Slavery In America The Evolution of Civil Rights in the United States
? A wealthy eighteenth century family ? ? ? Can you identify the luxury items pointed to in this painting? Where would they have come from? Why were they so expensive?
White gold & black misery Why did so many people support the slave trade?
Olaudah Equiano 11 years old when kidnapped, son of tribal leader • Traded from family to family until he arrived at coast of Africa – transported to America • Purchased in Virginia; his master taught him how to sail • Purchases his freedom and becomes active abolitionist
10-12 million people sold into slavery • Anyone could be abducted – poor, royalty • Devastated African culture, families were destroyed • Guns increased warfare and slave raids
It made good business sense to kill those who were not strong enough to survive walk (made those who survived be obedient and get rid of weak – less money paid for them) • After kidnapping the slaves, merchants forced them to walk to the coast (sometimes 1,000 miles) • Only ½ survived, some would be left by side of road shackled to dead body
Once at the coast they often waited in dungeons inside costal forts (Europeans sometimes referred to them as trading posts) • Some slaves were there for up to a year, but worse was yet to come…
How similar is this account to the picture on the previous slide? I saw many of my miserable countrymen chained together, some with their hands tied behind their backs. We were taken to a place near the coast and I asked the guide why we were here. He told me that I was to learn the ways of the white-faced people. He took a gun, some cloth and some metal in exchange for me. This made me cry bitterly. I was then taken to a ship where I saw my fellow captives moaning and crying. Account by a slave who was taken to work in the West Indies.
Branded with irons, restrained in shackles, there was sometimes only 3 feet headroom
Often sitting so close, not allowed to move, it often meant sitting in feces, urine and blood = spread of disease. • Diseased slaves were thrown overboard, sometimes still alive. • 1-2 million people died in the voyage • If caught attempting suicide, would be punished and force fed (loss of income for merchant)
A diagram of the slave ship Brookes a Ship based in Liverpool, which regularly sailed between Britain, Africa & West Indies. The black marks are slaves. What do you think life was like on board this ship?.
How were slaves prepared for auction? • Washed with water • Rubbed with oil • Gunpowder, hot tar or rust rubbed into wounds • Teeth inspected • Brutal remedies, e.g. for diarrhoea • Two methods of sale – auction & scramble What does this C19th poster tell us about the way slaves were treated by plantation owners?
Slaves waiting for the auction to begin. Imagine you are one of the people waiting at auction. List the thoughts that are going through your mind.
What sort of lives did they lead? • Branded on face, chest or back • 3-4 year-olds work in ‘trash gangs’ (weeding) • 9-12 year-olds work in fields with adults • Elderly worked as domestic servants • No legal rights – forbidden to read, write, marry own property • Flogging & other punishments How would you feel if you were branded with one of these irons?
Early slaves showed English settlers how to grow rice in swampy areas – import more slaves to work the plantations (included cotton and tobacco) • Required brute force to control the growing African population – included branding, whipping, castrating or killing slave. • Laws supported this treatment of slaves, a runaway slave was thought of as stolen property. By 1750 slavery was legal in all of the Thirteen Colonies.
Punishments/Daily Life • Rebellions – rebels nailed to ground, fire applied starting at the feet and moving upwards • Running away – neck ring or iron muzzle • Continued running away – removal of hand or foot • Flogging – one lash for each year of slave’s life • 5:30 – go straight to field. Work until 8.00am. Latecomers whipped • 8:00 – Stop work for breakfast: boiled yam & okra seasoned with salt & pepper • 8:30 - Continue work • 12:00 pm – Rest & lunch: salted meat or pickled fish • 2:00pm – Start work again • 6:00pm – Return to huts • Night time – During harvest, work in mill through night
Why did the slave trade last so long? • People knew little about Africa • There were rumours and untruths (e.g. Africans were cannibals) • Africans seen as a sub-species • Too many people benefited financially • Christian missionaries hoped to convert slaves Slave poster, 1769. What does this poster tell us about European attitudes to African men & women?
