Premium Essay

African American Women Under Slavery

In: Other Topics

Submitted By toniawms
Words 2409
Pages 10
African American Women Under Slavery This paper discusses the experiences of African American Women under slavery during the Slave Trade, their exploitation, the secrecy, the variety of tasks and positions of slave women, slave and ex-slave narratives, and significant contributions to history. Also, this paper presents the hardships African American women faced and the challenges they overcame to become equal with men in today’s society. Slavery was a destructive experience for African Americans especially women. Black women suffered doubly during the slave era.
Slave Trade For most women who endured it, the experience of the Slave Trade was one of being outnumbered by men. Roughly one African woman was carried across the Atlantic for every two men. The captains of slave ships were usually instructed to buy as high a proportion of men as they could, because men could be sold for more in the Americas. Women thus arrived in the American colonies as a minority. For some reason, women did not stay a minority. Slave records found that most plantations, even during the period of the slave trade, there were relatively equal numbers of men and women. Slaveholders showed little interest in women as mothers. Their willingness to pay more for men than women, despite the fact than children born to enslaved women would also be the slaveowners’ property and would thus increase their wealth. Women who did have children, therefore, always struggled with the impossible conflict between, on the one hand, their own physical needs and their children’s need for care and, on the other, the requirements forced on them by plantation work regimes. Women’s inability to maintain the pace of work required by plantation owners during pregnancy, their need for recovery time after childbirth, and the needs of their young children to be fed, cleaned, loved, and integrated...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Hist221 African American History

...Slavery Before America History 221 American Military University Slavery Before America This paper will focus on slavery before America and the differences in detail while under each rule. When most people think of slavery they fast forward to Slavery in the Americas because for most there is not a lot known about slavery before America. When in actuality slavery was very much present before the union of the states; and in this paper I intend to show the different slave systems and how they play a part in what we as Americans know to be slavery. According to (Scaruffi, n.d.) The Dutch were the first, apparently, to import black slaves into North America, but black slaves had already been employed all over the world, including South and Central America. For example Britain’s earliest known involvement in the western slave trade dates back over two thousand years ago. The British following the lead of the Portuguese in enslaving Africans actually began to get a strong hold on the slave trade and thus became known as the primary facilitator of slaves. With Britain now the primary facilitator of slaves, Special ships were built to accommodate the lucrative business. Under the rule of the British plantation and mine owners bought the Africans and more died in the process called 'seasoning'. In the British colonies the slaves were treated as non-human: they were 'chattels', to be worked to death as it was cheaper to purchase another slave than......

Words: 997 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ethnic Groups

...Discrimination Thomas J. Miller III ETH125 August 23, 2010 Maria Kithcart Ethnic Groups and Discrimination Most African Americans are descendants of Africans that were enslaved by Europeans and American slave traders. Slave markets used in Africa to sell prisoners of war by African states. The Europeans used these slave markets to exploit and expand the shipment of slaves to the New World or America. Some ancestors immigrated to the United States from the Caribbean. The first group of African slaves was brought to the United States in 1619 (Slavery, 2003). These slaves were labeled indentured servants, which are workers under contract to an employer in exchange for their lodging, food, and clothes. Most of the colonists used the Blacks on plantations because other groups did not want to work on them and the Blacks were easier to control. All colonies eventually legalized slavery passing laws that would keep the slaves and their children for life. During the Revolutionary War, slaves and free slaves were allowed to fight against the British. After the Americans, won their independence from British tyranny, the Declaration of Independence was signed July 4, 1776 (Slavery, 2003) declaring, “All men are created equal.” Many people in the northern states influenced by the Revolutionary War and began abolishing slavery in the North. The southern states wanted to keep slavery to fuel the South economy through the production from the cotton fields. By 1830, there......

Words: 855 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Sarah Moore Grimke and Fredrick Douglass: a Fight for Rights

...such freedom, there is no America. This essay is a comparison between Fredrick Douglass and Sarah Moore Grimke and how they fought for African American and women’s rights respectively. Fredrick Douglass was born into a life of slavery, but he learned to read and after a few attempts, escaped. He started out as an agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and from then, wrote books and newspapers promoting the cause. He later became a consultant of Abraham Lincoln. Sarah Grimke, on the other hand, grew up in as a daughter of a plantation owner. She had high goals and expectations but her family shot them down. Sarah and her sister fought for slavery and sexism and were expelled from the plantation. They were among the first to fight for women’s rights. Back in the 1800s, African Americans were slaves and treated like property. They were whipped, overworked, starved, and had no freedom. They were denied education and shot if trying to escape. On the other hand, women had very little rights. They were simply housewives who looked after the children. They were not allowed to aspire to anything and forced to simply support the husband. Back then, the worst person to be was an African American female. Some females were chosen as breeding moms and raped repeatedly to bear children to sell. If not, the master would call some women in for their beauty and do such acts as well. There was one such a woman, and she gave birth to a child born from a female slave and......

