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A escravidão nos Estados Unidos era legalmente limitada aos negros?


A escravidão era legalmente exclusiva da raça? Ou seja, os negros e apenas os negros nos Estados Unidos poderiam ser considerados escravos perante a lei?

Por exemplo, se um proprietário importasse para os Estados Unidos um escravo de outra raça, sua condição de propriedade sobre esse escravo seria reconhecida?


Principalmente, mas não inteiramente.

Vários estados, incluindo a Virgínia, reconheceram explicitamente os escravos que descendiam puramente de índios.

É importante perceber que a lei muitas vezes não influenciava se uma pessoa poderia ser escravizada e havia uma grande incompatibilidade entre as leis e a prática real. Por exemplo, a maioria dos estados do sul teve leis desde cedo tornando ilegal a importação de escravos de qualquer tipo e determinando que qualquer escravo importado para o seu estado se tornaria instantaneamente livre. A Virgínia aprovou sua lei desse tipo em 1792. No entanto, essa lei nunca foi obedecida. Centenas de milhares de escravos foram importados e exportados da Virgínia depois de 1792 e nenhum deles, que eu saiba, foi libertado sob essa lei. Outra lei, mais restritiva, foi a Lei de 1819 na Virgínia, que tem a seguinte redação:

Nenhuma pessoa será doravante escravos dentro desta comunidade, exceto como no dia dezessete de outubro, no ano mil setecentos e oitenta e cinco, e os descendentes das mulheres deles e tais pessoas e seus descendentes, sendo escravos , como desde então, ou daqui em diante podem ser trazidos a este estado, ou mantidos em conformidade com a lei.

Onde só era legal trazer escravos de outros estados e do Distrito de Columbia. Assim, por exemplo, seria ilegal trazer um verdadeiro africano como escravo para a Virgínia depois que essa lei foi aprovada.

Como regra geral, após a Guerra da Revolução, os tribunais só reconheciam os "negros", ou seja, os africanos, como escravos inerentes. Índios só poderiam ser escravos se fossem filhos de escravos e já possuíssem. Você não poderia escravizar um índio. Se uma pessoa importasse e escravizasse um não africano, isso seria ilegal, porque eles estavam fora dos limites. O idioma específico é o seguinte para a Virgínia:

  1. § 3. Não será lícito a qualquer pessoa, seja qual for, trazer para este estado, ou reter nele, qualquer escravo ou escravos nascidos ou residentes fora dos limites acima mencionados, ou qualquer escravo ou escravos que tenham sido condenados por qualquer ofensa e, portanto, transportados pelas leis deste estado, ou de qualquer estado, território ou distrito acima mencionado; e, se qualquer pessoa trouxer para este estado, ao contrário das disposições deste ato, qualquer escravo ou escravos, ou vender, comprar ou manter, neste estado, qualquer escravo ou escravos, sabendo que tal escravo ou escravos têm sido trazido a este estado contrariamente às disposições deste ato, cada um desses criminosos deve perder e pagar à comunidade, para o uso do fundo literário, para cada escravo assim trazido, vendido, comprado ou detido, uma multa de mil dólares: desde que, no entanto, a pena acima mencionada não seja incorrida por qualquer pessoa que traga para este estado qualquer escravo ou escravos, com o propósito apenas de passar, ou por um curto período de tempo permanecendo neles, se tal escravo ou escravos não forem mantidos dentro este estado por um ano inteiro, ou vendido ou colocado à venda nele.

Observe que há uma isenção para uma pessoa "de passagem". Assim, por exemplo, se um diplomata estrangeiro tivesse, digamos, um escravo birmanês e estivesse apenas viajando pelo estado, isso seria permitido.

Observe que as mesmas leis proibiam negros ou mulatos livres de se estabelecerem na Virgínia, definida por serem de um quarto do sangue de um negro. Essas pessoas podem ser presas à vontade e expulsas do estado.


membros de várias tribos indígenas escravizaram vários membros de outras tribos e brancos. Isso continuou mesmo depois que várias tribos indígenas mais ou menos reconheceram o senhorio supremo do governo federal. Os guerreiros indígenas que queriam escravizar alguém nunca pararam para perguntar se alguém no grupo sabia se isso era legal de acordo com as leis do "avô" em Washington.

É claro que também era comum torturar cativos até a morte, adotá-los como membros da família e da tribo ou mantê-los como resgate.

Havia também muita escravidão de índios na fronteira, independentemente de ser legal de acordo com as leis estaduais, territoriais ou federais.

Os navajos e os novos mexicanos vinham atacando uns aos outros em busca de gado e escravos por séculos. Os Navajos foram finalmente derrotados em 1864 e forçados a fazer a Longa Caminhada até a reserva do Bosque Redondo e não foram autorizados a retornar à sua terra natal por vários anos. Portanto, havia muitas chances de os escravos brancos dos Navajos conseguirem sua liberdade.

Não é tão certo quantos escravos Navajo dos novos mexicanos foram libertados, ou quando. Há um certo cinismo sobre a ânsia dos novos mexicanos em libertar seus escravos mesmo após a 13ª emenda, ratificada em 6 de dezembro de 1865, decretou que: “Nem escravidão nem servidão involuntária, exceto como punição por crime de que o partido tenha sido devidamente condenado, deve existir nos Estados Unidos ou em qualquer lugar sujeito à sua jurisdição. " Isso é muito claro e absoluto, mas suspeita-se que os novos mexicanos considerariam ter escravos Navajo uma parte tradicional de sua cultura e não afetada pela lei.

E eu duvido que os californianos tenham reconhecido que a prática de forçar índios sequestrados a trabalhar para eles como pagamento por serem civilizados era inconstitucional após a 13ª emenda.


No livro Slavery by Another Name que sustenta que o sistema pelo qual os prisioneiros eram alugados para fazendeiros e grandes empresas para trabalharem basicamente era tão ruim quanto a escravidão ou ainda pior, vemos a possibilidade de brancos que foram condenados e se tornaram parte desse sistema poderiam ser considerados escravos. Mais ou menos como Cool Hand Luke nos mostrou sobre gangues.

E, de fato, o filme Sou um Fugitivo de uma Gangue Corrente foi baseado em uma história verídica em que um Branco foi condenado a cumprir pena em uma gangue de estrada que pode não ter começado como ele estando acorrentado, mas acabou assim. Portanto, em certo sentido, os brancos podiam acabar, para todos os efeitos e propósitos, como escravos, embora os negros fossem membros desproporcionalmente dessas gangues.

Também poderia ser argumentado que, nos tempos atuais, muitos prisioneiros são mais ou menos escravos e alguns deles são brancos.


Nos primeiros dias, os brancos eram importados para as colônias como "servos contratados". Essas eram pessoas que se venderam a senhores, não para a vida, mas por um período de tempo, geralmente de sete anos, em troca de passagem para as colônias, fiança da prisão ou considerações semelhantes. Embora essas pessoas fossem "não livres", a diferença entre esse tipo de servidão e a escravidão negra era que era por um período fixo de tempo, não para a vida toda.

