By Emmy Heltzel
Professor Susan Bunger
Soc 450 America is a country that was taken from the Native Americans and colonized by immigrants from all over the world. It claims to be a melting pot where people of all different races, ethnicities, and religions will be accepted with open arms. It is seemingly touted as somewhat of a utopia where all people can come and be treated fairly and they will be given an opportunity to achieve the “American Dream”. There is just one little problem with that dream, and that is the discrimination, prejudice, and racism that is very much alive and well in America. Some people would have you believe that racism is a non-issue for Americans in the new millennium, but I assure you that racism is as prevalent as ever. There are several different racial and ethnic groups that are currently powerless in American society. However, there is one powerless racial group in particular that I believe bears the brunt of the racism in this country, and that is the African Americans. In order to look at the racism and prejudice against African Americans today, I feel it is important to take a look at the history of how Africans were brought to America and their journey throughout the centuries leading up to today. According to a narrative titled “The Terrible Transformation”, As the European explorers were on their way to America, they also traveled to Africa. While in Africa in the mid 1400’s, the European explorers, specifically the Portuguese, were hoping to find gold and take it back to their country to expand their wealth. When the Portuguese explorers arrived back to their country they brought not only gold back, but they also brought with them Africans that were to become slaves. This marked the beginning of the European’s African slave trading (The Terrible Transformation). The narrative illustrates that the Portuguese explorer’s initial intentions were to set up a trading post for trading
References: Wood, Peter H. The Terrible Transformation. A Narrative of Africans in America. Retrieved on April 30, 2011 from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1narr2.html Becker, Eddie. (1999). Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism. Retrieved on April 29, 2011 from http://www.innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html Davis, Ronald L. F. Slavery in America: Historical Overview. Retrieved on April 29, 2011 from http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/history/hs_es_overview.htm King, Martin L Jr. (1963). I Have a Dream Speech. Retrieved April 30, 2011 from http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html Tran, Song-My. (2005). Professor Says Racism is Still Alive in the United States. The Daily Californian Power Points from March 14, 2011, provided by Professor Bunger.