Reparations: Slavery and Countless Newspaper Articles

Submitted By Chelledav1
Words: 1365
Pages: 6

I believe that some form of reparations is owed to Black Americans for the enslavement of a people that lasted for over 250 years.
This act of violence ended with a nation turned out into” freedom” from slavery into a country where they were illiterate and not treated equally or accepted into a society that for the most part, hated them and were not willing to provide tools to begin to help to teach the language and kick-start the healing process. For years it was illegal and according to some laws punishable by death to learn to read the English language. There are countless newspaper articles, television newscasts , and millions of witnesses worldwide to the lynchings and murders that often went hand in hand with forced segregation that made it hard for people to ask for reparations owed. Day to day survival was often trying to stay alive and learn in a hostile environment. 1,000,000,000 people were stolen, bought , sold separated from family and also made to be an unwilling participant in the building –up of and cultivation of the Native American’s land. In order to grow cotton a slave owner would use slaves to cultivate. They were also used for the caring of the livestock and improving land. This entailed constructing fences and building while raising different crops like sugar, tobacco and rice and also making clothes. They also were responsible for the building nearly 10,000 miles of railroad tracks. Children were even put to work as young as 3 and 4 years of age. labors made by using slaves was a major source of capital for the industrial revolution. Slaves not only worked in and on the owners plantations but also in the first factories.
When the Black nation was released from slavery it was also released into a 100 year legacy of segregation and racism ranging from a social level, an economic level and mass institutionalized racism that have deep roots in our society today. After slavery was abolished, these people were to endure a nation who warred within in itself about the morality of owning people to enslave for ones own profit. This was called the civil war. After the north won this long bloody war that often divided neighbors and family because of support of slavery or non-slavery supporters. Blacks were called free but most had no where to go and no choices or tools to actually integrate themselves into a society that a large portion was against them being free. For years after this release most were forced to work for the same people who had recently been made to set them free from slavery. They were almost certainly not given jobs at fair rates of pay and treated as equals to their fellow free white countrymen.
Some may oppose the claims by stating simply that slavery has been abolished for so long that there are no slaves or slave owners for that matter , that are still alive to make a proper payment to those who were wronged by those who executed these wrongs. To this I say that slavery was abolished but 100 years of segregation and laws that rendered Black people unequal left a people that could not legally stand up to ask for justice to their oppression as well as the oppression of the relatives who have since passed away. Remember most ex-slaves had to learn to read and write on top of the quest for daily survival in a hostile environment. There came with freed slaves a legacy of unfair laws and treatment for a very long time. The American government did enact a law that would give every Black man forty acres of land and a mule and this law was enforced soon after the civil war was ended in the year 1865. Backed by the war department, General Sherman issued field order #15 which stated that this law be honored and there were 1000 black families that were able to take advantage of this new law and receive the land and mule promised, but president Andrew Johnson (D) , upon pressure from southerners, reversed the law and took the land back from the 1000 who were able to access the law.