Our Nation's History of Racial Relations

Topics: Slavery, United States, African American Pages: 2 (804 words) Published: May 3, 2013
The TRUE nature of our country’s history of racial relations regarding the required readings for this week, were a little hard to read. I would have to say that they were sad to think about how historically our nation treated people. I will discuss Christopher Columbus and his journey of being a harsh slave dealer, American slavery, and the injustice of America in terms of slavery and segregation.

Columbus Day is a recognized holiday promoting patriotism, not viewing Christopher Columbus’s unjust ways. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. (Howard, Zinn, 1980/2005). It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. (Zinn, 1980/2005). However, I was appalled at the information that I read regarding Columbus and his unjust ways of slavery. Our educational systems now-a-days teach how Columbus was a man of discovery and I cannot recall learning about all of his outright wrong behavior. Columbus reported that the Indians “are so naïve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed then would believe it.” (Zinn, 1980/2005). Instead of being a man of God that he so proclaimed to be, he used their naïve ways to take over and not encourage faith.

Our American history of slavery is and was a long battle of true American rights. The readings that were required for this week touch on a lot of poetry from slaves themselves. Robert Hayden wrote “Runagate Runagate”, in this poem he spoke about the underground slavery system that helped to free slaves of their owners. He wrote “before I be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave”, this statement is a powerful one that I find to be a true testimony of how life would have been for slaves. (Robert Hayden). The slavery portion of our history stems back hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Leaving our nation’s history to be a sad tale of death, murder, and segregation....

References: Robert Hayden: “Runagate Runagate” [poem on a fugitive slave]: retrieved from:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237678
Langston Hughes: (I, Too, Sing America; 1932; poem): retrieved from:
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15615
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963): retrieved from:
http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
Dudley Randall: “Ballad of Birmingham” (poem): retrieved from:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175900
Howard Zinn: A People’s History of the United States, Chapter 1: Columbus, The Indians, and Human Progress (1980/2005): retrieved from:
http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html
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