Summary Of Drawing The Color Line By Howard Zinn

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Jennifer Hanson
Professor Jessica Lourey
15 September 2015
A People’s History of the United States; 1492 – 2000: “Drawing the Color Line” Howard Zinn makes a considerable case that racism is a learned behavior not a natural reaction in Peoples History of the United States; 1492 – 2000” by Howard Zinn.
As stated by Zinn in “A P; 1492 – 2000, “There is an enormous difference between a feeling of racial strangeness and, perhaps fear, and the enslavement of millions of black people that took place in America.” (Zinn 32) There were many circumstances that led America toward slavery and in turn racism. The Africans were treated as dirt. There were many instances where people were shown by example and word that the …show more content…

It made it easier for the slave traders to treat the Africans as they believed they were, dirty and loathsome. It didn’t matter how kind they were, how organized, or skilled. By just looking at the Africans, the slave traders had determined, they were unworthy of humane treatment. The Africans were taken from their tribes in Africa, chained like dogs, and made to walk up to 1000 miles. They were led to the coast where they waited in cages. As Zinn noted, “John Barbot had written, The ship’s surgeons examine every part, of every one of them… Men and women being stark naked…Such as are allowed good and sound are set on one side…marked on the breast with a red-hot iron, imprinting the mark of the French, English, or Dutch…they awaited shipment 10-15 days” (Zinn 28) After the abuse they had suffered, they were put into the slave quarters on the ships. The size of the slave quarters varied, however they were always packed and foul, with the smell of human waste. The Africans were removed from everything they had ever known, any comfort and knowledge they had about their world, was now useless. Many times slaves would often jump over-board to stop the suffering. When they arrived in America, they were marched off the ships to the slave blocks, examined again, and sold to the highest …show more content…

When both black and white were faced with the same “offense”, the courts would continually give lighter sentences to the whites. In 1640, 6 servants ran away, 4 black and 2 white. The Negro slave, Emanuel received 30 lashes with the whip and, the letter R was burned into his cheek. He was also forced to work for a year in shackles. More if his master deemed it necessary. The white slaves simply had their indentured servant contract lengthened. At another time, during the same year, 3 slaves ran away 2 white and 1 black. When they were caught the white slaves again had their contracts extended. The Negro slave was forced to work for his master, the rest of his natural life. In 1654 a Negro woman had a baby with Robert Sweat, a white man. She was given whippings at the whipping post. The white man was made to go to the church to do his penance. He was not whipped as she had

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