March 11, 2012
The Challenges African Americans Faced In America
African Americans had a turbulent history in the United States ever since they were brought to the country as slaves. “Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. (Slavery in America, 2012) During the 17th and 18th centuries, slavery was practiced throughout most of the American colonies. (Slavery in America, date). During these times, the amount of slaves that were brought to America enormous and could possibly be near the 10 million mark in the 16th century. “Why did European settlers need slaves to begin with?” Well, these settlers thought that slaves could be a “cheaper, more plentiful source of organized labor than poorer Europeans.” (Slavery in America, 2012) Some of the duties of slave were to work as sharecroppers by harvesting crops on farms owned by their respective owners. Some of the crops these slaves had to pick were cotton, tobacco, rice, beans, and indigo. African slaves had no rights of their own and were considered to be property of their owners. Slaves were forbidden to learn how to read or write, leave their owner’s vicinity with the owner’s permission, or to refuse to complete any orders from their owners. If a slave decided to rebel, stand up to their owners, or fail to complete a task, the slave would be severely punished by being physical beaten, sexually abused, or have their family members sold to other slave owners. Slaves were treated this way for a number of decades and eventually become an inflammatory issue between the northern and southern states, which would lead to the Civil War. During the war, President Abraham Lincoln had a view that slaves should be free to live their own lives. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation...