History of Black Struggle for Freedom - Paper Example

Date:  2021-05-28 18:10:10
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The Advent Travails, and Exploits of Blacks in the Early United States.

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The first population to have inhabited the United States of America were the Serbians. Later on, the Indians found their way in the United States to an extent some scientists and writers credited them as the earliest inhibitors. Some inhibitors settled in America in the course of exploring the world, for instance, people from Wales and Asia. Also, colonization was among the other factors leading to the rise of different races in America. Portugal, Spain and other European countries were among the nations scrambling for colonies. However, with the change in global temperatures which marked the last Ice Age, a new ecosystem emerged demanding more production of food to sustain human life. Initially, man relied on hunting, but with the growing population, it meant hunting was no longer sustainable. Farming was the only alternative. However, labor was a primary issue. Initially, servants could provide the necessary workforce, but with time they were replaced by slaves due to numerous challenges they had to endure and the rise of racism. At this instance, a good score of Africans was transported to the United States as the Atlantic slave trade commenced. The increase of blacks population gave rise to the African Americans, which was an ethnic group of Africans with either partial or total ancestral background from Africa.

The Rise of Slavery and Painful Encounters the Blacks had to Endure

As sugar plantations thrived, there was high demand for labor, and the eastern Atlantic slave trade became part of the expansive commerce. In fact, after 1600, the importation of slaves drastically rose such that between 1700 and 1850 more than nine million Africans had entered America as slaves (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 54). However, the blacks faced numerous challenges, and the situation worsened with the change of labor system from servitude to slavery. In the early United States, the major issue faced by blacks was slavery in its different forms. Slavery is the application of property law to human beings. The affected persons were owned, bought and sold in likeness to commodities. Slavery was legally endorsed and in practice in each of the thirteen colonies of the early United States at different times. For example, Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641 while Northern states actively encouraged black enlistments. By 1619, Africans were in Virginia via Dutch, who was in control of the slave trade until eighteenth century (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 48). During this time all laborers socialized regardless of color and shared the harsh living and working conditions. The first black settlers could communicate with the whites without any hardships and valued the Christian beliefs. There was a consensus that they had earlier settled in the Caribbean before moving to Virginia.

The Africa newcomers had a tough time to cope with the alien landscape and had to learn English to communicate with other people. Since they were not the only slaves, they had to adjust their ways of life and acquire tactics to interact with other slaves. Also, their interaction with whites was limited. The blacks were from different African countries, and though the majority of them were from West Africa, they were using different language and had unique cultures. It was a big challenge for a group of about fifty people from various communities to express themselves to each other. Nevertheless, the Native Americans who were in command of English would enjoy some experience dealing with the whites. The other group of slaves had little in common with one another and the Americans. Adapting to this challenge was not an easy task for most of them, and therefore they were limited interaction among the slaves.

The Spreading of Malaria and Other Diseases

With direct shipping of Africans slaves from Africa, some faced health problems before they could adopt to the new environment. Those working at lowlands suffered from malaria as the area was annexed with mosquitos especially during summer (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 55). Cholera and influenza were also communal in these group due to direct contact with water from the irrigation canals. The health of blacks worsened due to malnutrition and unsanitary living condition. Therefore diarrhea, typhoid, and hepatitis were also among the diseases Africans in the United States had to counter. Worst of all mental illness due to stress and mistreatment from their masters was a common phenomenon in the farms. Some of the slaves were the vulnerable groups in Africa, and mentally they were not prepared to face such challenges. Therefore, before they could adapt to the new life in the United States, some suffered from high levels of depression. Also, at times the masters could whip the slaves wounding them as a way of punishing and forcing slaves to continue working.

Death and Mistreatment

After reaching the American ports, those who survived the voyage faced so many challenges to stay alive. The first years was mainly the most dangerous and deadly. Though some had sickle-cell genetic traits which protected them from getting infected with disease especially malaria they suffered from respiratory infections. Due to this and the other illnesses, one-quarter of all Africans died one year after their arrival. In fact, in some states, the mortality rate was much higher than Caribbean and Carolina. Others succumbed to the mistreatment of the whites who saw them as lesser humans due to racial discrimination.