Como Mark Wallace apontou em um comentário em outro post, tais arranjos eram regulados por lei estadual, não federal (antes da 13ª Emenda). Não foi até o início do século 19 que uma "reversão" de tais arranjos começou.


Educação durante o período escravo nos Estados Unidos

Os Estados Unidos são o único país conhecido por ter proibido o educação dos escravos. Durante a era da escravidão nos Estados Unidos, a educação de afro-americanos escravizados, exceto para instrução religiosa, foi desencorajada e acabou sendo ilegal na maioria dos estados do sul. Depois de 1831 (a revolta de Nat Turner), a proibição foi estendida em alguns estados também para os negros livres.

Proprietários de escravos viam a alfabetização como uma ameaça à instituição da escravidão e seu investimento financeiro nela, conforme uma lei da Carolina do Norte declarava: "'Ensinar escravos a ler e escrever tende a despertar insatisfação em suas mentes e a produzir insurreição e rebelião." [1]: 136 Em primeiro lugar, a alfabetização permitiu aos escravos lerem os escritos amplamente distribuídos de abolicionistas, que informaram os leitores sobre a revolução escravista no Haiti de 1791-1804 e o fim da escravidão no Império Britânico em 1833. Também permitia escravos descobrir que milhares de escravos haviam escapado, muitas vezes com a ajuda da Ferrovia Subterrânea, para refúgios seguros nos estados do Norte e no Canadá. Finalmente, acreditava-se que a alfabetização tornava os escravos infelizes na melhor das hipóteses, insolentes e taciturnos na pior. Conforme colocado pelo proeminente advogado de Washington Elias B. Caldwell:

Quanto mais você melhora a condição dessas pessoas, quanto mais cultiva suas mentes, mais infelizes você as torna, em seu estado atual. Você dá a eles um prazer maior por aqueles privilégios que eles nunca poderão obter, e transforma o que pretendemos como uma bênção [escravidão] em uma maldição. Não, se eles devem permanecer em sua situação atual, mantenha-os no mais baixo estado de degradação e ignorância. Quanto mais perto você os aproxima da condição de brutos, melhor chance você dá a eles de possuírem sua apatia. [2]

No entanto, tanto os afro-americanos livres quanto os escravos continuaram a aprender a ler como resultado dos esforços às vezes clandestinos de afro-americanos livres, brancos simpáticos e escolas informais que funcionavam furtivamente durante esse período. Além disso, os escravos usavam histórias, música e artesanato para transmitir tradições culturais e outras informações. [3]

Nos estados do Norte, os afro-americanos às vezes tinham acesso à educação formal e eram mais propensos a ter habilidades básicas de leitura e escrita. Os quacres foram importantes no estabelecimento de programas de educação no Norte nos anos anteriores e posteriores à Guerra Revolucionária. [4]

Durante o período colonial dos EUA, dois grupos religiosos proeminentes, Congregacionalistas e Anglicanos, viram a conversão de escravos como uma obrigação espiritual, e a capacidade de ler as escrituras foi vista como parte desse processo (Monoghan, 2001). O Grande Despertar serviu como um catalisador para encorajar a educação para todos os membros da sociedade.

Embora a leitura fosse incentivada na instrução religiosa, a escrita frequentemente não era. Escrever era visto como uma marca de status, desnecessária para muitos membros da sociedade, incluindo escravos. Isso porque muitos tiveram que aprender a ler para poder escrever. O fugitivo Wallace Turnage "aprendeu" a ler e escrever "durante aquele tempo [de sua escravidão] e desde então [ele] escapou das garras daqueles que o mantinham como escravo". [5] Acredita-se que ele aprendeu com a ajuda dos escravos que o ajudaram a fugir para diferentes locais: por exemplo, alguém pode tê-lo ensinado a ler as instruções para chegar à próxima cidade. Memorização, catecismo e escritura formaram a base do que a educação estava disponível.

Apesar da falta de importância geralmente dada ao ensino da escrita, houve algumas exceções notáveis, talvez a mais famosa delas tenha sido Phillis Wheatley, cuja poesia ganhou admiração em ambos os lados do Atlântico.

O fim da escravidão e, com ele, a proibição legal da educação escrava não significou que a educação para ex-escravos ou seus descendentes se tornasse amplamente disponível. Segregação racial nas escolas, de jure e então de fato, e o financiamento inadequado de escolas para afro-americanos, se é que existiram, continuou até o final do século XX e continua em muitas áreas.


1619-1741: Escravidão e rebelião de escravos nos EUA - Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn & # 039s história da escravidão e revoltas de escravos nos Estados Unidos de 1619 até 1741.

Não existe um país na história mundial em que o racismo tenha sido mais importante, por tanto tempo, como os Estados Unidos. E o problema da "linha de cor", como disse W. E. B. Du Bois, ainda persiste. Portanto, é mais do que uma questão puramente histórica a ser feita: como isso começa? & # 8212e uma questão ainda mais urgente: como pode terminar? Ou, em outras palavras: é possível que brancos e negros vivam juntos sem ódio?

Se a história pode ajudar a responder a essas perguntas, então o início da escravidão na América do Norte & # 8212 um continente onde podemos rastrear a vinda dos primeiros brancos e dos primeiros negros & # 8212 pode fornecer pelo menos algumas pistas.

Alguns historiadores acham que os primeiros negros da Virgínia foram considerados servos, como os servos contratados brancos trazidos da Europa. Mas a grande probabilidade é que, mesmo que fossem listados como "servos" (uma categoria mais familiar aos ingleses), eram vistos como diferentes dos servos brancos, eram tratados de maneira diferente e, de fato, eram escravos. Em qualquer caso, a escravidão desenvolveu-se rapidamente em uma instituição regular, na relação normal de trabalho dos negros com os brancos no Novo Mundo. Com isso, desenvolveu-se aquele sentimento racial especial & # 8212, seja ódio, ou desprezo, ou pena, ou paternalismo & # 8212, que acompanhou a posição inferior dos negros na América pelos próximos 350 anos & # 8212, essa combinação de status inferior e pensamento depreciativo que chamamos de racismo.

Tudo na experiência dos primeiros colonizadores brancos atuou como uma pressão para a escravização dos negros.

Os virginianos de 1619 estavam desesperados por trabalho, para cultivar comida suficiente para se manterem vivos. Entre eles estavam sobreviventes do inverno de 1609-1610, o "tempo de fome", quando, loucos por falta de comida, eles vagaram pela floresta em busca de nozes e frutas, cavaram sepulturas para comer os cadáveres e morreram em lotes até quinhentos. os colonos foram reduzidos a sessenta.

