History of Slavery, Segregation Ang other Issue African Americans

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Most painful history of this young United States of America is its long history of slavery, impact on human rights and treatment of indigenous peoples. No matter how hard we try to work through the world’s issues, our own failures as a country still haunt us. Ever since slavery and slave trade started in 1444, our country was one of the last ones to abolish it, allow equal human rights to African Americans and give them full civil rights under the protection of the Constitution that we all hold dear.

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Tragedy of slavery still haunts us today in many ways. Current political climate just brought it to the forefront, fresh, raw and ripped the healing wounds wide open or did it just expose the illusion of what we have all been secretly ignoring and hiding? As we go through our daily lives, we cannot help but be reminded how racism, spawn of slavery, still resides and has a strong hold on our society today. Imagine, all these years later, people still fear individuals of melanin rich skin tone, that somehow if allowed they will ruin our world, our society and take away our freedom, create havoc and destruction in our communities and our country and world at large. Sad part is, one thing that makes us unique, that can make us stronger and more beautiful is used against us and may shake the foundations of this country forever.

Author’s name and Publication detail:

Modlin, E. A., Jr. (2008). Tales Told on the Tour: Mythic Representations of Slavery by Docents at North Carolina Plantation Museums. Southeastern Geographer, 48(3), 265-287

The Annotation Details:

In this article, Modlin (2008) talks about misrepresentation of African Americans as slaves on the plantations and museums in North Carolina, specifically how they idealized the past of wealthy and white plantation owner while ignore long history of slavery on those plantations thus minimizing existence and impact of slavery. History is being blatantly revised by some plantations/museums through symbolic annihilation of presence of African-Americans all together from their history, through minimization and segregation of the story of enslaved and in some cases the story of enslaved is just barely mentioned just to satisfy certain historical standards. Main proposal to rectify this issue and promote more socially responsible and accurate representation of history at these sites is put forward by including African Americans at these sites through operation and administration. However this may be difficult to implement since African Americans are not a monolithic group but a complex and vibrant one. Additionally groups representing the plantation/museums may fear that the plantation will be seen in a sinister and negative way as well as most importantly, a reluctance of African Americans in participating on these plantation tours may bringing up trauma of slavery. I can see the issue with the latter, finding the balance at the site, character and bias of visitors as well as personal deep-rooted feelings on slavery and segregation would make a huge challenge to those participating and working in these places.

Author’s name and Publication detail:

Oconnell, H. A. (2012). The Impact of Slavery on Racial Inequality in Poverty in the Contemporary U.S. South. Social Forces,90(3), 713-734.

The Annotation Details:

In this study Oconnell (2012) advances the literature on racial inequality and the Southern legacy of slavery by examining slavery’s relationship with inequality in poverty. Her research suggests that slavery had direct impact on racial inequality and even with changes in our system, disparity in social and economic success by race is persistent in our society today. Furthermore she suggests that disparity in poverty between blacks and non-Hispanic whites is greater in southern states and more specifically worse in areas of previously high concentrations of slaves compared to rest of the state/south. Most impactful variations of black-white poverty gap are: demographic and economic conditions, racial threat, wealth accumulation and the legacy of slavery. Oconnell suggests that “slavery’s social structural legacy differentially affects life outcomes to the disadvantage of blacks through adherence to social expectations of blacks’ racial inferiority.” (p. 715)

We know the disadvantage African Americans face when it comes to wealth, access to health care, education, better living conditions etc. This article supports the view that the legacy of slavery among blacks puts them at distinct disadvantage in our society exactly because of slavery and its impact even though slavery ended 150 years ago. All those issues that are still talked about, of coercive systems of social and economic control developed in response to abolition such as Jim Crow laws are still felt today.

