African American Studies

Topics: Slavery, Indentured servant, Slavery in the United States Pages: 3 (1123 words) Published: April 24, 2014

In regards to the subject of slavery being based on racism or economic necessity, I think that slavery was based on economic necessity. When the slaves were first brought to Virginia in 1619 they were not traded because of their skin but because the boats carrying the slaves was on a shortage of food, because of this reason the ship traded slaves for food and supplies. According to “From Indentured Servitude to Racial Slavery” “In the early years of the colony, many Africans and poor whites-- most of the labors came from the English working class-- stood on the same ground. Black and white men and women worked side-by-side in the fields. Black and white men who broke their servant contract were equally punished.” This shows that both whites and blacks worked together on equal grounds without discrimination based on skin color, the only discrimination that there might have been was the discrimination of being poor. It was later that skin color was used like a leash. “Historically, the English only enslaved non-Christians, and not, in particular, Africans.” This quote shows that even back in time people were enslaved because they were not a certain religion, it does not describe being enslaved because you were a certain color. Even the Incas of Peru enslaved people of defeated tribes and used them as workers or as sacrifice for their sun god. People have enslaved each other even before the word racism came into play. Also from “Indentured Servitude to Racial Slavery” it described how “ All were indentured servants. During their time as servants, they were fed and housed. Afterwards, they would be given what were known as “freedom dues,” which usually included a piece of land and supplies, including a gun. Black-skinned or white-skinned, they became free” the telling of this displays that freedom was possible and when freed you weren’t thrown out into the world without anything, at least you had a piece...
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