Effects Of Slavery On African American Family

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Slavery, the War on Black Family
While slavery in America was an institution that was started over 400 years ago, the affects were so horrific that it is still felt today by modern day African Americans. Many families had to deal with the constant stress of being sold which made it difficult to have a normal family life. Slaves were sold to pay off debts, an owner dying and his slaves were sold in an estate sale, or when an owner’s children would leave the home to begin a life of their own, they would take slaves with them. Often times, children were not raised by their parents, other family members of someone designated to watch the children because the mother and father had to work long hours and the children were too young to join them.
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Slaves were views as property and in the Southern States property could not enter into a contract, and marriage is a well known contract. The fact that they could not legally marry meant that a permanent family could not be guaranteed under the American Slave life. Enslave black couples used old African traditions to unite the families. One of the most well known acts of pledging their love for one another was “Jumping the Broom”. (Braddy 1) This is when an old straw broom or sticks were laid at the feet of the bride and groom, and together they jump the broom to show that the two families were joined. The broom ceremony is said to be a tradition that was kept from its original ancestral origins in Africa. This act of nuptials to this day is still in effect in the African American community. Although they had this act they were still did not have any rights to live together or to raise children together like a normal family. It was common for enslaved parents and children to live apart. The slave parents couldn’t even protect their children from the will of their master. There was some mercy shown to slaves by their owner’s. The Christmas holiday, the one break from work during the year for slaves, was anticipated with excitement because it allowed separated family members to meet and spend a week together. To this day, African American families hold family reunions in…show more content…
During the Civil War, it is said that almost 180,000 Black Soldiers served in the Union Army. The families of these soldiers would camp in nearby makeshift villages to be near their husbands, sons and fathers. The soldiers assisted them the best they could by share food and clothing from their military rations. Nearly 40,000 Black Soldiers died during the course of the war with 30,000 due to infections and diseases. Although Blacks were giving the chance to fight for their freedom, they were still not looked as equals. Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions that sustain an army, as well. Black carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters also contributed to the war cause. (Freeman1) The North thought of slavery as immoral but they still did not want to fight and die next to Black Soldiers, and Blacks captured as POWs by the Confederate Army was treated far more severely than their White counter
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