No Diários da House of Burgesses of Virginia é um documento de 1619 que fala dos primeiros doze anos da colônia Jamestown. O primeiro assentamento tinha cem pessoas, que comiam uma pequena concha de cevada por refeição. Quando mais pessoas chegavam, havia ainda menos comida. Muitas das pessoas viviam em buracos semelhantes a cavernas cavadas no solo, e no inverno de 1609-1610, eles eram

Os virginianos precisavam de mão de obra, para cultivar milho para subsistência, para cultivar tabaco para exportação. Eles haviam acabado de descobrir como cultivar tabaco e, em 1617, enviaram a primeira carga para a Inglaterra. Descobrindo que, como todas as drogas prazerosas contaminadas com desaprovação moral, ela cobrava um preço alto, os fazendeiros, apesar de seu alto discurso religioso, não iriam fazer perguntas sobre algo tão lucrativo.

Não podiam forçar os índios a trabalhar para eles, como Colombo fizera. Eles estavam em menor número e, embora, com armas de fogo superiores, pudessem massacrar índios, enfrentariam o massacre em troca. Eles não podiam capturá-los e mantê-los escravos, os índios eram durões, engenhosos, desafiadores e se sentiam em casa nesta floresta, o que não acontecia com os ingleses transplantados.

Os criados brancos ainda não haviam sido trazidos em quantidade suficiente. Além disso, eles não saíram da escravidão e não tiveram que fazer mais do que contratar seu trabalho por alguns anos para conseguir sua passagem e começar no Novo Mundo. Quanto aos colonos brancos livres, muitos deles eram artesãos habilidosos, ou mesmo homens de lazer na Inglaterra, que eram tão pouco inclinados a trabalhar na terra que John Smith, naqueles primeiros anos, teve que declarar uma espécie de lei marcial, organize-os em gangues de trabalho e force-os a entrar no campo para sobreviver.

Pode ter havido uma espécie de raiva frustrada por sua própria inépcia, pela superioridade dos índios em cuidar de si mesmos, que tornou os virginianos especialmente prontos para se tornarem senhores de escravos. Edmund Morgan imagina o humor deles enquanto escreve em seu livro Escravidão americana, liberdade americana:

Os escravos negros eram a resposta. E era natural considerar os negros importados como escravos, mesmo que a instituição da escravidão não fosse regularizada e legalizada por várias décadas. Porque, em 1619, um milhão de negros já haviam sido trazidos da África para a América do Sul e Caribe, para as colônias portuguesas e espanholas, para trabalhar como escravos. Cinquenta anos antes de Colombo, os portugueses levaram dez negros africanos para Lisboa & # 8212 este foi o início de um comércio regular de escravos. Os negros africanos foram considerados trabalho escravo por cem anos. Portanto, teria sido estranho se aqueles vinte negros, transportados à força para Jamestown e vendidos como objetos a colonos ansiosos por uma fonte constante de trabalho, fossem considerados qualquer coisa, menos escravos.

Seu desamparo tornava a escravidão mais fácil. Os índios estavam em suas próprias terras. Os brancos estavam em sua própria cultura europeia. Os negros foram arrancados de sua terra e cultura, forçados a uma situação em que a herança da linguagem, do vestuário, dos costumes, das relações familiares foi gradualmente obliterada, exceto pelos vestígios aos quais os negros podiam se agarrar por pura e extraordinária persistência.

A cultura deles era inferior & # 8212 e tão sujeita a fácil destruição? Inferior em capacidade militar, sim & # 8212 vulnerável a brancos com armas e navios. Mas de nenhuma outra maneira & # 8212, exceto que culturas diferentes são frequentemente consideradas inferiores, especialmente quando tal julgamento é prático e lucrativo. Mesmo militarmente, embora os ocidentais pudessem garantir fortes na costa africana, eles foram incapazes de subjugar o interior e tiveram que chegar a um acordo com seus chefes.

A civilização africana era tão avançada à sua maneira quanto a da Europa. De certa forma, era mais admirável, mas também incluía crueldades, privilégios hierárquicos e a prontidão para sacrificar vidas humanas pela religião ou pelo lucro. Era uma civilização de 100 milhões de habitantes, usando implementos de ferro e habilidosos na agricultura. Teve grandes centros urbanos e notáveis ​​realizações em tecelagem, cerâmica, escultura.

Os viajantes europeus do século XVI ficaram impressionados com os reinos africanos de Timbuktu e Mali, já estáveis ​​e organizados em uma época em que os estados europeus estavam apenas começando a se transformar na nação moderna. Em 1563, Ramusio, secretário dos governantes de Veneza, escreveu aos mercadores italianos: "Deixem-nos ir e negociar com o rei de Timbuktu e Mali e não há dúvida de que lá serão bem recebidos com os seus navios e os seus bens e bem tratados, e concedido os favores que eles pedem. "

Um relatório holandês, por volta de 1602, sobre o reino do Benin na África Ocidental, dizia: "O Towne parece ser muito grande, quando você entra. Você entra em uma grande rua larga, não pavimentada, que parece ser sete ou oito vezes mais ampla do que a Warmoes Street em Amsterdã... As casas neste Towne estão em boa ordem, uma perto e igual à da outra, como as casas na Holanda estão. "

Os habitantes da Costa da Guiné foram descritos por um viajante por volta de 1680 como "um povo muito civilizado e de boa índole, fácil de lidar, condescendente com o que os europeus exigem deles de forma civilizada e muito disposto a retribuir o dobro dos presentes que nós faça-os. "

A África tinha uma espécie de feudalismo, como a Europa baseada na agricultura, e com hierarquias de senhores e vassalos. Mas o feudalismo africano não veio, como o da Europa, das sociedades escravistas da Grécia e de Roma, que destruíram a vida tribal antiga. Na África, a vida tribal ainda era poderosa e algumas de suas melhores características & # 8212 um espírito comunitário, mais bondade na lei e punição & # 8212 ainda existia. E porque os senhores não tinham as armas que os senhores europeus tinham, eles não podiam comandar a obediência tão facilmente.

No livro dele O comércio de escravos africanos, Basil Davidson contrasta a lei no Congo no início do século XVI com a lei em Portugal e na Inglaterra. Naqueles países europeus, onde a ideia da propriedade privada estava se tornando poderosa, o roubo era punido com violência. Na Inglaterra, ainda em 1740, uma criança podia ser enforcada por roubar um trapo de algodão. Mas no Congo a vida comunal persistia, a ideia de propriedade privada era estranha e os roubos eram punidos com multas ou vários graus de servidão. Um dirigente congolês, ao falar dos códigos legais portugueses, perguntou certa vez a um português, provocando: "Qual é a pena em Portugal para quem põe os pés no chão?"

A escravidão existia nos estados africanos e às vezes era usada pelos europeus para justificar seu próprio comércio de escravos. Mas, como Davidson aponta, os "escravos" da África eram mais parecidos com os servos da Europa & # 8212 em outras palavras, como a maioria da população da Europa. Era uma servidão severa, mas eles tinham direitos que os escravos trazidos para a América não tinham, e eles eram "completamente diferentes do gado humano dos navios negreiros e das plantações americanas". No Reino Ashanti da África Ocidental, um observador notou que "um escravo pode se casar com sua própria propriedade, possuir um escravo, jurar ser uma testemunha competente e, por fim, tornar-se herdeiro de seu mestre. Um escravo Ashanti, nove em cada dez casos, possivelmente tornou-se um membro adotivo da família, e com o tempo seus descendentes se fundiram e se casaram com os parentes do proprietário que apenas alguns saberiam sua origem. "

Um comerciante de escravos, John Newton (que mais tarde se tornou um líder antiescravista), escreveu sobre o povo do que hoje é Serra Leoa:

A escravidão africana dificilmente deve ser elogiada. Mas era muito diferente da escravidão da plantation ou da mineração nas Américas, que durava toda a vida, era moralmente incapacitante, destruía os laços familiares, sem esperança de futuro. A escravidão africana carecia de dois elementos que fizeram da escravidão americana a forma mais cruel de escravidão da história: o frenesi por lucro ilimitado que vem da agricultura capitalista, a redução do escravo a um status inferior ao humano pelo uso do ódio racial, com aquela clareza implacável baseada na cor, onde o branco era mestre, o preto era escravo.

Na verdade, era por virem de uma cultura estabelecida, de costumes tribais e laços familiares, de vida comunitária e ritual tradicional, que os negros africanos se sentiam especialmente desamparados quando afastados dela. Eram capturados no interior (frequentemente por negros envolvidos no tráfico de escravos), vendidos no litoral e depois enfiados em cercados com negros de outras tribos, muitas vezes falando línguas diferentes.

As condições de captura e venda foram esmagadoras para o negro africano de sua impotência diante de uma força superior. As marchas até a costa, às vezes por 1.600 quilômetros, com pessoas algemadas ao pescoço, sob chicote e arma, foram marchas da morte, nas quais dois em cada cinco negros morreram. Na costa, eles foram mantidos em gaiolas até serem colhidos e vendidos. Um certo John Barbot, no final do século XVII, descreveu essas gaiolas na Costa do Ouro:

Certa ocasião, ouvindo um grande barulho vindo do convés inferior onde os negros estavam acorrentados, os marinheiros abriram as escotilhas e encontraram os escravos em diferentes estágios de sufocação, muitos mortos, alguns tendo matado outros na tentativa desesperada de respirar. Os escravos freqüentemente pulavam no mar para se afogar, em vez de continuar seu sofrimento. Para um observador, um convés de escravos estava "tão coberto de sangue e muco que parecia um matadouro".

Nessas condições, talvez um em cada três negros transportados para o exterior morresse, mas os enormes lucros (muitas vezes o dobro do investimento em uma viagem) faziam valer a pena para o traficante de escravos, e assim os negros eram colocados nos porões como peixes.

Primeiro os holandeses, depois os ingleses, dominaram o comércio de escravos. (Em 1795, Liverpool tinha mais de cem navios transportando escravos e respondia por metade de todo o comércio de escravos europeu.) Alguns americanos na Nova Inglaterra entraram no negócio, e em 1637 o primeiro navio negreiro americano, o Desejo, partiu de Marblehead. Seus porões foram divididos em prateleiras, de 2 por 6 pés, com ferros para as pernas e barras.

Por volta de 1800, 10 a 15 milhões de negros haviam sido transportados como escravos para as Américas, representando talvez um terço dos originalmente apreendidos na África. Estima-se que a África perdeu 50 milhões de seres humanos para a morte e a escravidão naqueles séculos que chamamos de início da civilização ocidental moderna, nas mãos de comerciantes de escravos e proprietários de plantações na Europa Ocidental e na América, os países considerados os mais avançados no mundo.

No ano de 1610, um padre católico nas Américas chamado padre Sandoval escreveu de volta a um funcionário da igreja na Europa para perguntar se a captura, transporte e escravidão de negros africanos era legal pela doutrina da igreja. Uma carta de 12 de março de 1610 do irmão Luis Brandaon ao padre Sandoval dá a resposta:

Com tudo isso & # 8212, o desespero dos colonos de Jamestown por trabalho, a impossibilidade de usar índios e a dificuldade de usar brancos, a disponibilidade de negros oferecidos em números cada vez maiores por negociantes em busca de lucro em carne humana, e com esses negros possíveis ao controle porque tinham acabado de passar por uma provação que, se não os matou, deve tê-los deixado em um estado de desamparo psíquico e físico & # 8212é alguma maravilha que tais negros estivessem prontos para a escravidão?

E nessas condições, mesmo que alguns negros pudessem ser considerados criados, os negros seriam tratados da mesma forma que criados brancos?

A evidência, dos autos do tribunal da Virgínia colonial, mostra que em 1630 um homem branco chamado Hugh Davis foi condenado "a ser condenado. Por abusar de si mesmo. Por contaminar seu corpo ao deitar com um negro". Dez anos depois, seis empregados e "um negro do Sr. Reynolds" começaram a fugir. Enquanto os brancos recebiam sentenças mais leves, "Emanuel, o Negro, para receber trinta açoites e ser queimado na bochecha com a letra R, e trabalhar acorrentado um ano ou mais como seu mestre ver causa."

Embora a escravidão ainda não tenha sido regularizada ou legalizada nesses primeiros anos, as listas de servos mostram os negros listados separadamente. Uma lei aprovada em 1639 decretou que "todas as pessoas, exceto os negros" deveriam obter armas e munições & # 8212 provavelmente para lutar contra os índios. Quando em 1640 três servos tentaram fugir, os dois brancos foram punidos com um prolongamento do serviço. Mas, como disse o tribunal, "o terceiro, sendo um negro chamado John Punch, servirá a seu mestre ou a seus designados pelo tempo de sua vida natural". Também em 1640, temos o caso de uma empregada negra que gerou um filho com Robert Sweat, um homem branco. O tribunal decidiu "que a dita mulher negra será chicoteada no posto de chicotada e o dito Suor deve amanhã ao meio-dia fazer penitência pública por sua ofensa na igreja da cidade de James."

Esse tratamento desigual, essa combinação crescente de desprezo e opressão, sentimento e ação, que chamamos de "racismo" & # 8212, foi isso o resultado de uma antipatia "natural" do branco contra o negro? A questão é importante, não apenas por uma questão de precisão histórica, mas porque qualquer ênfase no racismo "natural" alivia a responsabilidade do sistema social. Se o racismo não pode ser demonstrado como natural, então ele é o resultado de certas condições, e somos impelidos a eliminá-las.