Words: 1001 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

History Report on Race

...RACE African American The African American did not arrive in America through the traditional ways of immigration, but instead were forced to leave their homeland by African slave traders. African Slave traders sold African American to American Southerners to work as slave on their plantations. After hundreds of years of being owned by white Americans, the African American was finally given their freedom. Unfortunately, after being released from human slavery and bondage, African Americans had to endure many years of poor treatment and discrimination by members of the American public. After the legislation that was enacted forbidding and punishing discriminatory behavior in society, African Americans were finally able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Although human equality is still a tremendous work in progress in our society today, after years of decrementing struggles and tribulations, the African American is finally treated like an equal citizen in society. The adverse reality that African Americans did not have the equal right and opportunity to live their lives as free men and women, has set a staggering mark in American history. African Americans were bought and sold like cattle and never looked at as humans but rather property. The laws were designed to benefit the White American and the slave owner and did not recognize the slave as a citizen. Although slavery was made illegal in the Northern regions in 1787, it was not until 1808 before slavery was......

Words: 874 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

African Americans and Discrimination

...African Americans and Discrimination Cedric Hepburn ETH 125 March 7, 2011 Josephine Ellsworth Originally from Sub-Sahara Africa, thousands of African Americans were kidnapped and brought over to and sold in the United States during the Atlantic Slavery Trade. By 1860, before the Civil War, 3.5 million African Americans lived as slaves, mostly in the Southern United States. More than 500,000 lived as free persons in 33 states across the United States (2008). Today, many African Americans believed to have come from European American or Native American heritage. They believe to be direct descendants of captive Africans who were enslaved. The original Africans were not given the chance to colonize or immigrate to the United States; they were hunted down and chained together like animals, stacked on top of each other on the bottom of the ship, and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to a life they were not accustomed to- slavery. January 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation declaring freedom for African American slaves in slavery states. Following the signing of the bill, African Americans started facing even more problems with racial discrimination, segregation, racism, and prejudice. African Americans were beaten, put in jail, put to death, and denied basic human rights. To say African Americans were racially discriminated against only because of the color of their skin is an understatement. They were also racially discriminated against because of......

Words: 803 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Buisness Management Student

...RUNNING HEAD: US Constitution and Slavery Cardinal Stritch University Instructor: Judge David Bastianelli American Government and Politics – ASB 118 DLU 08 0893 May 22, 2012 US Constitution and Slavery The U.S. Constitution established America's national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens. It was signed on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, by George Washington. Under America's first governing document, the Articles of Confederation, the national government was weak and states operated like independent countries. At the 1787 convention, delegates devised a plan for a stronger federal government with three branches--executive, legislative and judicial along with a system of checks and balances to ensure no single branch would have too much power. The Bill of Rights is 10 amendments guaranteeing basic individual protections such as freedom of speech and religion which became part of the Constitution in 1791. America's first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, was approved in 1781, a time when the nation was a confederation of states that each operated like independent countries. The debate of the constitution focused on contentious issues like the question of state representation in the national legislature and slavery. Slavery The American Civil War approximately 4 million enslaved African Americans lived in the southern region of the United......

Words: 1361 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Effects on Slavery

...Slavery: A Free but Forced Civilization from Origin Slavery is predated to the earliest known and existing cultures. Regardless of the culture, time, period or race, slavery is a discriminating concept in which people are held against their own will. Before new age society found a more humorous and sexual definition for the concept, slavery was and still is, in some parts of the world, humiliating. In particular, there is one which has been historically long lasting; the Transatlantic African slave trade. This long and grueling migration paved the way for new races and culture. African Americans thrive all over the world but unfortunately descendants from this race did not come to the Americas on their own free will. A world altering voyage and conquest took shape when Christopher Columbus traveled and discovered the Americas in 1492 (1). Historically true, the America’s took shape but not without risk, sacrifice, or discrimination of a divine civilization. Columbus was on venture seeking route to Asia, in turn; found an untouched land devoured by Native Americans (2). Being distracted new ideas and opportunities, he reset is path. The mark of the Columbian Exchange happened; bringing the eventual commerce of food, disease, culture, power and new races (3). All of the changes were not as promising or good. The transatlantic slave trade brought new life but also brought darker times. Columbus didn’t develop this concept, he actually adapted to it. Although, slavery in......

