Racial Reparations

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Brandi Holbrook
Sociology 210
23 April 2012
Racial Reparations
“Logically, if someone deserves reparation then necessarily someone has acted wrongly and harmed or injured him as a result (Boxill).” Without any question, African Americans are a group that over many years has been acted wrongly against. Thomas Jefferson was one of the first people to come up with the idea of giving reparations to black slaves, and the idea was soon ended by Thaddeus Stevens who said that blacks deserve these reparations, but even if reparations were given, it would just not be enough. Slavery originated in Jamestown, Virginia when a Dutch ship brought twenty Africans to the shore allowing slavery to quickly spread among the nation. They were originally brought to America to aid in the production of certain crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo plantations. Through the 17th and 18th century, slavery was practiced throughout American colonies and these African American slaves helped build the economic foundation of a new nation. When the cotton gin was invented in 1793, slavery became an important, if not crucial part to the economy in the South. “Though the U.S. Congress outlawed the African slave trade in 1808, the domestic trade flourished, and the slave population in the U.S. nearly tripled over the next 50 years. By 1860 it had reached nearly 4 million, with more than half living in the cotton-producing states of the South (History Channel).”

At this time in history, slaves were accounted for one-third of the South’s population. Slave owners made it their job to make sure that their slaves were completely dependent on them. Slaves were not allowed to read or write, and marriage between slaves did not have a legal basis. Many slave owners also took sexual liberties with slave women and made them perform behaviors as “favors” to the master. Slaves were forced to work long hours in high temperatures without an adequate amount of food. Not only were they seen as inhuman,...
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