According to Slavery and Public History by James Olivier Horton, the collective memory of slavery in the United States has often neglected in creating a full narrative of the past. The painful and unflattering practice of slavery has been thoroughly neglected and misrepresented. Consequently, there is a divided collective memory of slavery amongst Whites and Blacks in the United States. While Black Americans remember the event with great pain, Whites do not acknowledge the harmful of effects of slavery. The effects of slavery have had a significant effects on Blacks which have translated in political, economic and social barriers. Unfortunately, due to a distorted retelling of the past has resulted in the assumption that slavery no longer affects …show more content…
The cognitive dissonance of American values and morals with the practice of slavery has made it difficult for some to accept that our country was simultaneously built on freedom and slavery. This brings into question the very beliefs and values that the United States was built upon. How can a nation that values freedom and equality have once practiced slavery at the same time as it was declared that “all men are created equally”? Horton highlights this issue and describes how many people have trouble accepting the truth. Horton mentions how during the American Revolution, the Revolutionists saw themselves as slaves of the British. Although slavery was contradicted the ideas of freedom brought forth by the Revolutionist, these notions only applied to White men. Therefore, although the Declaration of Independence stated that “all men are created equally”, Black slaves were not included in the category of “all …show more content…
According to Horton, in the late 1940’s and in the 1950’s “students were told that the abolition of slavery might not have been the best thing for blacks”. These sentiments are only further explored in books and movies such as, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. In Mitchell’s novel and later film, slaves are reduced to the “loveable but limited servant”. The realities of slavery are overwritten and replaced with a romanticized form of servitude that only serves to prevent the Pre-Civil War south from having its heritage from besmirched. However, this has led some Americans to downplay the abhorring qualities of slavery and its future and current effects of race relations. This raises the question of how can we improve race relations if we do not learn from the past? If we do not recognize the extent in which slavery has causes barriers for Blacks we are overlooking an important explanation for their present conditions. Although the 1994 Colonial Williamsburg African American department’s reenactment of a slavery auction was controversial for its portrayal of a deeply painful past, it brought into light the realities of
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Worse than Slavery, by David Oshinsky, is a novel about post-Civil War America, and the life it gave free African Americans in Mississippi and other parts of the South. Oshinsky writes about the strict laws and corrupt criminal justice system blacks faced after they were freed, and while the contents of the book are not typically read about in history textbooks, it is important to understand what life was like for the freedman. Anyone interested in reading his book would profit from it. With the end of the Civil War came the destruction of the old system of slavery. Many white Southerner’s were outraged, but were forced to accept the newly freed blacks.
First, during the years 1936-1938, 2,300 people, who were former slaves in the United States, had been interviewed about their own experience of slavery by the Federal Writer’s Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was able to interview people in over seventeen states to preserve the ex-slaves life for people who did not live in those times of slavery. These sources are responses of the ex-slaves feelings about this “peculiar institution”. These interviews were documented to ensure an accurate history of the ex-slaves experiences before they died of old age or disease.
But to my knowledge there isn’t a single day in the southern states or the nation that memorializes the generations of lives that were lost to enslavement and the generations of African Americans that were impacted beyond the physical injustice of slavery. Unless the United States becomes extinct, I do not believe the significance of the domestic slave trade will not change over time because it was the most vital component the United States economy during the industrial revolution which formed the United States as we know it today. Yet the relevance that the domestic slave trade has in the public mind is bound to decline if there isn’t talked about in a relatable manner or even acknowledged on an institutional
When history is whitewashed, it is filtered to hide marginalized groups and oppression. Recently on the news, textbook company McGraw-Hill stated that the company will rewrite a portion of their book which referred to African American slaves as workers and immigrants (McAfee, 2015). I was offended by the fact that McGraw-Hill even published a book that slaves were called workers and immigrants. To say that African Americans were workers and not slaves changes the whole fundamental history of enslaved populations; workers implies a willingness, when in fact, African American slaves were not willing participants. When you change the wording in textbooks, you change people’s views and perspectives of historical events and their everlasting effects on cultures.
“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. Character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July” (Douglas, 265). From this, we understand that Douglas is mourning that even after seventy six years of freedom; slaves still do not have theirs. From these details, we can agree that slaves weren’t part of the “all men are created equal” group.
Unfortunately, there have been events proving such statement and it is upsetting to know that after all the decades of fighting for equality this is still an issue for blacks, especially for African-Americans living in our country. African slaves first were brought to America in 1619 to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia. They served as the foundation of a new nation by working on crop production such as tobacco and cotton, and became a solid importance to the South´s economy
Slavery did not end in 1865 like we thought it did, it has stayed with us all these years and has evolved, in fact there is more slavery today than there was during the time of the American Civil War. One aspect that falls under the umbrella of modern slavery is human trafficking. This is a global issue that happens all around us even if we don’t recognize it. It is the second largest and most rapid growing organized crime industry in the world and also the second most profitable. A common misconception is that the only trafficking there is, is sex trafficking but there are various other types.
One of the strategies Douglass uses to convince his audience slavery should be abolished is by “calling out American hypocrisy in his Fourth of July oration” (Mercieca 1). He shames them with no remorse. He speaks on the opposite treatments that enable whites to live in a state of freedom and liberty, while the blacks are living in a state of bondage. As the audience listens, he reminds them, there are men, women and children still held hostages to the chains of
The disproportionate attention paid to movies about slavery or the Civil Right’s Movement also helps to strengthen the misguided notion that those were the only “bad times” for black people in America. Aren’t we proud of black people for getting through that? It’s a condescending and severely limited lesson. Despite attempts to sanitize the history of slavery, most Americans do know slavery was A Bad Thing; we understand the resilience of black Americans, if only because we’re still here. When will we get anything more complex, or more
Many slaves wrote about their personal thoughts during the years they were subjected to slavery, and by reading these works we can read about the achievements if individual African American writers whose oral tradition in song and story has given us form and substance to literature by black people since they first began writing in English. (Gates Jr. & Smith, 2014). A piece written by Hartford on August 4, 1778 was addressed to Miss Phillis Wheatley, Ethiopian Poetess in Boston who came from Africa at eight years old of age, and soon became acquainted with the gospel of Jesus Christ. “Fair wisdom’s ways are paths of peace, and they that walk therein, shall reap the joys that never cease, and Christ shall be their King” (p.91). The works these
In the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome written by Dr.Joy DeGruy she explains how the past events in American history has lead to post traumatic slave syndrome. She explains that the way African Americans were treated during the slave era and after has had an everlasting effect on African Americans. The book goes on to describe how America has been denying its past and has not helped to integrated and level all the playing fields for African Americans. The book brings to light how we can try to contribute in making America a fair and equal place for all as most claim it to be. Through the book DeGruy talks about the four major contributing factors for the reason why America is the way it is.
Reparations for slavery is an ongoing debate, the idea that descendants of Africans who had been enslaved by the Atlantic Slave Trade should receive a compensatory payment is ridicules to many. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote “The Case for Reparations”, and he argues that the idea of reparations is what is important. Coates begins building his argument with personal facts and reliable sources, overall successfully creating an emotional appeal to his readers. Throughout his article he builds a strong argument arguing that we need to start considering what the nation might owe the African American population after everything that’s been done to them. Throughout his article his attempts to appeal to the readers emotions helps build his argument against reparations.
From this, derives a bond with the reader that pushes their understanding of the evil nature of slavery that society deemed appropriate therefore enhancing their understanding of history. While only glossed over in most classroom settings of the twenty-first century, students often neglect the sad but true reality that the backbone of slavery, was the dehumanization of an entire race of people. To create a group of individuals known for their extreme oppression derived from slavery, required plantation owner’s of the South to constantly embedded certain values into the lives of their slaves. To talk back means to be whipped.
“The Hypocrisy of American Slavery: Slavery at its best” Frederick Douglass an activist for anti racism and also an abolitionist’s speech “The Hypocrisy of Slavery” was given on the occasion of celebrating the independence day. Here, in this speech he actually brought out some questions like why we should celebrate Independence Day while almost four million people were kept chained as a slave. He actually mocked the fact of the people of America’s double standards which is that they are singing out the song of liberty, on the other hand holding the chain of slavery. Frederick Douglass, a former American-African slave who managed to escape from his slavery and later on became an abolitionist gave this speech on Fourth of July,
“Africans in America” part IV “Judgment Day” is a PBS documentary that uses quotes, journal entries and photographs along with commentary from historians to discuss slavery in America. This documentary does a good job of relaying the anger and pain that slavery brought to America. “White people want slaves, they want us for slaves, but they will rue the day they were born.” This quote from David Walker helps set the mood and the emotions festering in the black people of America.