Drawing the Color Line

Topics: Slavery, Africa, Black people Pages: 2 (856 words) Published: December 11, 2010
Drawing the Color Line

Drawing the Color Line by Howard Zinn the second chapter from A People’s history of the United States. The authors writes this chapter to explain racism and how it started, “a continent were we can trace the coming of the first whites and the first blacks-might supply at least a few clues” he wants to use history to try to explain why it started. In this chapter Howard Zinn gives us an insight on Slavery and racism in the early 17th century of America. This chapter does not only tell us why slavery accrued but how it happened. The author Howard Zinn tells us how the Americans were simple prone to having slaves because of the circumstances they faced in the early 17th century. It was a period of starvation Howard Zinn tells us that “ the Virginians of 1619 were desperate for labor, to grow food to stay alive“. Among these people were also the survivors of the 1609-1610 the “starving time“. This was a period of time were the colonist were desperate for food and would do anything for example they “dug up graves to eat the corpses”. Another incidents was when a man slew his wife and cute her into many pieces and fed upon her till he had eaten everything but her head. This was caused because many of the settlers weren’t used to working and didn’t even know how. They didn’t want to work, there was a time were john smith had to force the colonist to work in the fields just to be able to survive.

The need for labor led the colonist to believe that Black slaves were the answer , it was natural to consider imported black slaves because by 1619 a million slaves had already been brought from Africa to South America. They were confined bellow deck all together, with no space at all. They weren’t even able to turn to the side. The smell on the ship was horrible. It was so bad that the slaves jumped ship to drown. The slaves would be held in cages and would be chained together. Blacks slaves were the answer because they couldn’t get the Indians to...
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