Author’s name and Publication detail:

Gordon-Reed, Annette (2018). America’s Original Sin Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy. Foreign Affairs, 00157120,, Vol. 97, Issue 1

The Annotation Details:

Gordon-Reed (2018) in her article reflects on the effects of slavery on African Americans today but also the conscious or unconscious racism that still exists and is propagated through continuation of white supremacy and complacency of our citizens. She states that in order for us to understand current problems of wealth inequality of African Americans, which is a fraction of white wealth in comparison, police brutality with racialized law enforcement maneuvers as well as failures of our constitution to protect our African American citizens, as discussed earlier in previous postings, stems from slavery itself but it also from another lasting legacy, a legacy of white supremacy, that we have ignored for the longest time but which has reared its ugly head now in this era of new racial tensions and “loss of civility” as our senators reminded us last week. Complacency by white Americans, our government, elected officials, to allow for this to escalate and divide country and polarize it for political gain is un-American. It took everyone in post civil rights movement from across the country to start the change on white supremacy, and today forward we can use the same principles and reverse what is happening in our country.

Author’s name and Publication detail:

Quillian, L. (2006). New Approaches to Understanding Racial Prejudice and Discrimination. Annual Review of Sociology,32(1), 299-328. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.32.061604.123132

The Annotation Details:

In his work, Quillian (2006) defines the basis for prejudice, reflects on discrimination and racism in the United States and its continuing effects on the society today. He primarily focuses on recent work on the measurement of discrimination, especially audit methods; theories of new prejudice and racism following the Civil Rights movement and subsequent changes to the laws and enforcement of them as well as research on implicit prejudicial attitudes. All this is characterized through a multidimensional understanding of prejudice and/or the use of experimental methods. Many argue that due to changes in our law to be inclusive of African Americans rights, new and subtle forms of prejudice are taking form. Especially can be seen in todays issues such as hostility and racism when it comes to kneeling in the NFL, how through social media expression of such feelings are easily conveyed and all under the guise of First Amendment. Current social and racial tensions, in the form of #metoo as well as Black Lives Matter movement are stemming from that new prejudice Qullian talks about.

Author’s name and Publication detail:

Berlin, I. (2004). American Slavery in History and Memory and the Search for Social Justice. Journal of American History,90(4), 1251. doi:10.2307/3660347

The Annotation Details:

One of the prolific work of Ira Berlin looks back on issues of slavery and resurgence of interest in the history of it in the late 1990’s early 2000’s with the creation of movies such as Amistad, Color Purple etc. His view is that the injustice of slavery, profound effects on African American lives through lack of access to wealth, healthcare access, education, following Civil Rights movement and its effects in 2000’s need to be reconciled with the memory of slavery and history. He felt that history over memory would make the past irrelevant in twenty-first century and if memory trumped history, then past would become just a reflection of the present with no real purpose, just a wish fulfillment. In his opinion, slavery will continue in both history and memory. Embracing them both just may create a collective past that honors forebears and acknowledges that connection between past and present. “And perhaps by incorporating slavery’s memory into slavery’s history and vice versa, Americans – white and black – can have a past that is both memorable and, at last, past.” (p. 1268)

References

Berlin, I. (2004). American Slavery in History and Memory and the Search for Social Justice. Journal of American History,90 (4), 1251. doi:10.2307/3660347

Gordon-Reed, Annette (2018). America’s Original Sin Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy. Foreign Affairs, 00157120,, Vol. 97, Issue 1

Modlin, E. A., Jr. (2008). Tales Told on the Tour: Mythic Representations of Slavery by Docents at North Carolina Plantation Museums. Southeastern Geographer,48(3), 265-287. doi:10.1353/sgo.0.0025

Oconnell, H. A. (2012). The Impact of Slavery on Racial Inequality in Poverty in the Contemporary U.S. South. Social Forces,90(3), 713-734. doi:10.1093/sf/sor021

Quillian, L. (2006). New Approaches to Understanding Racial Prejudice and Discrimination. Annual Review of Sociology,32(1), 299-328. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.32.061604.123132

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History of Slavery, Segregation Ang Other Issue African Americans. (2022, Oct 05). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from
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