African American Retribution
As she looked outside to see what all the commotion was about, invaders were raiding her village slaughtering and kidnapping her countrymen and women in front of her eyes (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 13).
By the end of the raid her father, uncle, and other relatives were dead and she and her mother became prisoners Of war. Her apprehender were people from her own country, warrior slaves who invade rival villages and seized captives to trade “to European slave dealers in return for fine fabrics, wines, and weapons” (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 13). Once traded she was branded with her masters logo and shipped like cargo on vessels under intolerable conditions (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 13).Such events occurred millions of times in Africa, resulting in millions of Africans being kidnapped from their homeland and relatives, and then sold and traded like cattle to foreigners. Anne Barrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank, veteran ruinations for The Hartford Currant, indicate that “European ships transported nearly all the estimated 1 1.
5 million Africans sold over three centuries into New World slavery, including the approximately 645,000 sent to the American colonies” (Barrow, Lang, & Frank 2005, p. 5). African slaves were brought to America in 1 619 to help with the production of lucrative crops. In the article Slavery in America”, it is written that “In the early 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants” ( 2011 By 750, nearly a quarter million African slaves populated the mainland colonies of British North America, while 30,000 were held in the southern colonies (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 41).In the article Slavery in America, it is reported that “Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the nevus nation” (“Slavery in America,” 2011). The African Americans who were enslaved by America deserve reparation.
First they deserve reparation because America was built by slavery. African Americans were the primary force in the production of lucrative crops. Secondly, they deserve reparation because of all the horrific experiences they had to endure.Millions of Africans were kidnapped from their homes and land, tortured, brutalized and treated as less than human. Finally, they deserve reparation because other races of people who America enslaved and mistreated receive compensation. Native Americans were enslaved and mistreated to a lesser degree than African Americans and they receive reparation. Slavery played an extremely important role in the construction of the United States.
James Oliver Horton, Professor of American Studies and History at George Washington university, and Lois E.Horton, Professor of History at George Mason University, indicated that “The slave trade and the products created by slaves’ labor, particularly cotton, provided the basis for America’s wealth as a nation, underwriting the country’s industrial revolution and enabling it to project its power into the rest of the world” (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 7). Once the nation started expanding westward, so did slavery increasing the cotton kingdoms of Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, andLouisiana. These states soon became the center of importance for American Slavery (Fonder, 2005). Eric Fonder, a winner of the Bancroft Prize and Francis Parka Prize, and Professor of History at Columbia University and a member of the American Academy of Arts confirmed that as a result of the increase in African American slaves “Cotton production grew from fewer than three thousand bales in 1790 to nearly five million bales on the eve of the Civil War.By then, cotton Was by far the most important export Of the United States” (Fonder, 2005 p.
11). Many of the African American slaves in South Carolina used the knowledge that they brought from the rice growing regions of central Africa, to grow rice in the American colonies for their own consumption. Seeing that it was another cash crop, European settlers began to adopt the process and demand the production of it on a large scale (Horton & Horton, 2005).Authors James Horton and Lois Horton noted Rice became so critical to South Carolina that slaves from rice growing regions of Africa were especially prized. Some traders, realizing the marketing advantage, claimed to be able to supply Africans from what was advertised as he “Rice Coast” in return for premium prices. (Horton & Horton, p. 33) Not only did African Americans helped build America by being the main producers of lucrative crops.
They also helped in the construction of America by changing the ways Americans lived their everyday lives.Authors James Horton and Lois Horton confirm, “The cultural traditions, skills, and sensibilities that Africans brought with them helped shape the lives of all Americans” (2005). The Africans in South Carolina who worked in the rice fields brought the agricultural methods with them that were used in their mom land. They created the large round shallow-sided reed winnowing baskets used in the rice fields of their country. In Virginia the slaves who were ironworker forged the axes and hoes that were used on local farms (Horton & Horton, 2005).African Americans also greatly influenced American cuisine Author James Horton and Lois Horton detailed that Slave cooks introduced African cooking methods and tastes to the American diet, often emphasizing corn in the form Of bread or hoecake, mush, hominy, and roasted ears, stews, fried meat, rice, yams, fruits, and groundnuts were moon in African diets, and when available were enjoyed by African Americans as well. Much of what has become identified as southern cuisine in America had its origins in kitchens presided over by African American cooks.
Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 42) African American slaves deserve reparation because they suffered horrendous circumstances. The way they were treated is shameful. From the time they were abducted and sold, the conditions they were forced to live under were inhumane. Authors Anne Barrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank reported the cruelty, “Upon purchase in Africa, slaves routinely were branded. Their owners mark might be sketched with a hot iron” ( 2005, p. 100).
Additionally conditions which the captured Africans had to endure once they were sold and transported to American were horrific. In a few accounts, slaves documented or were documented telling their horrifying experience of the middle passage to America. Aloud Quinoa an educated African American slave who bought his freedom was the first American slave to write an autobiography about his experience on the middle passage to America: The stench of the hold while we were on the coast was so intolerably toothsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time.The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. (Horton & Horton, 2005, p. 22) Many Africans died on the voyage back to America. Captains of the ship routinely ordered the sick slaves to be thrown overboard out of fear that they may contaminate the whole cargo.