Poor Living Conditions and Racial Segregation

On top of trauma for being held as captives, the blacks toiled in the crops plantations especially in those farms growing rice, sugar, and tobacco. Those in South Carolina and Georgia were living as a group of fifty black workers and were not allowed to contact with the whites. The small groups were managed to avoid the eruption of rebellion from slaves. If Africans were allowed to group they would have caused trouble to their masters as the work was too much for them. They had to attend the young plants and hoe the fields on a daily basis in the sweetening summer seasons, and during winters they were busy building dams and canals to regulate the water flow into the rice fields (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 95). In fact, their masters used to organize and assign every slave a daily task and people to oversee the progress in the farms. It meant that nobody was allowed to choice the activity he or she was to carry out as some of these crops required constant cultivation. Also, all slaves in the reserves encountered similar living condition which was wanting.

Limited Family Lives and Separations

Starting a family life among the Africans in the United States was a hard scenario, and some immigrant men died before they could find a spouse to marry (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 95). The ratio of men to women who served as slaves was one is to two. Therefore with men outnumbering the females more than half of the males population were left without wives and could not have married the white women due to racial discrimination. Nevertheless, the Native Americans had higher chances to enjoy family life as they had more privileges than the other slaves and were preferred by black women. Also, the masters restricted women from getting married. However, after two to three years of waiting and serving their masters, they were allowed to start a family with a spouse of their choice. Therefore, there were few African marriages in the United States leading to slow growth black families.

After mid eighteen century, the gender ratio was almost equal to the rate of natural reproduction among blacks increased due to tapering off the slave importation. The kingship network between several extending neighboring plantations emerged to bring the slaves closer to each other. Nevertheless, African families were still vulnerable as their masters could sell them to different buyers in case there was poor yields or any other reason. At times the males were hired out to work to other distant plantations for an extended period separating them from the rest of the family members (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 96). Also, for about 27 years from 1755, the masters resettled more than one-third of African Americans who were living in Virginia. It marked a new journey for the blacks to the west who opted for the establishment of new families.

The Rise of Revolts and Wars

The blacks were caught and had to participate in wars which they were not supposed to take part. Due to various effects of wars, the African-American lost properties and their loved ones in the process. For instance, some blacks lost their lives during the scramble and establishment of the immigrant population, where Spain controlled the coastal Florida and the Rio Grande. Also, the Indian war of 1622, affected Africans, yet they had nothing to do with the colonies. At times they could free their settlements due to this wars, yet they did not have any other place to settle as the whites had occupied the best lands in the region.

In some cases, the Africans had to fight for their welfare and equal rights. For example, the Yamasee War involved the blacks, reds, and whites as they struggled to have an order in the South Carolina. Though the area was profoundly weakened by yellow fever, chronic malaria, and smallpox, it was suitable for cultivation of rice. Due to the misunderstanding between the three groups and disease death fragmented neighborhoods and affected families. In Florida, the Spanish had taken full control yet the European settlers were having interest with the area. Therefore the Europeans at South Carolina had to unite to drive off the Spanish from Florida. At this instance, Europeans formed the Cowboys, who were from African to defend their settlements and strengthen their dominance. Africans were therefore recruited in the militia to fight for Europeans (Davidson, DeLay and Herman 62).

Inequality between the African Americans and other Races

It was also very painful for African in the United States as they did not have any right of ownership. Back in Africa, they had land and other properties they could claim. However, despite the effort, anyone of them was giving as they carried on with their duties they did not own anything nor were they rewarded. African Americans were confined to a small section within the farms, and everything they produced was benefiting their masters. The slaves only received small portions of food and a place to live in exchange for their labor. On the other hand, the Native Americans were freed after working for an agreed period unlike the other slaves from Africa. The Native Americans also enjoyed some rights initially reserved for the whites. Slaves from Africa continued to live in the deteriorating regions secluded as servant squatters. Slaves earned nothing forcing them to steal from their employers or even run away from the plantations in search of better lives. However, if caught they were severely punished, and some were even killed in the process.

The Massacre of African American Christians and Campaigners of Abolishment of Slavery.

Free Blacks regularly had to struggle with reduced civil rights such as voting restrictions. Moreover, racism, segregation, and physical violence also afflicted the Black race. Due to these mistreatments, some religious and government leaders were moved and decided to campaign for a review of the African plight. The National Negro Convention began in 1830. It held regular meetings comprising of black men deliberating on the future of the black race in America. Some women such as Maria Stewart engaged in public lecturing on the much-debated topic of slavery. Slave-produced goods were boycotted through the encouragement of The National Negro Convention. The South controlled...

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