African American racism have violation to
person’s right to live freely in the way they want. Enslaving another person
for your own benefit reduces the man’s freedom. Treatment was considered in
term of brutality, degradation and inhumanity.
African American racism started in America in
the middle of 16th century. Most of them were brought to America unwillingly
and forcefully to be as slaves and laborers. Moreover, they were treated
cruelly and partially due to their racial background and differences. Usually
there are some terms used to call these people which are “colored”
and “Negro.” Nowadays, the accepted term to call them formally is
Most African Americans are descended from
Africans. They were captured as prisoners and captives during African wars.
Then they were transported and sold as slaves to different regions in Atlantic
slave trade. On the slave ships, the slaves were separated from their families
and sorted according to their genders so that it was easy to be under control.
There were no space and it was the most crowded place they had experienced. Due
to the poor condition of living, lack of hygiene, and malnourishment, death was
commonly seen during that time. It usually took about 6 months before they were
transported to European masters’ plantations. Commonly, male slaves were the
target of labor force as they could handle hardship. After they reached
the destination, they were completely cut off from their families and community
The largest source of slave was West Africa.
They were brought into mining and agricultural industries. Most of them
came from various tribes with different customs, religions, and languages. They
were experiencing difficulty and hardship to adjust themselves to their new
ways of living.
The brutal treatment was commonly seen during this period of
time. It was often inhumane. Slaves were usually
punished by whipping, beating, raping, and imprisonment when they disobeyed the
order of masters. The slaveholders feared of slave rebellion so they tried to
show their power and cruelty. As a result, the slaves were scared to oppose or
escape from them. Male slaves were usually physically abused while
female slaves were sexually abused by white men. Children from black women were
automatically considered as slaves, no matter what their fathers’ races or
Working conditions of slaves were worsened
because they had to work overtime. They had to work from sunrise to sunset and
normally every day. There were rarely any owners who gave them a day off. They
highly expected slaves to work all the time in order to yield higher
productivity. Furthermore, slaves needed
to build their own houses. They lived crowdedly as many as ten people sharing a
hut. There were no facilities for them at all. On the other hand, their daily
food were lack of nutrition and hygiene. Most owners didn’t spend much money on
the slaves’ food. They needed to eat leftover, fatty meat, and cornbread.
Furthermore, owners provided the low quality of medical treatment for slaves
because they thought these slaves were not worth anything. These poor
conditions of living led to sickness, weakness, plagues, and death.
Most slaveholders tried to minimize the risk that slaves could
escape by locking them away from the outside world. As a result, slaves were
prohibited to perform any religious ceremonies in order to avoid communication
and gathering among them which could result in rebellion and escape. All slaves
and their children were lack of educational opportunities.
There were many white people who believed that their doings
weren’t wrong. The color of their white skin represented the superiority and
more power than the black. The thought that another person is less than human
because of their color, religion, language, custom and place of birth make them
become dictatorial. Black color could be counted as inferiority, dirt and evil.
These believes caused racism. Different races should be separated apart from