbina & Espinoz,2017). Their marriages did not have any legal foundation, thoughslaves married and raised big families. Such practices wereencouraged by the majority of the slave masters, but nonetheless, themasters did not delay to segregate the families of the slaves byremoval or sale. Althoughthe U.S Congress barred the slave trade of the blacks in 1808, thedomestic slave trade burgeoned. Thus, the slave population inAmerica, especially in the South, almost tripled in the next fiftyyears.
Thediscussion also revealed that slave revolts took place in America,though most of them were unsuccessful. The slave revolt thatterrified the slave masters was one which was led by Nat Turner inVirginia’s Southampton County in 1831 (Schneider & Schneider,2012). Turner’s group killed about sixty whites in a span of twodays before the militia forces of the state, and the armedconfrontation from the local whites overwhelmed them. The persons whosupported slavery pointed to the rebellion by Turner as proof thatthe blacks were barbarians who were inherently inferior, and thus,there was the need for the slavery institution to discipline them(Still, 2012). Fears of same insurrections made many states from theSouth to harden their trade codes to limit the slaves’ assembly,movement, and education. Conversely, the increased repression ofblacks from the South escalated the flames of the rising abolitionmovement.
Accordingto the discussion, the movement for the slavery abolishment that wasled by free African-Americans, and some white supporters in the Northtook place between 1830s and 1860s (Stampp, Abzug, & Maizlish,2012). While numerous abolitionists focused their activism on thenotion that it was a sin to enslave humans, others argued that it wasnon-religious for the slaveholders to force the blacks to offer themfree labor (Schneider & Schneider, 2012). As such, theabolitionists held that slavery was inefficient, regressive, and madesmall economic logic. The Northerners who were antislavery, as wellas the free blacks had started assisting the renegade slaves fleefrom the southern farms to the North through a free system of securehouses. The practice that was also referred to as the UndergroundRailroadacquired force in the 1830s, and though approximations differ widely,the leader of the social service agency affirmed that it might haveassisted many slaves to get their freedom (Still, 2012).
Afterthe American Revolution that took place from 1775 to 1783, themajority of the colonists, especially those in the North in whichslavery was not essential to the economy, started to interrelate theblack slaves’ oppression to their oppression by the Britons (Rood,2017). As such, the call for the abolition of slavery started. Allthe states in the North had abolished slavery by 1804 even thoughmost of the businessmen in the region became rich due to the slavetrade. However, slavery still remained critical to the South(Rasmussen, 2012).
Theagency leader also confirmed that life after slavery proved to becumbersome for the blacks. Though slavery had come to an end, thecruelties of the white race’s intolerance towards the blackscontinued (Bernier & Durkin, 2015). The states across the southestablished laws that were referred to as BlackCodes afterslavery. Such laws granted particular lawful rights to theAfrican-Americans, encompassing the right to own property, sue incourt, and marry (Schneider & Schneider, 2012). Also, the codesalso made it lawful for the blacks to work on juries, state militias,or be witnesses against whites. The codes needed African-Americantenant farmers and sharecroppers to sign labor contracts on a yearlybasis with the white landowners. They could be subjected to arrestsand forceful labor if they refused to sign the contracts. Though mostblacks from the South were free, they were homeless (Nichols &Unger, 2017). Having been subjected to hard labor without pay, aswell as lack of education, their poor economic situation forced themto rent houses and land from their former slave masters. They paidtheir rent by giving part of their harvest to the owners of the land.
Towardsthe end of 1700s, numerous states had passed vagrancy regulationsthat were normally applied to incarcerate the former or escapedslaves who were already homeless (Miller, 2012). For instance, theblacks made up approximately fifty percent of the individuals whowere locked up in prisons for vagrancy in Philadelphia. The ancientliteratures by the African-Americans mirror a preoccupation withhomelessness and home during the slavery period.
TheConspiracy Theory of the Black Genocide
Blackgenocide is a scheme theory in the United States which asserts thatAfrican-Americans are the victims of the genocide that was started bythe white Americans in the seventeenth century (Schneider &Schneider, 2012). The blacks were enslaved and subjected tooppression by their slave masters, and as a result, the majority ofthem became homeless due to the facts that have been discussed in theparagraphs above. The years of lynching, as well as the long termracial prejudice that were aimed at them in the seventeenth andeighteenth centuries were officially included as part of the blackgenocide theory for the first time in 1951 by the non-operationalassociation, the Civil Rights Congress. The inclusion of suchatrocities as part of the theory came about in an appeal to theUnited Nations by Malcolm X in which, he addressed the issue of blackgenocide in the past decades, as well as those that took place duringthe 1960s. He cited long term brutalities and injustices by the whitepeople against the blacks. Birth control was considered as the blackgenocide conspiracy at the initial Black Power Conference that tookplace in 1967 (Kiser, 2017). The conference was held after PresidentLyndon Johnson pressed through his legislation that was termed, Warof Poverty,in the mid 1960s. The legislation ensured that funding of the familyplanning pills was done through sourcing funds from the public toensure that the poor were covered (Blackmon, 2012).
Thelegalization of abortion in 1970 was termed by some of the blackmilitants as a scheme by the white population to eliminate the blackrace (Schneider & Schneider, 2012). The majority of the blackwomen were not convinced that abortion was a component of theconspiracy theory, and thus, the rhetoric concerning the ethnic groupgenocide faded away. Nonetheless, the revelations by the media in1973 regarding the decades of compulsory sterilization that wassponsored by the government made some individuals to believe that thesterilization was part of the state’s scheme for black genocide. Anincreased use of the black militants in combat at the time of theVietnam War provided the foundation for the government to be accusedof having supported the theory of the black genocide (Horne, 2014).In the recent years, the disproportionately high population of blackprisoners in the American jails has been referred to as being in thetheory’s support.
TheFourteenth Amendment of 1868 brought equal protection, voting rights,as well as rights of citizenship to the blacks (Schneider &Schneider, 2012). However, racism has presently taken the part ofslavery, as it is highly experienced in institutions in every sector.Resistance to economic, political, and social equality is persistentand strong. The current disparities in home ownership, education,homelessness, employment, poverty level, access to suitable medicalcare, and wealth gap are areas that need improvement to ensure thatall Americans are not prejudiced.
Toconclude, the North America’ European settlers turned to slavesfrom Africa in the early seventeenth century because they wereplentiful and a cheaper source of labor than the indentured servants.The masters sought to make the lives of their slaves extremelymiserable by ensuring that the slaves depended on them totally. Theywere forbidden from learning to write and read. Their movements werealso restricted as numerous slaveholders took sexual emancipationwith slave women. The rate of homelessness increased. The call forthe abolition of slavery started, and all the states both in theNorth and the South abolished the practice. Though slavery had cometo an end, the cruelties of the white race’s intolerance towardsthe blacks continued. The black codes were established to enforce theblacks to continue working for the whites very cheaply. Some blacksstill consider some issues like abortion, family planning, andcompulsory sterilization as some of the latest atrocities againstthem. There is still the need to solve the current disparities inhome ownership, education, homelessness, employment, poverty level,access to suitable medical care, and wealth gap that affectAfrican-Americans.
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