AfricanAmericans have come a long way, from being on top, and somehow being on thebottom. Even though they endured many hardships. they were able to makesomething out of nothing.
Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness simply didn’tseem consistent with slavery. But somehow slavery would manage to survive therevolutionary era, but changes were going to come nevertheless. Sometimes history repeats itself.The rise and fall of two kingdoms of west Africa is an example of this. Thosetwo kingdoms known as Mali and Songhai both popular for their gold. But even intheir greatness, they all collapsed for similar reasons. Africa’s economicperformance in the second half of the twentieth century has been very poor.
There’s one, informal explanation for Africa underdevelopment is its history ofextraction, characterized by two events: slave trades and colonialism. Africans on the Spanish frontiershows that Columbus’s navigator Pedro Alonso Nico, was of African descent. And also,there were progressively getting more darker blacks in Spain pulling moremanpower from mixed population, in the Caribbean. Mali’s power decreasedSonghai asserted its independence rose to power in the area. Songhai had beenan essential trade partner with Mali empire, just like Mali once were beforeruled by Ghana. The riches of the gold and salt mines drew invaders, though inthe late sixteenth century a Moroccan army attacked the capital.
The Songhaiempire already had started to decline because of political issues. Opportunities were hard for people ofcolor at the time. But most African Americans were into the gold rush. It gavethem a chance to gain a life of their own.
But additionally, foundopportunities were barbers, launders, and cooks. Since there was a moredevelopment of mixed race. Those who were of mixed race were used as a vesselon the Spanish Frontier. One individual named Tuburicio Topia he was of Africandescent mixed.
Half black and half Indian he started off his career as asolidier in the Military. In Santa Barabra he later on moved up to a higherposition. History shows back then if black folksknew if they saw a white person walking on the same sidewalk as them, they hadto step off or they would suffer consequences. But this was not so in the West,and on the frontier those rules didn’t matter. Blacks had more ability to findopportunities, wealth, and gain more status.
The women on the frontier weredoing well for themselves as well. Rules that regarded gender were a bitblurred. In the 1800s Mary Ellen Pleasant’s was making a fortune 30 million tobe exact. That’s why the frontier was so needed it gave blacks the opportunity theyneeded to become something more, then a slave. One of the prime roles in the enslavementof blacks was the economy. The colonies in the South wanted to produce the mostgoods for export as possible; therefore, requiring the cheapest labor.
With themoney the colonies were making from the exports, they were able to buy moreslaves. The price on slaves then started to rise quickly, which meant even moreprofits could be drawn from the slaves who were already owned. A slave ownercould not only profit from the new increase in the cost of a slave but also intheir breeding and labor as well. Some slave owners were allowing their slavesto grow their own crops like rice, corn, etc.
They even allowed them to trade theircrops to white neighbors, passing traders, and their fellow slaves. Indeed, the words, imagesand heritage of Douglass abound in history and popular culture. Douglassdescribes in his book his experience of escaping slavery. He also described howhe felt like as miserable as a criminal. Alluding to him fleeing from hislifestyle of being enslaved. Once he became a free man he began to imagineeverything who could, and would do. Because no man can ever tell he can’t do athing. Douglass had to endure a lot just so he could have his freedom.
In Angela Y. Davis’book she explains how black women were put on the same wagon as men dealing withthe same oppression as men. Going on stating how women suffered in differentways. Such as sexual assault and mistreatment was only towards the women.
Yes.It was easier to exploit the women then to exploit the men. Also, when it cameto punishment the author says that the men received flogging, as well as thewomen. But the women were being sexually assaulted and could not fight back,because if she did she would receive an even greater punishment for doing so. She goes on to say that black women weren’ttreated as the “weaker sex,” or housewife, black men couldn’t run hisown house, because he wasn’t the head of it his master was. All men, women, andchildren were bringing in the money for their slave hold.
The time period came when things were beginningto change for African Americans. Slavery was abolitionist, black men got the chanceto vote, and black women as well many years later, but it did happen. Accordingto Davis abolitionism of slavery didn’t change much for black men, and women. Blackwomen still were held accountable to the oppression of black men. Many things changedfor black folks, but it was still a struggle to be a happy free man next towhite folks, because they still didn’t see black folks as “free.” You see history come up and go down. It’snot easy having to start all over.
The blacks and many of the mixed raced werestill able to establish a solid foundation. African slaves turned to theirrespective cultures to finds clues to survival as well. Religion was importantbecause it gave them hope, once they were able to understand Bible. Music wasused to fill the emptiness. But family was most important because that’s washow they bonded, and was encouraged on another. Through it all AfricanAmericans survived it.