Words: 1239 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Slavery

...Slavery. It has been here since the beginning of civilization, and still is present to this day. As contradictory as it may seem, people have been using each other as property for a very long time. This horrible invention has been applied in several different countries all over the world. Over this time span, several different kinds of slavery have been established. Slavery has made an everlasting impact on the world today. Because of slavery we now have social, man-created concepts, such as race, gender, and class. Slavery has benefitted and disadvantaged many people of this day and time. Slavery is the main reason for the dispersal of African peoples, also known as the African Diaspora. As mentioned earlier, slavery was present almost everywhere. The main areas that affected the African Diaspora were Africa itself, the New World, and the Indian Ocean. Slavery in Africa started in approximately the 7th century and it was over religious reasons. Arab Muslims and Europeans traded in West, Central, and East Africa. Slavery existed in some of Africa’s earliest organized societies. The buying and selling of slaves were regular activities in cities along the Nile River. In Africa, early slavery resulted from warring groups taking captives. The treatment of slavery in Africa was variable. Many societies recognized slaves as merely property and some saw them as dependants who eventually might be integrated into the families of slave owners, because of this slavery......

Words: 1365 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

...The Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery and African American slaves gained their freedom during the Civil War; however, this did not mean they were fully integrated into American society. After the war, Southern Whites faced a crisis. The emancipation of slaves and the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship undermined their assertion that citizenship was for Whites only. The clear line between Whites who ruled and Blacks who were ruled became vulnerable. Since Whites slave owners could no longer treat the former slaves as non-citizens, they sought to strengthen this distinction by restoring slavery as best they could. Imposing disabilities on Black civil rights that limited their access to full citizenship was a goal to reach. Within months of the Civil War’s end, former Confederate states passed Black Codes to regulate the behavior of the former slaves as well as their status. Congressional Reconstruction was still a year away, and white Democrats who governed state legislatures passed laws that restricted the liberty of the former slaves. Although Black Codes granted African American certain rights such as legalized marriage, ownership of property; the laws prohibited interracial marriage for the fear of weakening the White race, denied them the rights to testify against Whites in court, jury service and the right to vote. The Black Codes also forced African Americans to labor and constrained their freedom of movement. Individuals not under control of white land......

Words: 1356 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Historical Report on Race

...African Americans have been through many things during the history of the United States. Early in American History African Americans were involuntarily made to endure slavery. Although slavery began long before the United States was founded it had a devastating effect on the U.S. Slavery is defined as using people whom were required to serve as slaves by capturing and then sold at auctions. They were then forced to work on plantations as a slave labor which was a legal institution in North America. The bad experiences of African Americans continue and include the raping of an African slave, this was not only legal, but it was also a normal thing for owners to do to their slaves ("Scholastic", 2012). The severe treatment of slaves was not right by any means, no matter how people explained what they were doing. It is cruel and takes the rights of people away, and this is not the way to treat anyone or anything that is one of God’s creatures. In 1865, following the American Civil War, slavery was banned in the United States and slaves were emancipated or set free. African Americans were treated very poorly in ways other than slavery, between 1877 and the mid 1960’s they lived under the Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow was not a person but a series of rigid anti-black laws. African Americans were downgraded to the social status of second class citizens. This law incorporated things like; black men were not allowed to shake hands with or offer a hand to a white man and were......

Words: 801 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

African American Slavery

...I am explaining why the African American has more African-ness the Nigerian Americans. I will examine the origin and the different aspects of the African American culture. I will also examine how the African culture is so rich in the American world and changed many aspect of the everyday life in the new world. Slavery predates back to the 18th century from when African Americans were enslaved.   People of color were bought, sold, and used to work on farms, and in the household of their white masters. The progression of African American culture has progressed by leaps and bounds since the1800’s.   It took a long time for slaves to be given their freedom. Although they were free, the reconstruction plan was a starting point, which in turn allowed former slaves to become freedmen. Freedmen who were allowed to own land and become upstanding citizen just like their white counterparts. The freed slaves went on to become prominent business owners and family men. They were still some racists who were appalled that they were allowed to go free. Slaves were not allowed to learn how to read and therefore could not read the bible. It was a way for the salves masters to protect themselves from the slaves getting a silly notion of equality from the bible. Religion became a big issue within the African American community. Black churches were established to allow them to come, worship, and not be segregated from their white counterparts.   Even during slavery, they would sing their......

