By: Stephanie Copenhaver
African Americans in the United States have suffered immeasurably. It started in 1619 when the first slaves were shipped to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia to work for whites in fields producing tobacco. For over 240 years they worked as slaves until 1865 when the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution brought an end to the slavery.
Many men and women were taken from their homes and put on large ships and subjected to brutal and animal like conditions. Many women were raped and even killed before they got to the United States. Many were not fed or just water and very minimal food. Many children were removed from their parents and sold to whites to work in homes doing such things as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the white women and their children. In 1831, a slave named Nat Turner led an uprising of other slaves that killed sixty whites and then he was caught and executed. When the Civil war began, slaves outnumbered whites about four to one. In 1857, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court declared that a black man had no rights which a white man was bound to respect. There were almost four million slaves in bondage throughout the south in 1861. The one’s that fought for freedom were denied the right to register to vote and some were beaten or killed while attempting to do so. They were also forbidden to share the same spaces, such as schools, public transportation and recreational facilities as whites. There were also measures taken to prohibit African Americans from living near whites. In 1863, there was approximately 180,000 free blacks and escaped slaves that served in the Union Army and Navy. Also, in 1863 War Dept General Order 143 sanctioned the creation of the United States Colored Troops and thousands volunteered to fight for their country and their race. In 1865 slavery was abolished forever in America but the...