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The Origin of African American Oppression

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Introduction

Initially, the African Americans were known as the Negros in America. These were the descendants of Africans captured as slaves or prisoners of war from the African countries by the American and Arab traders. During the early 1660’s, most Africans from the West and Central Africa were kidnapped and taken to America to work on the farms and as domestic workers.  The captives worked under harsh environments. The Americans mistreated them, and this led to the emergence of ‘African-America Oppression’.

Origin of African American Oppression                                                                                                                                                                               

Finkelman (2006) observes that the African American oppression started due to the slave trade. It is believed the first Africans arrived in America at around 1619. At this time, only 19 Africans originated from the West African countries. They were taken to America to be servants, but not slaves. After several years of working, Americans discovered the Africans had the potential to give the best output and; thus, led to a high demand for more Africans. Consequentially, more Africans were captured forcefully from mostly the West and Central African countries. Some slaves were also kidnapped from the East African countries and Madagascar.  Finkelman (2006) indicates that ten million Africans were transported to the Western countries as slaves. During this time, most slaves were taken to other countries as only 3% were ferried to America. As slaves taken to countries like Trinidad died due to poor climatic conditions, the ones in America survived, as medical services were provided. The Africans worked under extremely harsh climatic conditions under their whites’ masters. They were taken to the plantations of coffee, sugarcane and tobacco. Despite the fact that slaves had their own rights, they were not paid their wages. The rise in output from the Americans’ farms led to high demand for the slaves. As at 1700, the highest number of slaves was experienced in America. Research asserts that, by 1700, there were 25,000 slaves of the African origin. That was not a small number, as it was roughly 3% of the total American population. These were the descendants of the slaves taken to Trinidad and Tobago. Some were imported from Africa. Considering this high number of the Africans, it was now open that they were in America as slaves. They resided in coffee plantations and the Port cities. They formed their own traditions and cultures as their numbers escalated. By 1750, there were more than 50,000 Africans living under slavery.

Civil rights movements against oppression of African Americans

Africans were now officially known as slaves in America. They were oppressed and denied various rights. Among the things denied, was access to quality education. An African child could not attend the same school with Americans. They also could not use the same road with Whites. This led to numerous uprisings opposing slavery and oppression of the African Americans. According to West and Glaude (2003), in 1773, a woman of African American descent wrote a book condemning the oppression of the Africans. She was the first African to take the step. This was followed by a revolution, in 1787, when North America banned slavery.  West and Glaude (2003) also assert that the Northern American constitution condemned slavery and anyone found could be accused of going against human rights.

Later on in Virginia, an African slave against slavery organized a radical revolt. The laws of Virginia could not entertain this and thus led to hanging of the rebels. More other revolts were organized against this act of oppression. At around 1808, the Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa. Several states followed suit and banned slavery. Some African and America preachers also rose to condemn slavery as an evil act against fellow human. After a long fight, revolution was experienced in America and marked the end of slavery.

How Civil Rights movements incorporated oppression

However, the emergence of the civil rights movements was meant to abolish the oppression the African Americans, at some point this happened to be ironical. As revolts were organized, many Africans were arrested and punished for that, thus; oppressed. It even went to the extent of them being hanged by the Whites. The formation of the civil movement seemed to be more harm than of help. The civil movement also signed treaties that affected the African America. The treaties led to elongation of the slavery period as there were disagreements between the leaders of the civil society and the Federal government. The civil movement did not want the Federal government to end the slavery, as they preferred the states to do it. This incorporated the oppression of the African Americans because the Federal government could not agree with them. At some point, the Federal government even threatened to use force to against the States. Notably, the civil rights movements also incorporated oppression of the African American.

In conclusion, African American oppression began in 1619 when the first blacks arrived in America, to work as servants of the Whites. This led to importation of more Africans to the West to work in the farms and as domestic workers. Most of them died due to unfavorable climatic conditions. They lived under harsh conditions, and this led to revolutions later by anti-slavery groups and the Africans. Eventually slavery was banned in America after protests, and the meeting of the Congress.

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