Slavery in the United States and Native Americans Essay examples

Submitted By anadias01
Words: 1757
Pages: 8

Ana Dias
AMH 2097

How Immigration Has Shaped the Lives of African Americans, Irish and Native Americans

The African American, Irish and Native Americans all share immigrant experiences that have impacted every aspect of their lives and culture including their families, religions and political and economic systems. These experiences have drastically changed their lives throughout the course of history, due to the process of assimilation they have had to endure. Racialization has played a big role in the oppression of the immigrants that came to America and institutional racism has dominated through slavery, teasing and taunting and the discrimination of early immigrants. The relocation of immigrants to North America has changed the identities and beliefs and characteristics of these groups, yet they were still able to keep and cherish some of their traditions throughout time. Families have been greatly impacted throughout time due to the immigrant experience and struggles. In African American, Irish and Native American culture, families have been torn apart due to the torment and struggles they have had to face because of immigration. African Americans were ripped away from their families during the formative wave, when they were forced to endure the gruesome trip to the United States. If a family was “fortunate” enough to be able to make the trip together, chances are they would not all survive due to the extremely high death rate in the Barraccoons. Once arriving to the states, families were even less likely to stay together when it came time to be sold to their slave masters. Masters had total control of their slaves and held the ability to make forced relations between their slaves, for their benefits. If the slaves did not comply with a master’s wish, they risked being sexually exploited. Throughout all this, they did try to keep some of their family values. The West African tradition of “jumping the broomstick” was very popular. Even though it was not a legal marriage, it was widely recognized between slaves. The Irish also had family struggles in the process of immigration. Half of all Irish immigrants to America were families, moving due to the potato famine. These families were after the American dream. Once arriving, they endured the taunting and teasing from the Americans. The Godey Lady Books were published, teasing the Irish woman and completely stripping her of her femininity. This is evident in the “Biddy vs Hibernia” situation in which the Irish woman was depict as a manly woman who had no manners. This was everything that American society did not like in women, whereas Hibernia was the typical feminine woman that American society liked and accepted. The Irish woman was not seen as beautiful, but rather, a brute woman. Men were also taunted. “Handy Andy” was the typical Irish drunk guy who really wasn’t Handy at all. In the eyes of American society, Irish men were stupid and simple minded. They were also seen as buffoons and uneducated (Sheppard “Biddy v. Hibernia”). Above all this, families were also torn apart because in the process of coming to America, they had to suffer through ship fever, which caused a high mortality rate. Native Americans were forced out of their own land and moved around once the Colonists decided to take their property. This caused them to be separated and relocated to a place where they would not be able to survive. “"The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call "assimilated," bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very different from our way.” (“Words of Wisdom” 1927 Grand Council of American Indians). The Native Americans felt like they were strangers on their own land, due to the struggles the Americans put them through. Colonists