Words: 1600 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

America Post Civil War Growing Pains

... “America’s post civil war growing pains” In 1619, African-Americans were forced into slavery and roughly 244 years later, in 1863, as the nation approached its third year of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring that all persons held as slaves were to be freed (U.S. National Archives & Record Administration, 2013). Despite the vague verbiage of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln, the proclamation was repressed in many ways and did not end slavery as implied, or intended (Freeman, J., 2011). In January of 1865, began the downfall of the Confederacy. In the U.S., post Civil War, Reconstruction began abolishing slavery (Freeman, J., 2011). The Union victory at War promised a new future for the South's 4,000,000 freed African-American men, women and children, who were once slaves (Freeman, J., 2011). After the Civil War ended in May 1865, freedom was to put forth new opportunities for the newly freed African-American slaves (Azpiroz, X., 2012). The year following the Civil War, congress passed the Civil Rights act of 1866 (Azpiroz, X., 2012). The civil Rights Act of 1866 declared that all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States; and such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for......

Words: 1305 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Segregation

...How have African-Americans worked to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation to attain equality and civil rights? For centuries, African Americans have played and continue to play a significant role in American history. While today, African American no longer face the laws of segregation and discrimination, they continue to fight for equality and civil rights. This continued fight is one of a long past with several triumphs and tragedies all which are an integral part of history. This essay will discuss how African Americans worked to end slavery, segregation, discrimination, freedom, and isolation. It will also discuss what led to the civil right implementation and how it was executed. Equal rights for African Americans have been contentious, and fought for decades. They have fought to impede ethic discrimination, gain equal opportunity and their civil rights since slavery in the 1600s. When slavery started in 1620s, African Americans only made up about 3 to 4 percent of the population in America. Although the number grew slowly at first, by the end of the 17th century, the population of African American slave grew to well over 650,000. (Becker, 2000) In America, slave labor became the key component in agriculture and booming capitalist economy of the 17th & 18th centuries. (County, 1999) In the beginning, Africans were exchanged for food and place as “indentured servants” by the Dutch. This practice was also true for many poor Englishmen who......

Words: 1656 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Week 5

...These groups and organizations push for racial equality among different racial groups. They target a specific marginalized community or race and fight all aspects of institutional racism that might affect these groups. Most of these groups serve as civil right agents that advocate for the rights of these minority groups. National Urban League (NUL) is a good paradigm of a civil right group that fights for the rights of the minority. National Urban League as a civil right group fights against racial inequality for the African-Americans. This group advocates for equal rights for the African-Americans and provide direct services to the African-Americans in areas of housing, employment, social welfare, education, health, consumer rights and business developments. NUL ensures that none of its members is discriminated against because of their skin color and by so doing ensure the maintenance and promotion of social justice (National Urban League, 2012). African Americans are...

Words: 1369 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Correlation Between Reoccurring Themes in African American Literature

...African American literature is surprising, captivating, and spirited. Once you start reading a story it is easy to get caught up in the tale being told. The descriptive nature of the works makes it easy to relate to them. Throughout my readings thus far in the class I have noticed some common themes that reoccur in many of the stories and poems. Of course slavery was a very common topic but there were others such as inequality between the races and sexes, injustice and resentment, the black identity, and a strong faith and religion. Even though the words can be separated in the end they all come back together. There were many narratives written by fugitive slaves before the Civil War and by former slaves in the postbellum era. These narratives document slave life from the perspective of first-hand experience. The stories they tell are dark and ugly. The authors like Douglas and Jacobs reveal the struggles, sorrows, aspirations, and triumphs of slaves in absorbingly personal story-telling. Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was the first autobiography by a formerly enslaved African American woman. In it she describes her experience of the sexual exploitation that made slavery especially oppressive for black women. She also recounts her life in slavery in the context of family relationships with her escape and her struggle to free her children. Fredrick Douglas who wrote Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, an American Slave, Written by......

Words: 1263 - Pages: 6