Slavery and Racism in the United States
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The paper questions why it was that blacks were chosen to be the recipients of racist slavery; slavery dating back to the ancient world was blind to race and skin color, and why the United States carried the torch of racism and hatred beyond the end of the slave trade. The paper looks at "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn and explores the justifications slave owners had that include the need to survive and the temptation to maintain positions of wealth and prestige. The paper asserts that whether or not America can destroy the racism that still breeds among her people depends upon whether Americans can look to history and recognize in themselves the same weaknesses which took hold of the elite colonists and slave traders.
From the Paper:"In A People's History of the United States (1492 to Present, written by Howard Zinn, these situations are listed in chronological order. During the colonization of North America, settlers faced starvation among a myriad of other problems. By removing African people from their geological and cultural home, wealthy white colonists found it easier to subdue them than indentured whites or Native Americans. One cannot discount the draw of money; both plantation owners and slave traders stood to earn sizeable sums. When the plantation owners offered newly freed (yet poor) whites special privileges and respect, they found it difficult to turn down after indentured servitude. Finally, with measures taken against any slave attempting escape or rebellion and drastic ramifications for black and white cooperation, the slave trade found its success (38).
"Zinn goes on to mention that these factors boil down to "class consciousness and class fear" (38). However, the situation can be made more specific. The wealthy colonists feared a lack of strength, of profit. Having come directly from (or possessing a knowledge of) the hardships initially endured by white indentured servants, it is easy (though not excusable) to see how they might equate a lack of overwhelming profits and power with a risk of becoming destitute and having to submit to the same horrors thrown in the faces of those they themselves oppressed."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Zinn, Howard, and Anthony Arnove. Voices of A People's History of the United States. 2nd ed. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2009. Print.
- Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010.Print.
Cite this Persuasive Essay:
Slavery and Racism in the United States (2013, May 19) Retrieved September 22, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/slavery-and-racism-in-the-united-states-153295/
"Slavery and Racism in the United States" 19 May 2013. Web. 22 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/persuasive-essay/slavery-and-racism-in-the-united-states-153295/>