African Americans in the United States Essay

2178 WordsMar 18, 20159 Pages
African Americans in the United States Martin Luther King once said "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." (Casper, 349). Having been once free people in Africa, the arrival of blacks to America was a treacherous one. From the foundation of this country, African American people have endured many struggles. Though it was a hard journey to freedom, African Americans found strength in their struggles, pride in their culture, and most importantly proved to be equally deserving of the American title. Before America became a nation of its own, black slavery was adopted in Virginia around 1619. By 1865, there were over 15 million black slaves in America (Lecture 2). The influx of black slaves in the New World came as a result of unfair negotiations between Europe and Africa in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The enactment of various laws specifically targeting blacks fully enabled slavery based on race by early 1700's and continued until the 1800's. However, for many Americans slavery was no longer an acceptable norm by the 1800's. The slow journey towards freedom had begun at the turn of the century. The first event in US politics to make a change in slavery was the banning of the African slave trade. This however, did not impede slavery from expanding in the South. Since the South was heavily reliant on cheap labor for its agricultural economy, slavery was made hereditary. Tensions between the North (who's economy was industrial) and the South rose, as the North did not share the South's pro-slavery views. In the Missouri Compromise of 1820, congress abolished slavery in the northern states while allowing the southern states to remain slave states. In 1854, the Missouri Compromise was annulled by the Kansas-Nebraska Act which gave states the right to decide

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