Blacks in America
The early history of Blacks in the World
History, as thaught in the Western and Western-dominated world, gives the impression that the first Africans to reach the Americans were bought as slaves, in shackles on slaves-ships. So total is the Euro-Americans onslaught on black people that all military, missionary, scholarship, academic forces are mobilized to paint the picture of theAfrican as an eternal slave of the white man.
In order to justify their crimes of slavery and colonialism, Eurpeans have constructed a web of lies and prevarications and passed them as historical truth. How else do we explain the Western historians deliberate distortionof the truth to paint the picture of a Caucasian master and an African slave - even in the Americas, where evidence abounded that black people were respected, even venerated, by the old Americans (Occidental Indians) ?
So complete was the Europeans falsification of history that serveral people, both black and white, will be shocked to know that there were historical, archaelogical, even botanical evidence of Africans contact with the New World in Pre-Colombian times. As usual, Western scholarship popularizedthe myth that the history of the Indians started with their `discovery´,by the pirate, ego-tripster and genius of mass-murder, Christpher Columbus.
Happily, one by one, these edifices of disortions, constructed by white-supremacists posing as scholars, historians, anthroplogists, even scientist, are being knocked down.
In his They Came Before Columbus, Professor Ivan Van Sertima of Rutgers University assembled an impressive array of evidence to challenge one of the most persistent of these historical distortions. His argument are so compelling that very many high-calibre scholars, who have maintained the prejudiced line of history, are bound to fall flat from their pedestal.
The first evidence of a black presence in the American was given to Columbus by the Indians themselves: they gave concrete proof to the Spanish that the were trading with black people. _The Indians of this Espanola said there had come to Espanola a black people who have the tops of their spears made of a metal which they called gua-nin, of which he (Columbus) had sent samples to the Sovereigns to have them assayed, when it was foundthat of 32 parts, 18 were of gold, 6 of silver and 8 of copper. The origin of the word guanin may be tracked down in the Mande languages of West Africa, through Mandigo, Kabunga, Toronka, Kankanka, Banbara, Mande and Vei. In Vei, we have the form of the word ka-ni which, transliterated into native phonetics, would give us gua-nin._ This was just one of the numerous instances, cited by Professor Sertima, where the names, cultures and rituals of the Mandigos confluenced with those of the ancient Americans.
Thus we have the Bambara werewolf cult whose head is known as amantigi (Heads of faith) appeared in Mexican rituals as amanteca. The ceremonies accompanying these rituals are too identical to have been independently evolved among peoples who have had no previous encounter. Talking devil is called Hore in Mandigo and Hare in Carib. In the American language of Nahuatl a waistcloth is called maxtli, in Malinke it´s masiti. The female loincloth in nagua in Mexico, it is nagba in Mande.
Why would the Indians claimed to have traded with black people if they haven´t? Why would their faith and language have so much infusion of West African influence if these people haven´t had any contact? These might not be sufficient, in themselves, to justify the claims that Africans have been visiting the Americans in pre-Colombian times. But where are witness. In 1513 Vasco Nunez de Balboa, another Spanish usurper came ipon a group of African war captives in an Indian settlement. He was told that the blacks lived nearby and were constantly waging wars. A priest, Fray Greorgia Garcia wrote an account of another encounter in a book that was silenced by the inquistition: _Here we found slaves of the lord - Negroes - who were the first our people saw in the Indies._ (It should be noted that in pre- European slavery, slves are what we called ´Prisoners of wars´today. Thus, the Yorubas have the same name, ERU, for both slaves and POWs.)
The history of Blacks in America
The first Africans in the new world arrived with Spanish and Portugese explores and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slaves, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a dutch man-of-war to settlers at Jamestown. Others were brought in increasing numbers to fill the desires of labor in a land where land was plentiful and labor was scarce. By the end of the 17th century, more than 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000 with another 1,800,000 ariving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in the North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland.
The earliest African arrivals were viewed the same way as indentured servants from Europe. This similarity did not long continue. By the later half of the 17th century, clear differences existed in the treatment of black and white servants. A 1662 Virginia law assumed Africans would remain servants for life, and a 1667 act declared that _Baptisme doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedome._ By 1740, slavery system in colonial America was fully developed. A virginia law in that year declared slaves to be _chattel personel in the hands of their owners and possessors...for all intents, construction and purpose whatsoever._
The principle by which persons of African ancestry were considered the personal property of others prevailed in North America for almost two-thirds of the three and a half centuries since the first Americans arrived there. Ist influences increased even though the English colonies won independence and articulated national ideals directly in opposition to slavery. In spite of numerous ideological conflicts, however, the slavery system was maintained in the United States until 1865, and widespread antiblack attidudes nurtured by slavery continued thereafter.
Prior to the American Revelution, slavery existed in all the colonies. The ideals of the revelution and the limited profitability of slavery in the North resulted in ist abandonment in northern states during the last quarter of the 18th century. At the same time the strenghth of slavery increased in the South, with the continuing demand for cheap labor by the tabacco growers and cotton farmers of the southern states. By 1850, 92 percent of all American blacks were concentrated in the south, and of this group approximately 95 percent were slaves. Life on plantations was not easy, and the cultural traditions of blacks were given no consideration. In the slave market men were separated from their wives, and frequently children were taken from their mothers. Family and tribal links were immediately cut. Fifty percent of the slaves were owned by 10 percents of the 385,000 slave holders. This concentration within a limited number of agricultural space had many effects on the lives of blacks. Under the plantation system gang labor was the typical form of employment. Overseers were harsh as a matter of general practice, and brutality was not uncommon. Punishment was given out by the owner´s decision. Slaves could own no property unless sanctioned by a slave master, and rape of a female slave was not considered as a crime except as it represented trespassing on another´s property. Slaves could not present evidence in court against whites. Housing, food, and clothing were of very poor quality and not fit to work in. Owners reinforced good behavior not by rewards but by punishment of misbehaviors. In most of the South, it was illigal to teach a black to read or write.
All southern states passed slave codes to control slaves and opposition. Outbreaks of opposition did occur, however, including the Prosser and Bowler Revolt of 1800, the revolt led by Denmark Vesey in 1822, Nat Turner´s rebillion in 1831, and numbers of smaller uprisings. As a result, the substance and the enforcement of repressive laws against blacks became more severe. Blacks were forbidden to carry any arms or to gather in numbers except in the presence of a white person.Free blacks whether living in the North or South, were confronted with attitudes and actions that differed little from those facing Southern black slaves. Discrimination existet in most social and economical activities as well as in voting and education. In 1857 the Dred Scott V. Sandfort case of the U.S. supreme court placed the authority of the Constitution behind decisions made by states in the treatment of blacks. The Dred Scott decision was that black Americans, even if free, were not intended to be under the word citizen as defined in the Declarationof Independence and could, therefore, claim none of the rights and priviledges provided for in that document. Blacks responded to their treatment under slavery in a variety of ways. In addition to personssuch as Prosser, Vesey and Turner, who openly opposed the slave system, thousands of blacks escaped from slavery and moved to the northern United States or Canada. Others sought ways to retain somesense of individuality and retain theit African heritage under difficult circumstances. Still other acceptedthe images of themselves that white America sought to project onto them. The result in some cases was the _Uncle Tom_ or _Sambo_ personality, the black who accepted his or her position as evidence that whites were superior to blacks.
In spite of the absence of legal status and the adverse of the domestic slave trade, the black family retained ist traditional role in ordering the relations between adults and children. Much religious activity among slaves reflected the influences of African religious practices and served as a means by which slaves could develope and promote views of themselves different frome those held by their owner. Outside the South, blacks established separate churches and, eventually, blacks within Protestantism, including many black Baptist churches. Another early religious effort was the African Methodist Episcopal Church, initially called the Free American Society, which was founded 1787 in Philadelphia by Richard Allen.
Blacks between the Civil War and After
The issue of slavery appeared in National politics from the start of the nation. The Missouri Compromise was an act to prohibit slavery north of Missouri. In the 1850´s the issue further divided the nation along regional lines. But both proslavery and antislavery included antiblack attitudes. Besides Abolitionists, Northern options were that slavery posed a danger to free labor than the moral issue. The South seceded because the dangers to slavery they saw and tehe North said secession was the reason for civil war. Lincoln supported a slavery protection amendment, however, to bring back slaves who had escaped to the North back to their owners by federal troops early in the war. Whenthe price for men and materials grew, Lincoln shifted his position. In 1862 his Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves free whose owner´s area was still in revolt by January 1, 1863. Slaves within the Union´s control, however, were excluded from provisions by the proclamation. This was none more than military propaganda, but the proclamation presented a point of no return on the issue of slavery. As fighting neared, many slaves rebelled. In 1862, provosions were made on enlisting blacks in the Union army. They were organized in all black units called the U.S. Colored Troops. Of these 209,000 93,000 came from the Confederancy. The Conferderancy at first refused to recognize blacks as soldiers. Black soldiers were not allowed to surrender to the Union. Many were shot. The most infamous of the occurrences was at Fort Pillow, which fell to confederate general Nathan B. Forrest (founder of the Ku Klux Klan). Blacks took part in more than 200 battles and skirmishes. More than 68,178 blacks died in the war. Lower pay in discrimination toward blacks was not uncommon.
During the period of reconstruction after the war, the 13th amendment of the constitution provided total abolition of slavery (1865). The 14th and 15th amendments provided for equal rights for slaves (1868). Blacks took an active part in everyday life during reconstruction. They voted in large numbers and were active in conventions. They held political offices and pushed for education. Only a small number of blacks were allowed to puchase land, however.
The major attack on black rights was made by southern whites. They claimed blacks controlled the goverment. They wanted to restore conditions before the war with blacks having little or no rights. It finally wound to the point of physical attacks on blacks by the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1860´s. Then the troops withdrawled form the South and reconstruction ended. Whites once again ruled the South and black rights were again in jeopardy. A very difficult period began for blacks. The goverment begann to support less black rights and more southern whites. Illegal violence and harassment towrds blackscontinued. Many tests were given to black citizens to keep them from voting. A law similar to this was passed in Alabama reducing black voters by 178,000. Blacks were isolated from whites in bathrooms and drinking fountains. They were excluded from juries and not allowed to work in hotels, restaurants or amusement parks. Seperate education, transportation and meeting places were provided to isolate blacks. The Jim Crow Laws legalized segregation in many states. Most of the black only facilities were poor-quality and old, worn-down and used. Lynching og Blacks was commonly used in this period legally (1882-1938). Many groups, including the NAACP, sought advancement of black rights.
After WW2, blcks and other races were more accepted due to maby reasons. Propaganda for anti-Nazi groups made people realize teir own prejudice. Problems related to racism were now addressed nationally. The establishment of the United Nations made racial inequality more visible. There were also growths of whites willing to speak out for blacks. Most important, however, were tehe actions of blacks themselves.
The first legal action against racism was through courts. In a series of cases involving education, the court system ruled that education was not equal and all-white schools were required to admit blacks. Despite the ruling, more than ten years passed before blacks dared to cross the line in the south. In the North, segregated schools and houses influenced separation of races after 1954. A second major breakthrough against segregation grew out of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycotts in 1955. The boycozz began when Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. This resulted in meetings of blacks and boycotts of busses on which racial segregation occurred. The one-year boycott was very effective. Before courts used the power of judicial rewiew to declare segregation of buses unconstititional, Martin Luter King, Jr., a baptist minister and experience speaker, had become nationally famous and completed a plan to nonviolent direct action to gain civil rights.
Nonviolent direct action, born in the boycott, was adopted by blacks and white supporters throughout the country. Sit-ins and freedom rides were constantly used to end segregation and protest demonstrations. Probably the most famous of these activities was the march on Washington of August,28,1963, in which more than 200,000 blacks and whites protested segregation and discrimination. This and other acts, like Birmingham, Alabama and Selma were directed by long-established groups like NAACP and CORE (the Congress Of Racial Equality, founde in 1942), and newly founded national groups such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and SNCC (the Student Non-violent Coordinating Comimitee), and even by local groups like Dallas Country (Alabama) Voter´s League and Princeton (New Jersey) Association of Human Rights.
The response of the segregations to these actions was to blame outside agistors for causing the trouble. Many law officials took strong, often brutal measures to halt demonstrations or else refused to protect the right of demonstration to protest peacefully. Extremists, however, took violent action against individuals connected with the protest and their property. Three civil rights workers were brutally murdered in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1964; four black children were mordered in the bombing of the 16th street Baptist church in Birmingham in 1963; and dozens of black churches in the south were bombed or burned. Two whites and one black were murdered during the Selma, Alabama demonstrations in 1965. Such violence against white and black civil rights activists was commonplace. In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr., the recogniced leader of the civil rights movement, was assassinated. The reponse to violent reaction was the passage of several new laws. The most important of which were enacted in 1964 and 1965. The Civil Rights Act (1964) undermined the remaining structure of Jim Crow laws and provided federal protection in the exercise of Civil Rights.
