annon”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are createdequal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienableRights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”(Thomas Jefferson).
SlaverySlavery in America stems well back to when the new world was firstdiscovered and was led by the country to start the African Slave Trade-Portugal. The African Slave Trade was first exploited for plantationsin that is now called the Caribbean, and eventually reached the southerncoasts of America (Slavery Two; Milton Meltzer). The African natives wereof all ages and sexes. Women usually worked in the homes, cooking andcleaning, whereas men were sent out into the plantations to farm. Younggirls would usually help in the house also and young boys would help inthe farm by bailing hay and loading wagons with crops.Since trying to capture the native Indians, the Arawaks and Caribs,failed (Small-Pox had killed them), the Europeans said out to captureAfrican slaves.They were shipped from Africa by the Europeans in what was calledThe Triangular Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This was an organized routewhere Europeans would travel to Africa bringing manufactured goods,capture Africans and take them to the Caribbean, and then take the cropsand goods and bring them back to Europe.
The African people, in order tocommunicate invented a language that was a mixture of all the Africanlanguages combined, called Creole. This language now varies from islandto island. They also kept their culture which accounts for calypso musicand the instruments used in these songs.Slavery was common all over the world until 1794 when France signedthe Act of the National Convention abolishing slavery. It would takeAmerica about a hundred years to do the same (Slavery Two; Milton Meltzer).George Washington was America’s hero. He was America’s firstpresident.
He was a slave owner. He deplored slavery but did notrelease his slaves. His will stated that they would be released afterthe death of his wife (The Volume Library; 1988). Washington wasn’tthe only president to have slaves. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “All menare created equal” but died leaving his blacks in slavery.
In 1775 black Americans were sent to fight in the revolutionaryarmy. The British proposed that if a black man was to join their army,they would be set free afterwards. America originally planned not to letthe blacks fight in the army, but when hearing this, let them enlist.Only Georgia and South Carolina refused to let them enlist, but paid fortheir racism when each lost 25,000 blacks to the British. The slavesreturned on an honourable discharge after securing America’s freedom,but not their own (Software Toolworks Encyclopedia; 1992).Slavery continued and so did the numbers of slaves trying to escapeto the free states or into Canada. A runaway slave would be found bybloodhounds, trained to find black slaves.
Then the slave, upon returning,would be executed or severely whipped.The “Underground Railroad” was a project that helped black slavesescape into Canada, especially Amherstburg. The system involved 3,000white helpers and freed an estimated 75,000 people after the civil war.
Slavery in the middle of the 1800’s was abolished except for therebellion states in the south. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamationwas issued which made slavery illegal in the states that had rebelledand allowed black slaves to serve in the army and get other jobs, orcontinue to work on the plantations, as employees making money.The nightmare of slavery was over but a new one was to begin.
One that was worse for it was prevalent but was secret and silent. Onethat exists today. One that does not shrink but rather grows. Racismwas and is upon us.Racism”I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in anation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by thecontent of their character” (Martin Luther King Jr.
)Ku Klux Klan. Neo Nazis. The Aryan Nations.
The American NaziParty. What are these groups? Why are they present in a land of supposedequality of all men? They are there because there are millions ofAmericans that believe in their message of white pride.The African American population is growing and Americans are nowa mixed group of people. Black people are white people’s neighbours,doctors, friends. With a growing unity between the two