When did slavery eventually end in Britain? • 1807, illegal for British traders to buy or sell humans • Slaves continued to work in plantations • 1833, slavery completely abolished • Other nations followed (e.g. America) William Wilberforce, one of the strongest campaigners for the abolition of slavery.
Your task • Imagine you have been asked by the abolitionists to give a speech in Parliament to support the new banning the slave trade. Write a speech, including some or all of the following points • Outline the extent of this horrific trade • Criticise the supporters of the trade • Emphasise the human cost of slavery • Use case studies, e.g. Olaudah Equiano • Highlight the support the campaign has • Finish with a powerful and memorable concluding statement (e.g. a quote from Wedgwood’s plaque)
The American Civil War(1861–1865) • Between the nothern states (the Union) and the newly formed Confederate States (the South). • At the time the country was led by Abraham Lincoln. The Southern states knew that he did not support slavery, so his election was the excuse the break from the Union. • Famous battles included Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Atlanta Georgia (which was burned to the ground by Union troops).
September, 1862, Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves, this intensified the fighting. • April 9, 1865 the Confederate leader Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant and the war ended. • It was the bloodiest war in US history, with 620,000 deaths.
Despite all of the efforts made to end slavery in the United States, that did not mean that race relations in this country improved. It took more than a century for African Americans to be given the same legal rights as whites in America.
JIM CROW LAWS • Named after a caricature of African Americans. • After the Civil War, Southern States enacted laws that mandated “separate but equal” status for black Americans. • The most important laws required that public schools, public places and public transportation have separate buildings, toilets, and restaurants for whites and blacks.
Some examples include: • “All marriages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattos, Mongolians, or Malaya hereafter contracted in the State of Wyoming are and shall be illegal and void.” • “Any Negro man and white woman, or any white man and Negro woman, who are not married to each other, who shall habitually live in and occupy in the nighttime the same room shall each be punished by imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or by fine not exceeding five hundred ($500.00) dollars.” • “All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license."
“It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race.” • “Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools, but shall continue to be used by the race first using them.”
1955, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Alabama and is arrested. • Inspires black leaders to mount a one-day bus boycott. A main speaker is a new minister in town, 26-year-old Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. • The boycott lasts until December 1956. The bus company suffers economically; violence erupts; bombs are thrown at organizers' homes; and the white Citizens Council and the Ku Klux Klan hold rallies. • At last, a Supreme Court decision integrates the buses, and soon thousands of black riders are on the buses again -- sitting where they please.
1954 legal decision Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared segregated classrooms were illegal. When desegregation began, many black students found mobs protesting outside their integrated schools, and other schools chose to close rather than integrate. • The Little Rock Nine were a group of courageous black students who integrated the Arkansas capital city's Central High School in September 1957. Initially thwarted by violent white mobs and National Guard troops who refused to help, the students eventually entered school after President Dwight Eisenhower ordered paratroopers to protect them. • Little Rock Nine - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSdLPNQSa4k&feature=related
The Black Panthers • Like Malcolm X, the Panthers did not discourage the use of force in self-defense, and they often resorted to violence. • Critics tended to ignore their many non-controversial activities, including running medical clinics and free breakfast programs for the poor. • Branded "America's greatest threat" they found themselves under assault by the FBI and police. • Tensions culminated in a December 4, 1969, raid that left Chicago Panthers leader Fred Hampton and a colleague dead.
On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million black and white people marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in a show of unity, racial harmony and support for the civil rights bill. • Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and other folk singers entertained the crowd and others made speeches. • Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of his best known speeches, inspiring the assembled crowd with the words, "I have a dream." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4AItMg70kg&feature=related
By 1964 a Civil Rights Act was passed which achieved many of the aims of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which had been quickly overturned. The 1964 law barred discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in public facilities such as restuarants or hotels. Later laws were passed to legislate fair election practices.
How are things today? Slavery Footprint: http://slaveryfootprint.org/ Faces of Modern Slavery - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkalobOACeA Did you know slavery exists in 21st century? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CQhNIfAN9c Chocolate and Slavery - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSBXSXAxVOU