The History of the Discrimination of the Blacks Essay

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Words: 755
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Rozette De Castro
ENGL 102
April 18,2013

The History of The Discrimination of the Blacks

History is said to be important for it helps people avoid redoing the mistakes done in the past. It helps us better understand the present situations. Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of The United States is a very interesting book about history, from an oppressed person’s point of view, tells about the sufferings and discrimination of the people. Howard Zinn shows how the African Americans were discriminated against, in the colonies and the newly formed United States by their (the black slaves) conditions during the shipment (of the black slaves) to the country and by the unfair work/punishment decrees that were passed in against to black slaves.

Howard Zinn tells us how the African Americans were mistreated like animals during the slave shipment to the mainland, describing how the African Americans “were packed aboard the slave ships, in spaces not much bigger than coffins, chained together in the dark” (28) creating a very depressing state for them. They were food deprived. Their well beings was of no concern to the traders above the decks. They did not care if they were experiencing suffocation, nor did they care if they die during the journey. They (the traders) thought that the death of slaves wouldn’t be a loss to them, since they can still come and gather some more for the trade. It was “estimated that Africa lost 50 million human beings to death and slavery” (Zinn 29). These are all examples of how their shipment situation was. These could be reasons of why they have felt depressed and on why they did not fight back to the traders. They were so weak from the journey that they did not care anymore what would happen to them once they have arrived (to the mainland). The African Americans were forcefully taken away from their families and tribes to be slaves of rich landowners who mistreated them more.

Another evidence that Howard Zinn tells us about African Americans being discriminated would be during the later years when there were white servants as well as black slaves. The black slaves in comparison to whites were unfairly treated when it comes to punishments when crimes were committed. In A People’s History of The United States, Howard Zinn writes about “(a negro of Mr. Reynolds) started to run away. While the white servants received lighter sentences, (Emanuel the Negro to receive thirty stripes and to be burnt in the cheek with the letter R, and to work in shackle one year or more as his master shall see cause)”(30). This shows the brutality of the punishments given to the black slaves in against to those given to white servants. They were unfairly ruled against the whites even in terms of work labors. They (the black slaves) were given harder work compared to the white servants. They were not paid either for the…