Slavery in America, particularly in the Southern region, was heavily depended upon due to the high demand for labor. Historically, slaves were primarily blacks but race did not become an issue until 1650, when Virginia and Maryland claimed that infidel (non Christian) slaves could be enslaved for life. Following this claim, non-whites became a target for slavery. In 1739, a group of rebellious slaves paraded towards Georgia and Florida, and killed several whites at Stono, South Carolina. After these white killings, slave codes were implemented to end rebellion and restrict mobility.
From the 1600s, African Americans were treated as slaves for white people. They had a very difficult life in their way of living. In 1861 the north were against having slaves, but the south wanted to allow slavery. Then the Civil War between the North and South began. Finally, the North won, and the slaves became free.
They were forced to walk in chains; slaves were sold, starved, and left to die. Once the slaves were sold, they were whipped, and their minds were corrupted. In America, the Southern states were dependent on the slaves. However, there were men that were arising in the United States finding that slavery was wrong. As a result, States created their own constitutions about abolishing slavery.
Since the beginning of American history, African Americans have had to deal with outright mistreatment and inferiority within society. During slavery, African Americans were completely stripped of their basic civil rights and liberties; they were not considered to be human. During the Civil Rights Movement, although African Americans had gained their freedom nearly a century ago, they still were not treated with dignity and respect, forced to advocate for the rights given to them as citizens of the United States. Because of the racism African Americans experienced, leaders such as David Walker and Martin Luther King organized efforts to help African Americans gain more respect and inclusion in American society. Both leaders had significant influence during the time in which they lived, directly addressing the oppressors and their actions against African Americans.
The end of slavery saw the rise of the Black Codes in the South. The Black Codes sought to limit the freedom and employ African Americans for low wage labor. It was slavery with a different name. Johnson failed to put an end to the Black Codes and anything that aided the African simply because he had the same views as those who passed the codes. After all, Johnson was once a slaveholder himself.
The Reconstruction Era was a fourteen-year period in which the South rejoined the Union after the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. The Southern states’ dependency upon slave labor left their economy in ruins. In addition, the social constructs of The South were diminished as well; southern white society now had to interact with individuals they once oppressed. Charles Chestnut’s, “The Marrows of Tradition”, dives into southern aristocracy highlighting the unjust execution of the law and the twisted interpretations of “Impartiality”. Due to the fact the Wellington society dwelled on Impartiality, newly freed blacks had to encounter all types of prejudices, each one masked deeper by the newly constructed attitude towards African Americans.
In his life narrative, Frederick Douglass describes the economic system of slavery as needing the alienation of black Americans from their own identity to continue to function, where the slaves can see their oppression but cannot reject the one thing that they know. Karl Marx in Wage Labor and Capital explains the capitalist system as requiring the alienation of the working class from themselves, others and their work to keep the system going, so that the working class remains oblivious to the system they provide for. Despite their different views on whether their respective economic systems can be perceived, Douglass in his life narrative and Marx in his essay Wage Labor and Capital similarly view their economic systems as unsustainable because
After the brutal history of the American Civil War, the aftermath of racism was still a major issue. During the 1940-1950s, the South adopted a law system that allowed white supremacists to legally commit violent acts on previously enslaved African Americans. These laws, known as Jim Crow laws, enforced segregation, but were not legalized in the northern states. Unfortunately, many white citizens still socially accepted segregation and made it difficult for African Americans to live equally among them. In Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, an African American family known as the Youngers experience “societal implications” of segregation in Chicago, Illinois, and the threats as well as harassments that followed.
Blues music was created by African Americans in the deep South during the 19th century. One of the main characteristics of blues music that separates the blues from other musical genres is that blues themes are more than often based on personal adversity. One popular blues theme is traveling. When the theme of traveling comes to mind, adversity may not be the first thing one thinks of; however, traveling was historically used as a tool to oppress African Americans in the United States. During the years of slavery, it was common practice to deny African Americans the right to travel or to force African Americans to travel between unfamiliar plantations.