Não temos como testar o comportamento de brancos e negros uns com os outros em condições favoráveis ​​& # 8212 sem histórico de subordinação, sem incentivo monetário para exploração e escravidão, sem desespero para sobreviver exigindo trabalho forçado. Todas as condições para os brancos e negros na América do século XVII eram o oposto disso, todas poderosamente direcionadas ao antagonismo e aos maus-tratos. Sob tais condições, mesmo a mais leve demonstração de humanidade entre as raças pode ser considerada evidência de um impulso humano básico em direção à comunidade.

Às vezes, é notado que, mesmo antes de 1600, quando o tráfico de escravos havia apenas começado, antes que os africanos fossem marcados por ele & # 8212 literal e simbolicamente & # 8212, a cor preta era desagradável. Na Inglaterra, antes de 1600, significava, de acordo com o Dicionário de Inglês Oxford: "Profundamente manchado com sujeira, suja, imunda. Tendo propósitos sombrios ou mortais, maligno relacionado a ou envolvendo a morte, mortalmente pernicioso, desastroso, sinistro. Imundo, iníquo , atroz, terrivelmente perverso. Indicando desgraça, censura, responsabilidade por punição etc. " E a poesia elisabetana costumava usar a cor branca em conexão com a beleza.

Pode ser que, na ausência de qualquer outro fator preponderante, escuridão e negritude, associadas à noite e ao desconhecido, assumissem esses significados. Mas a presença de outro ser humano é um fato poderoso, e as condições dessa presença são cruciais para determinar se um preconceito inicial, contra uma mera cor, divorciado da humanidade, se transforma em brutalidade e ódio.

Apesar de tais preconceitos sobre a negritude, apesar da subordinação especial dos negros nas Américas no século XVII, há evidências de que onde brancos e negros se encontravam com problemas comuns, trabalho comum, inimigo comum em seu mestre, eles se comportavam em relação a um outro como igual. Como disse um estudioso da escravidão, Kenneth Stampp, os criados negros e brancos do século XVII eram "notavelmente despreocupados com as diferenças físicas visíveis".

Preto e branco trabalharam juntos, confraternizaram. O próprio fato de que depois de um certo tempo as leis precisaram ser aprovadas para proibir tais relações, indica a força dessa tendência. Em 1661, foi aprovada uma lei na Virgínia que "no caso de algum criado inglês fugir em companhia de algum negro", ele teria de prestar serviço especial por anos extras ao senhor do negro fugitivo. Em 1691, a Virgínia providenciou o banimento de qualquer "homem ou mulher branca sendo livre que se casar com um negro, mulatoo ou índio, homem ou mulher forçada ou livre".

Há uma enorme diferença entre um sentimento de estranheza racial, talvez medo, e a escravidão em massa de milhões de negros que ocorreu nas Américas. A transição de um para o outro não pode ser explicada facilmente por tendências "naturais". Não é difícil entender como resultado de condições históricas.

A escravidão cresceu à medida que o sistema de plantação cresceu. O motivo é facilmente rastreável a outra coisa que não a repugnância racial natural: o número de brancos que chegavam, fossem eles servos livres ou contratados (com contrato de quatro a sete anos), não era suficiente para atender às necessidades das plantações. Em 1700, na Virgínia, havia 6.000 escravos, um duodécimo da população. Em 1763, havia 170.000 escravos, cerca de metade da população.

Os negros eram mais fáceis de escravizar do que os brancos ou índios. Mas eles ainda não eram fáceis de escravizar. Desde o início, os negros importados resistiram à escravidão. No final das contas, sua resistência foi controlada e a escravidão foi estabelecida para 3 milhões de negros no sul. Ainda assim, nas condições mais difíceis, sob pena de mutilação e morte, durante seus duzentos anos de escravidão na América do Norte, esses afro-americanos continuaram a se rebelar. Apenas ocasionalmente ocorria uma insurreição organizada. Mais frequentemente, eles mostraram sua recusa em se submeter fugindo. Ainda mais frequentemente, eles se envolveram em sabotagem, lentidão e formas sutis de resistência que afirmavam, mesmo que apenas para si próprios e seus irmãos e irmãs, sua dignidade como seres humanos.

A recusa começou na África. Um comerciante de escravos relatou que os negros eram "tão obstinados e relutantes em deixar seu próprio país, que muitas vezes saltavam das canoas, do barco e do navio para o mar e se mantinham debaixo d'água até se afogarem".

When the very first black slaves were brought into Hispaniola in 1503, the Spanish governor of Hispaniola complained to the Spanish court that fugitive Negro slaves were teaching disobedience to the Indians. In the 1520s and 1530s, there were slave revolts in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Santa Marta, and what is now Panama. Shortly after those rebellions, the Spanish established a special police for chasing fugitive slaves.

A Virginia statute of 1669 referred to "the obstinacy of many of them," and in 1680 the Assembly took note of slave meetings "under the pretense of feasts and brawls" which they considered of "dangerous consequence." In 1687, in the colony's Northern Neck, a plot was discovered in which slaves planned to kill all the whites in the area and escape during a mass funeral.

Gerald Mullin, who studied slave resistance in eighteenth-century Virginia in his work Flight and Rebellion, reports:

Slaves recently from Africa, still holding on to the heritage of their communal society, would run away in groups and try to establish villages of runaways out in the wilderness, on the frontier. Slaves born in America, on the other hand, were more likely to run off alone, and, with the skills they had learned on the plantation, try to pass as free men.

In the colonial papers of England, a 1729 report from the lieutenant governor of Virginia to the British Board of Trade tells how "a number of Negroes, about fifteen. formed a design to withdraw from their Master and to fix themselves in the fastnesses of the neighboring Mountains. They had found means to get into their possession some Arms and Ammunition, and they took along with them some Provisions, their Cloths, bedding and working Tools. Tho' this attempt has happily been defeated, it ought nevertheless to awaken us into some effectual measures. "

Slavery was immensely profitable to some masters. James Madison told a British visitor shortly after the American Revolution that he could make $257 on every Negro in a year, and spend only $12 or $13 on his keep. Another viewpoint was of slaveowner Landon Carter, writing about fifty years earlier, complaining that his slaves so neglected their work and were so uncooperative ("either cannot or will not work") that he began to wonder if keeping them was worthwhile.

Some historians have painted a picture—based on the infrequency of organized rebellions and the ability of the South to maintain slavery for two hundred years—of a slave population made submissive by their condition with their African heritage destroyed, they were, as Stanley Elkins said, made into "Sambos," "a society of helpless dependents." Or as another historian, Ulrich Phillips, said, "by racial quality submissive." But looking at the totality of slave behavior, at the resistance of everyday life, from quiet noncooperation in work to running away, the picture becomes different.

In 1710, warning the Virginia Assembly, Governor Alexander Spotswood said:

Mullin found newspaper advertisements between 1736 and 1801 for 1,138 men runaways, and 141 women. One consistent reason for running away was to find members of one's family—showing that despite the attempts of the slave system to destroy family ties by not allowing marriages and by separating families, slaves would face death and mutilation to get together.

