Jhonan Mercado

Women Studies 187

Lisa D. Robinson

Question #3

March 28, 1997

Slavery in America

The enslavement of the Black man was not the first time slavery existed in history. According to history, another group of people that were enslaved were the Israelites in Egypt. However, no slavery, even that of the Israelites, in history was worse than the slavery of the Black man. The slavery of the Black man in America was the cruelest ever known to man. Europeans transported slaves from Africa as early as 1505. Spaniards brought the slaves to the island of Hispaniola. Some historians say that there were probably Africans on Columbus ships when he first sailed the Atlantic Ocean. These Africans were stripped of their home, culture, and language. The Black man and women was treated as an animal. He was not considered part of the human family. Blacks were taught that their slavery is the way things were meant to be. The white man used religion and other institutions in order to justify slavery in the south. According to historian slavery existed in the deep south because of the economical situation. However, this does not explain why Africans were enslaved in America.

The desperation for people to work the fertile land of the south called for the need of slaves. In Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky the plantations grew tobacco. In South Carolina, rice was grown. Cotton plantation increased in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. These plantation need people to work them. These plantation could not hire indentured servants because it would be to expensive. Indians could not be enslaved because it was easier for them to revolt against their slave masters (the Americas was their home). Africans were the perfect victims because thousands of miles away from home. Therefore, it was hard for these people to escape slavery. In addition, most of these African came from different tribes and communication was very hard amongst themselves. This was another flaw of the African slaves. Why would the United States support such an inhuman institution. During the 1790, more than one thousand tons of cotton was produced every year in the South. Eventually, more than a million tons was produced every year. Slavery was the only answer. Between late 1700s and early 1800s, slaves increased from 500,000 to 4 million. Out of all of these slaves, the ones that suffered the most was the Black women.

Women were in inferior to men and Blacks were inferior to whites. So, to be a Black women during slavery was a double inferiority, a double negative, it was the lowest point in society. Black women suffered a great deal during slavery. White women were discriminated but they were treated according to their gender in society. In society the women's role was to stay home and cook, while the man's role was to go out and work. The black women did not have the privileged of just staying home. She had to work the fields or in the slave masters house, as well. The Black women had no gender she was treated just like a Black man and sometimes even worst. The severity of the punishments were equal amongst Black men and women. When the Black women was pregnant, she was not excused from her daily chores. Black women suffered more than because Black men did not have to worry about getting raped. Slave masters used Black women for their sexual pleasure. After transportation of slaves from Africa to America became illegal, the need for female slaves became more important for slave masters. Slaves master began to produce slave on their plantation because the accessibility of slaves from Africa was diminishing. Thus, black women become breeders. Therefore, white slave master raped the Black women not only for sexual pleasure, but to create new slaves that were going to replace the old ones. Sometimes the slave masters forced other Black men to have sex with a Black women, while her husband was also forced to watch. Blacks carried a big burden because of slavery, but Black women had to carry a double burden because of her biological makeup. After being raped, the Black women was assured that she was going to keep her child. Most of the times her child was sold off to another