Short Biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the 15 January 1929 Martin Luther King, Jr. Is born in Atlanta Georgia. King attends in the period from 1935 to 1944 the Elementary School, Atlanta University Laboratory School and Brooker T. Washington High School. He passes the entrance examination to Morehouse College (Atlanta) without graduating from high school. King is licensed to preach and becomes assistatnt to his father, who is pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta. On the
25 February 1948 King is ordained to the Baptist ministry. On the 18th June 1953 marries King Coretta Scott in Marion, Alabama. November 17 1955 The King´s first child, Yolanda Denise, is born in Montgomery.On October 1957 the King´s born a second child. The third child Dexter Scott is born 1961 on January the 30th in Atlanta. And on March the 28th of the year 1963 King´s fourth child, Bernice Albertine is born. King was speecher on very much demonstrations. He died on the 6th June 1968.
The Martin Luther King Speech
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as agreat beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundres years later the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation´s capital to cash a check. When we architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that American has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, American has given the Negro people a bed check which has come back marked _insufficient funds_. But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check - a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxery of cooling off or to take the transquilizing drug of grandualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of radical justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God´s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro´s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autuum of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty- three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to buisness as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is somethink that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane og dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up wit our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall marched ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devoltees of civil rights, _When will you be satisfied?_ We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatique of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro´s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as aNegro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trails and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is the dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor´s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have the dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all the flesh shall see it together. This i sour hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of god´s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, _My country,´tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim´s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring._
And if American is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltrops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring frome Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God´s children, black man and white man, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, we will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, _Free at last! Free at last! thank
God Almighty, we are free at last!_
Black Americans today trace their ancestry to the Negroid race in Africa. In American history they have been referred to as African, colored, Negro, Afro-American, as well as black. The majority of thes people are those who were forcibly removed from Africa. Many like Hank Aaron, Jacie Robinson, Muhammed Ali, Emmit Smith, Michael Jordan and Pele are insolved in sports. Others, including George Washington Carver, made scietific advancements in our society. I bet you would never have guessed a black invented the washing machine. Many others were preachers of the gospel and helped save many souls. Blacks today are just like whites. They are treated respectfully the same most the time and make as many or more contributions to the society as whites do. As time goes along. I believe black will be treated exactly as whites. As Dr. King would say:
I have a dream
That the day we are no
longer judged by the color of our skin...
Blacks in America. Statisical Brief
The black population in the United States numered 31.4 million in March 1992, comprising 13 percent of the Nation´s total. This brief uses data collected by the March 1992 Current Population Survey (CPS) to explore the state of Blacks in America. It examines how their situation changed between March 1980 and 1992, as well as how their condition compares with that of the White population.
Median Earnings of Year- Round, Full-Time Workers by Sex and Race
1979 and 1991 (1991 dollars)
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Between 1980 and 1992 the Black population increased an average of 1.4 percent per year, twice the annual growth rate of the White population (0.6 percent). The vast majority of this growth (84 percent) came from natural increase; the remainder came from immigration.
Blacks are concentrated in the South. In 1992, more than one-half of Black, but less than onethird-of Whites, lived there. In addition, Blacks were twice as likely as Whites to live in central cities (56 percent compared with 26 percent) and less likely to live in the surburbs (29 percent versus 51 percent).
Blacks are closing the high school diploma gap. Back in 1980, 51 percent of Blacks aged 25 and over had earned at least a highschool diploma; the corresponding figure for White was 71%. Twlve years later, this gap had closed from 20 percentage points to 13 points (68% versus 81%9.
However, the proportion of adults aged 25 and over with at least a bachelor´s degree grew by equal percentages over the period for both groups - from 8 percent to 12 percent for Blacks, from 18 percent to 22 percents for Whites.
A college education, incidentally, does pay off. The median earnings in 1991 of year round, fulltime Black workers, aged 25 and over who were high school graduates only was $ 18,620. But those with at least a bachelor´s earned $30,910.
Between 1979 and 1991, poverty rates changed little for Black and White persons and famalies in general, but rates did change for certain groups. For instance, Black related children under 18 years old in famalies saw their poverty rate rise from 41% to 46% over the period. The tabls below 1991 poverty rates for different groups.
Percent Below the Poverty Level: 1991
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
- Gerd Raeithel ,,Geschichte der Nordamerikanische Kultur" Band 1+3
- Steve Coker ,,Statistischer Brief"
- Keefe Black Institut für Geschichte der Afro-Amerikaner in Philadelphia
- Jehuti El- Malik Amen Ra ,,Geschichte der Schwarzen"
- ,,Review of Ivan van Sertima" >