In Maryland, where slaves were about one-third of the population in 1750, slavery had been written into law since the 1660s, and statutes for controlling rebellious slaves were passed. There were cases where slave women killed their masters, sometimes by poisoning them, sometimes by burning tobacco houses and homes. Punishment ranged from whipping and branding to execution, but the trouble continued. In 1742, seven slaves were put to death for murdering their master.

Fear of slave revolt seems to have been a permanent fact of plantation life. William Byrd, a wealthy Virginia slaveowner, wrote in 1736:

The system was psychological and physical at the same time. The slaves were taught discipline, were impressed again and again with the idea of their own inferiority to "know their place," to see blackness as a sign of subordination, to be awed by the power of the master, to merge their interest with the master's, destroying their own individual needs. To accomplish this there was the discipline of hard labor, the breakup of the slave family, the lulling effects of religion (which sometimes led to "great mischief," as one slaveholder reported), the creation of disunity among slaves by separating them into field slaves and more privileged house slaves, and finally the power of law and the immediate power of the overseer to invoke whipping, burning, mutilation, and death. Dismemberment was provided for in the Virginia Code of 1705. Maryland passed a law in 1723 providing for cutting off the ears of blacks who struck whites, and that for certain serious crimes, slaves should be hanged and the body quartered and exposed.

Still, rebellions took place—not many, but enough to create constant fear among white planters. The first large-scale revolt in the North American colonies took place in New York in 1712. In New York, slaves were 10 percent of the population, the highest proportion in the northern states, where economic conditions usually did not require large numbers of field slaves. About twenty- five blacks and two Indians set fire to a building, then killed nine whites who came on the scene. They were captured by soldiers, put on trial, and twenty-one were executed. The governor's report to England said: "Some were burnt, others were hanged, one broke on the wheel, and one hung alive in chains in the town. " One had been burned over a slow fire for eight to ten hours—all this to serve notice to other slaves.

A letter to London from South Carolina in 1720 reports:

Around this time there were a number of fires in Boston and New Haven, suspected to be the work of Negro slaves. As a result, one Negro was executed in Boston, and the Boston Council ruled that any slaves who on their own gathered in groups of two or more were to be punished by whipping.

At Stono, South Carolina, in 1739, about twenty slaves rebelled, killed two warehouse guards, stole guns and gunpowder, and headed south, killing people in their way, and burning buildings. They were joined by others, until there were perhaps eighty slaves in all and, according to one account of the time, "they called out Liberty, marched on with Colours displayed, and two Drums beating." The militia found and attacked them. In the ensuing battle perhaps fifty slaves and twenty-five whites were killed before the uprising was crushed.

Herbert Aptheker, who did detailed research on slave resistance in North America for his book American Negro Slave Revolts, found about 250 instances where a minimum of ten slaves joined in a revolt or conspiracy.

From time to time, whites were involved in the slave resistance. As early as 1663, indentured white servants and black slaves in Gloucester County, Virginia, formed a conspiracy to rebel and gain their freedom. The plot was betrayed, and ended with executions. Mullin reports that the newspaper notices of runaways in Virginia often warned "ill-disposed" whites about harboring fugitives. Sometimes slaves and free men ran off together, or cooperated in crimes together. Sometimes, black male slaves ran off and joined white women. From time to time, white ship captains and watermen dealt with runaways, perhaps making the slave a part of the crew.

In New York in 1741, there were ten thousand whites in the city and two thousand black slaves. It had been a hard winter and the poor—slave and free—had suffered greatly. When mysterious fires broke out, blacks and whites were accused of conspiring together. Mass hysteria developed against the accused. After a trial full of lurid accusations by informers, and forced confessions, two white men and two white women were executed, eighteen slaves were hanged, and thirteen slaves were burned alive.

Only one fear was greater than the fear of black rebellion in the new American colonies. That was the fear that discontented whites would join black slaves to overthrow the existing order. In the early years of slavery, especially, before racism as a way of thinking was firmly ingrained, while white indentured servants were often treated as badly as black slaves, there was a possibility of cooperation. As Edmund Morgan sees it:

As Morgan says, masters, "initially at least, perceived slaves in much the same way they had always perceived servants. shiftless, irresponsible, unfaithful, ungrateful, dishonest. " And "if freemen with disappointed hopes should make common cause with slaves of desperate hope, the results might be worse than anything Bacon had done."

And so, measures were taken. About the same time that slave codes, involving discipline and punishment, were passed by the Virginia Assembly,

Morgan concludes: "Once the small planter felt less exploited by taxation and began to prosper a little, he became less turbulent, less dangerous, more respectable. He could begin to see his big neighbor not as an extortionist but as a powerful protector of their common interests."

We see now a complex web of historical threads to ensnare blacks for slavery in America: the desperation of starving settlers, the special helplessness of the displaced African, the powerful incentive of profit for slave trader and planter, the temptation of superior status for poor whites, the elaborate controls against escape and rebellion, the legal and social punishment of black and white collaboration.

The point is that the elements of this web are historical, not "natural." This does not mean that they are easily disentangled, dismantled. It means only that there is a possibility for something else, under historical conditions not yet realized. And one of these conditions would be the elimination of that class exploitation which has made poor whites desperate for small gifts of status, and has prevented that unity of black and white necessary for joint rebellion and reconstruction.

Around 1700, the Virginia House of Burgesses declared:

It was a kind of class consciousness, a class fear. There were things happening in early Virginia, and in the other colonies, to warrant it.


When Did Slavery Really End in the United States?

During the 2012-2013 academic year, Marquette University has sponsored “The Freedom Project,” which was described at the outset as “a year-long commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War that will explore the many meanings and histories of emancipation and freedom in the United States and beyond.” Much of the recent focus has been upon the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued in its final form by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, an event described in impressive detail by Professor Idleman in an earlier post.

An interesting question rarely addressed is whether either the Emancipation Proclamation or the subsequently adopted Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution applied to “Indian Territory.”

By Indian Territory, I refer to that part of the unorganized portion of the American public domain that was set apart for the Native American tribes. More specifically, I use the term to refer to those lands located in modern day Oklahoma that was set aside for the relocation of the so-call “Civilized Tribes” of the Southeastern United States: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.

These tribes were the only Native American groups to formally recognize the institution of African-slavery. As Southerners, the Civilized Tribes had accepted the institution of African-slavery, and at the outset of the Civil War, African-American slaves made up 14% of the population of Indian Territory occupied by the civilized tribes.

As it turns out, neither document applied to Indian Territory, and consequently, slavery survived in that part of the United States for several months after it was abolished everywhere else with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December, 1865.

In 1861, the existence of slavery and a common “southern” heritage, combined with a history of disappointing dealings with the United States government, led the Civilized Tribes to side with the Confederacy rather than the Union. Although the tribes’ effort to secure admission to the Confederate States of America as an “Indian” state failed, each of the five Civilized Tribes entered into treaties with the Confederacy that at least kept open the possibility that they might someday be directly incorporated into the new nation.

