Reperations

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Ian O'Dell
3/8/13
Introduction to African American Studies
I believe
Tom Olds

African Americans have been fighting for their freedom and for their rights in America since 1783. African slaves were brought over to America on white European ships like cattle and were sold as property to the highest bidder instead of being thought of as people. Now that it’s the 21st century, and slavery no longer exists, people have started looking into what has been done to repay those four million African Americans who were enslaved to help increase the economic status of America. The Native American Indians and the Japanese-Americans have both received reparations from the government for the treatment they received when kicked off their native lands or in intern camps during World War II. So, shouldn’t there be something done to repay African American for their enslavement? Upon being freed former slaves were promised forty acres and a mule by William Sherman as reparations, just to have it rescinded by the next president a few years later, Andrew Johnson.

Now that African Americans are free and have the same rights and opportunities as white Americans, many people have begun to look at what was ever done for the African American slaves. When dealing with this subject, the two biggest questions that arise are: "Should African Americans be given reparations," and “Why pay African Americans reparations?"

I believe that African Americans should be paid reparations for three reasons, one being the fact that African Americans were slaves for over 250 years. This was more than 250 years of forced hard slave labor. Slaves were rarely paid and when paid it was in something other than money so that they could not save up and gain wealth. Once freed, slaves became sharecroppers and barely received payment then. Originally freed slaves were promised forty acres of land and a mule as reparations for slavery, but this order was withdrawn in 1869 by Andrew Johnson resulting in...
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