Racism in America

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Racism / Pages: 13 (3070 words) / Published: Mar 5th, 2002
Racism has taken on several forms in America over the past several hundred years. The most substantial or well known is the plight of the African American slaves and the injustices they suffered. Today, a new form of racism is developing; one that has always been around but has now entered the forefront of most Americans minds. This new racism is against members of the Middle Eastern culture and religion. The actions of September 11th have not created a new problem, they have just shed light on a problem that we have had for some time. Racism is everywhere in one form or another. To understand it, I think it is necessary to look at the history, causes, and ways to resolve it in detail.

HISTORY Between 1450 and 1850, at least 12 million Africans were shipped from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean — the notorious Middle Passage — primarily to colonies in North America, South America and the West Indies. Eighty percent of these kidnapped Africans were transported during the 18th century. Ten percent to 20 percent of them died en route.
Unknown numbers of Africans, probably at least 4 million, died in slave wars and forced marches in Africa. In 1619, a Dutch slave trader exchanged his cargo of Africans for food in Jamestown. The Africans became indentured servants, similar in legal position to many poor Englishmen who traded several years of labor for passage to America. The race-based slave system did not develop until the 1680s. In 1638 an African man could be sold for about $27 and

serve his entire life as a slave. In contrast, an indentured European laborer could earn as much as 70 cents a day toward paying off his debt and ending his servitude. In 1660 the trans-Atlantic slave trade begins, producing one of the largest forced migrations in history. From the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries, between 10 million and 11 million Africans were taken from their homes.
The American colonies began enacting laws that defined and regulated slave relations,



Cited: Spring, Joel.Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality.McGraw Hill: Boston, 2001.

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