(Less well-known is that the Confederacy also entered into treaties with the Comanches, Delawares, Osage, Quapaws, Senecas, Shawnees, and Wichitas.)

Many Civilized Tribe members served in uniform in the Confederate Army—and while some individual Native Americans fought for the Union—the loyalties of the tribes was primarily to the South. Most famously, the last Confederate general to surrender his troops to the Union Army was the Cherokee Stand Watie, who commanded an all-Indian brigade.

The Emancipation Proclamation by its own language appeared not to apply to Indian Territory, as it was specifically limited to “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States.” Since Indian Territory was not a “state,” the Proclamation had no impact in Indian Territory, even if they were arguably in rebellion against the national government.

However, the year before, the United States Congress had enacted legislation abolishing slavery in the “territories.” Act of June 19, 1862, ch. 112, 12 Stat. 432. (According to the 1860 Census, small numbers of slave were present in Utah, Nevada, and Nebraska territories, areas that had been opened to slavery by the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, as well as the Indian-owned slaves in the area that would like become the state of Oklahoma.)

Was it possible that this act had outlawed slavery in Indian Territory? It seems unlikely, given the unique status of the Indian Territory. Although referred to as a “territory,” “Indian Territory” (or “Indian Country” as it was also called) had never been organized as a formal territory (even though it was apparently treated as one for census purposes in 1860.)

Moreover, territories were intended to be proto-states, but in 1862, there is no evidence that anyone in the Congress imagined that the Indian Territory, home to semi-sovereign Indian Tribes, would someday be a state. The problem of Native American tribes coexisting with state governments was what had made the Trail of Tears necessary three decades earlier. Consequently, it was never an actual territory and thus was not one of the areas covered by the 1862 act.

Moreover, subsequent events involving the Cherokees suggest that Native Americans in Indian Territory did not believe that either the 1862 Act or the Emancipation Proclamation had ended slavery in their jurisdiction. In 1862, John Ross, the president of the Cherokee nation, broke with the Confederacy and cast his lot with the Lincoln Administration. Although a majority of Cherokee remained loyal to the Confederacy (and pro-slavery), Ross was able to use his influence on the National Council of the Cherokee Nation to repudiate the treaty with the Confederacy and to abolish slavery in February 1863, slightly more than a month after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. (Pro-Confederate Cherokee, who were concentrated in the southern part of the Cherokee lands, ignored these actions.)

The National Council’s 1863 decision to abolish slavery, if nothing else, illustrated the beliefs of pro-Union Cherokees that neither to Abolition of Slavery in the Territories Act of 1862, nor the Emancipation Proclamation had changed to status of slaves in Indian Territory.

Because of the widespread view that the Tribes were independent sovereigns, physically located in the United States, but not part of the United States, it also seems unlikely that the drafters and ratifiers of the Thirteen Amendment understood that it would end slavery in Indian Territory.

Moreover, the language of the Thirteenth Amendment itself seems to rule out application to the Civilized Tribes. The somewhat awkwardly worded amendment provides that it applies “within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The problem is not with the use of “their.” Until the 1870’s, the United States was commonly referred as a plural noun, even when one was talking about a single entity. .

The problem is that Indian Territory was not within the “jurisdiction” of the United States as that term was understood in the 1860’s. Given that the United States government used the international law device of treaties to deal with all Indian Tribes, including the Civilized Tribes, the Lincoln Administration continued the practice of treating the Indian tribes as though they were separate sovereigns, outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

The Fourteenth Amendment, enacted in Congress the following year, had a similar disclaimer: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States …” which provided a continuing rationale for treating native-born tribal Indians as non-citizens.

In fact, in 1866, the United States addressed the slavery in Indian Territory issue by entering into new treaties with each of the Civilized Tribes (although the treaty with the Choctaw and the Chickasaw was a joint treaty). Until these treaties, which were signed between March and July and proclaimed in July and August, only the Cherokee had taken steps to abolish slavery. However, in each of the 1866 treaties the tribal signatory acknowledged that slavery would no longer be recognized as a legal institution by the tribe.

If we simply go by the dates on which the Tribes ratified these treaties, slavery in the continental United States came to an end as a legal institution on June 14, 1866, when the Creek Tribe agreed to abandon African-American slavery. The was, somewhat ironically, the day after Congress approved the Fourteenth Amendment.


Missing Essential Stories of American Slavery

Native Americans point to another vital reality: African-American identity and a personal history of enslaved ancestors are not synonymous. Some African-Americans, like President Obama, have no ancestry among enslaved Africans in America. Many people enslaved in America, most notably the first slaves, Native Americans, are not of African descent.

Furthermore, “unfree labor” did not end with the end of race-based chattel slavery. Unfree Asian labor in Hawaii and the Pacific west continued almost until the 20th century, while today prisoners of all races are often press-ganged into underpaid labor.

This is not to diminish the African-American experience of slavery: the overwhelming majority of enslaved people in America were of African descent, and the overwhelming majority of people of African descent in America are descended from ancestors who were enslaved. Today, it is reasonable to speak of the African-American experience and the experience of enslavement as essentially and inexorably connected.

But when we talk about história e origins of our society, when we try to untangle the web of events that brought us to where we are today, we have to be more careful. Slavery in America began with Spanish enslavement of Native Americans. In the most enslaved parts of America like South Carolina, slavery largely began with the enslavement of Native Americans.

Like Americans whose origins are in non-Anglo colonies, so too the 1619 Project’s narratives seem to miss a significant part of the legacy of slavery: Native Americans, who remain significantly poorer than African-Americans, less educated, and often with shorter life expectancies. Undoubtedly the 1619 Project’s writers have genuine sympathy for Native Americans. I’m sure they would read my comment here as disingenuous: do I really support Native American rights to land and reparations? For the record, yes, I do.

But beyond that, the 1619 Project bills itself as helping Americans see the real story of American origins. E a real story as the 1619 Project tells it is that slavery began in 1619 with 20 Africans. This isn’t true. This ignores the experience of Puerto Rico, where slavery began earlier, and lasted longer.

Furthermore, a serious accounting for slavery has to wrestle with the experience of Native Americans and Hawaiian islanders, and especially the status of their ancestral lands and sovereign rights. More broadly, to wrestle adequately with the painful historical reality of America’s “labor freedom,” we have to be able to talk about less-than-free Asian migrant workers in California and Hawaii, as well as the indenturehood of the Scots-Irish and subsequent Appalachian poverty.

That these peoples are not treated as subaltern today to the same extent that Native Americans or African Americans still are should not exclude them from a project concerned with history. Plus, many poor whites in Appalachia with accents still experience a version of ethnic subaltern status. We should let them speak without writing it off as white racial grievance.