In some instances, the captain would tie a slave to a chair and throw him/her overboard and be said to regret losing the chair (Barrow, Lang, & Frank 2005).Veteran journalist for The Hartford Currant Barrow, Lang, & Frank detailed incidences of actual cannibalism on a slave ship reported in the New-York Gazette in May 1 766: The crew and slave cargo of a sloop bound for North Carolina began to starve after the ship lost its sails and drifted for six weeks. “In want of provisions, they were put to the necessity of eating one of the dead negro children, which so exasperated the Negroes on board that they fell on the crew. (Barrow, Lang, ; Frank 2005, p. 107) The environments that African slaves had to live in once they made it toAmerica were appalling. It is reported that, ‘They were housed in unheated attics and basements, in outbuildings and barns. They often slept on the floor, wrapped in coarse blankets.
They lived under a harsh system of “black codes” that controlled their education, and limited their social contacts. ” (Barrow, Lang, & Frank 2005, p. 63) The natural tendency of slavery was to convert the master into tyrant, and the slave into a victim of tyranny (Bordering, 2005, p. 14). In any incident in which a slave would threaten his/her master, the punishment would be severe Versus M.Bordering, writer for New York Times, Smithsonian, American Heritage, Atlantic Monthly, and Reader’s Digest and author of Killing the White Man’s Indian and My Mother’s Ghost detailed the punishment of a slave who did such a thing: For a slave to lift his hand “against the sacred temple of a white man’s body/’ even in in self-defense, was an act of rebellion. Slaves from surrounding plantations were ordered to witness his punishment for their “moral improvement.
” One hundred lashes were laid on by a local blacksmith, fifty lashes at a time.Bleeding and faint, the victim was then held p against the whipping post and his right ear fastened to it with a “tack. ” The blacksmith then sliced the ear off with a knife, to the sound of cheers from the crowd. (Bordering, 2005, p. 1 2) Slave masters had to develop different strategies to punish their slaves and in some situations the punishment did not fit the crime. Since slaves could not be fired, fined or jailed without losing the value of their work the slave owners had to turn to physical punishment as a resort (Bordering, 2005, p. 23).
Versus M. Bordering detailed a few incidents in which a slave was being disobedient and needed to be punished In the late 1 sass William Dunbar, a sophisticated Mississippi settler condemned two runaways to five hundred lashes each, spaced out over time, and to “carry a chain ; log fix to the ankle. In 1 736 a Methodist minister heard a South Carolina slave owner recommend that one ‘first nail up a Negro by the ears, then ordered him to be whipped in the severest manner, and then to have scalding water thrown over him. (Bordering, 2005, p. 4) Finally African Americans deserve reparation because other ethnicity groups who were mistreated receive reparation what is done for one group should e done for the other. Native Americans were mistreated by the united States, unlike African Americans they receive reparation. Until the sass’s Native Americans were a significant proportion of slave labor on southern plantations working alongside African Americans (Purdue, 2009).
The Colonists, however, feared an uprising between the two groups, so they worked to divide them by employing Indians as slave catchers and terrifying African slaves with the tales of Indian savagery (Purdue, 2009).Eventually Native Americans were freed from slavery and granted their own and and other forms of reparation in America. The Cherokee Nation signed a treaty with the United States at the end of the civil war granting the ex-slaves, or “Freedmen”, “all the rights of Native Cherokees” (Hirsch, 2009, pig. 118). Mark Hirsch stated in the book Indivisible Thousands of former slaves received citizenship in the Cherokee Nation after the Civil War. These citizen Freedman enjoyed the right to farm tribal lands as well as vote in tribal elections and hold tribal office. Ender the Treaty of 1866, Freedman who resided in Cherokee territory before the war, and who remained there in 866, were to be considered citizens.
Cherokee Freedmen living outside the nation were granted six months to return to claim tribal citizenship” (Hirsch, 2009, pig. 118). Some Southern States began to provide schools for Native Americans. In the sass’s an Indian school system was established for the Mississippi Choctaws, Alabama-Cutthroats, and the South Carolina Castaway’s (Purdue, 2009, pig. 26).Richard Leister a Washington Correspondent stated in his article Native Americans regain land “The United States Government has promised to return more than 3,000 sq km of desert land to a Native American tribe. The government had promised in 1 882 that native people in Utah would own the area for all time” (Leister, 2000).
Some feel African Americans are not entitled to reparation because they are not native to American. However, African Americans were forced from their homeland, mistreated, slaughtered, and enslaved on an extremely larger scale than Native Americans. African Americans were even enslaved by Native Americans.Michael Couscous stated in his Article Native American Slavery “By the 19th century, many Native American peoples, most famously the Cherokees, embraced racial slavery and began to own African American slaves” (Couscous, 2007). Others feel that African Americans were better off in the United States than they were in Africa so they do not deserve reparation. This is simply not true. In their homeland, they were free people, free to pursue their traditional lifestyle established centuries before.
In America, they Were tortured, and forced to work countless hours without pay just so this country can be what it is today.Authors Anne Barrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frank reported that “Slaves became so depressed they had to be forced to exercise and sometimes even to eat” (2005, pig. 107). In conclusion African Americans deserve reparation for what America did to them. First they deserve reparation because America was built by slavery. African Americans helped bulled this country in many ways. Secondly, they deserve reparation because of all the horrific experiences they had to endure.
African American were enslaved and mistreated for hundreds of years in America. Lastly, they mistreated receive compensation.If one group receives reparation so should the other. The great late Martin Luther King stirred the hearts of Americans lack and white, with his hope for America. Like Martin Luther King have a dream. I have a dream that one day American will stand up and take responsibility for all the hundreds of years that millions of African Americans were slaughtered tortured and enslaved. I have a dream.