The Horrible Fate of John Casor, The First Black Man to be Declared Slave for Life in America

The only date definitely connected to John Casor’s life is this day in 1654 or 1655. It’s not when he was born, when he achieved something or when he died. It’s when he became a slave.

Conteúdo Relacionado

Casor was originally an indentured servant, which meant he was practically a slave in some senses. But what was bought or sold wasn’t him, it was his contract of indenture, which obligated him to work for its holder for the period it set. At the end of that time, indentured servants—who could be of any race—were considered legally free and sent out into the world.

This might sound like a rough deal, but indenture was how the British colonizers who lived in what would later become the United States managed to populate the land and get enough people to do the back-breaking work of farming crops like tobacco in the South.

People who survived their period of indenture (many didn’t) went on to live free lives in the colonies, often after receiving some kind of small compensation like clothes, land or tools to help set them up, writes Ariana Kyl for Today I Found Out.

That was the incentive that caused many poor whites to indenture themselves and their families and move to the so-called New World. But Africans who were indentured were often captured and brought over against their will. That's what happened to the holder of Casor’s indenture, Anthony Johnson. Johnson served out his contract and went on to run his own tobacco farm and hold his own indentured servants, among them Casor. At this time, the colony of Virginia had very few black people in it: Johnson was one of the original 20.

After a disagreement about whether or not Casor's contract was lapsed, a court ruled in favor of Johnson and Casor saw the status of his indenture turn into slavery, where he—not his contract—was considered property. Casor claimed that he had served his indenture of “seaven or Eight years” and seven more years on top of that. The court sided with Johnson, who claimed that Casor was his slave for life.

So Casor became the first person to be arbitrarily declared a slave for life in the U.S. (An earlier case had ended with a man named John Punch being declared a slave for life as a punishment for trying to escape his indentured servitude. His fellow escapees, who were white, were not punished in this way.) Of course, as Wesleyan University notes, “the Transatlantic slave trade from Africa to the Americas had been around for over a century already, originating around 1500.” Slaves, usually captured and sold by other African tribes, were transported across the Atlantic to the Americas, the university’s blog notes. Around 11 million people were transported from 1500 to 1850, mostly to Brazil and the Caribbean islands. If they arrived in America, originally they became indentured servants if they arrived elsewhere, they became slaves.

Casor’s story is particularly grim in hindsight. His slip into slavery would be followed by many, many other people of African descent who were declared property in what became the United States. It was a watershed moment in the history of institutional slavery.

“About seven years later, Virginia made this practice legal for everyone, in 1661, by making it state law for any free white, black or Indian to be able to own slaves, along with indentured servants,” Kyl writes. The step from there to a racialized idea of slavery wasn’t a huge one, she writes, and by the time Johnson died in 1670, his race was used to justify giving his plantation to a white man rather than Johnson’s children by his wife, Mary. He was “not a citizen of the colony,” a judge ruled, because he was black.

Sobre Kat Eschner

Kat Eschner é uma jornalista freelance de ciência e cultura que mora em Toronto.


Five myths about Black history

Each February since 1976, Americans have celebrated Black History Month. Established by historian Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week in 1926, the commemoration developed over 50 years until it became Black History Month to mark the contributions of Black people. Despite the significance of Black history, far too many Americans don’t grasp its centrality to U.S. history. This lack of knowledge helps spread myths about the Black past.

Myth No. 1

Slavery was a Southern phenomenon.

The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that this idea continues to shape how students think about slavery in the United States. Fewer than half of American adults knew that slavery existed in all 13 colonies before the revolution, a 2019 Washington Post-SSRS poll found.

In reality, Christopher Columbus’s 1492 voyage set in motion 400 years of slavery in the Americas. An estimated 650,000 African captives were transported to what would become the United States between 1619 and the eve of the Civil War. It’s true that most of these men, women and children were brought to the South, which relied heavily on enslaved labor to build its economy. But other people were taken to Northern states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. New York City had the second-largest population density of enslaved Africans (after Charleston, S.C.) in 1740. At various moments during the 18th century, New York’s population of enslaved people exceeded that of some Southern states. It was not until 1827 that New York state legally abolished slavery. Abolition in other Northern states followed a similar pattern of gradual emancipation. Ultimately, slavery as an institution shaped the entire nation.

Myth No. 2

Abraham Lincoln ended slavery and freed enslaved people.

Americans tend to credit Lincoln alone for abolition, mostly because he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. “Yes, Republicans freed the slaves,” a CNN analysis last summer reported. “They were not these Republicans.” Similarly, the rapper Kanye West told a crowd in 2019, “Abraham Lincoln was the Whig Party — that’s the Republican Party that freed the slaves.”

But the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery or even free a large number of enslaved people. It recognized Black soldiers by opening up a chance for them to enlist in the Union army. But on the matter of slavery, it applied only to enslaved people in rebel states — territory over which Lincoln then had no control. It didn’t affect the more than 800,000 African Americans enslaved in the border states: Kentucky, Delaware, Missouri and Maryland.

In truth, courageous enslaved people helped bring about their own freedom. At the start of the Civil War, an estimated 4 million Black people were enslaved in the South. The war gave them a chance to seize their freedom — and they did, quickly volunteering to fight in the Union army (where they eventually constituted 10 percent of the troops), confiscating land and declaring themselves free. They did not wait passively for others to come to their rescue.

What’s more, Black abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Maria Stewart and Henry Highland Garnet were crucial in spreading information about the horrors of slavery years before the war. Their bravery and commitment to abolition helped build the movement to end slavery.

Myth No. 3

The Tuskegee study infected Black people with syphilis.

The pandemic has exposed racial inequities in medicine: Black Americans are contracting the coronavirus and dying from it at higher rates thanks to decades of medical racism, which limited Black people’s access to quality health care. The Tuskegee syphilis study, starting in 1932, is often cited as evidence of this tragic history. Many Americans believe that doctors infected 600 Black people with syphilis — a myth that’s so widespread that memes are still circulating on social media making this claim.

It’s not true. The study was bad enough in reality: It examined nearly 400 men with latent syphilis and 200 men in a control group. Doctors recruited Black men in rural Alabama as participants by promising medical treatment — which was never provided — while surreptitiously documenting the long-term effects of untreated syphilis. The men involved were unaware of their diagnosis. The experiment started 13 years before penicillin became an accepted therapy for syphilis in 1945, yet it lasted 27 more years, ending only when journalists exposed its decades of abuse.

Myth No. 4

Brown v. Board of Education ended school segregation.

The 1954 marrom decision is widely celebrated. “The Court stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunity in education the law of the land,” says the website for the National Museum of American History. “Thanks to Brown v. Board of Education, our public schools became the initiating institutions of integration for our entire society,” then-Attorney General John Ashcroft said in 2004, in remarks commemorating the decision’s 50th anniversary. Many Americans think it brought a decisive end to school desegregation, leveling the playing field for all.

The case was a significant development, but it did not end school segregation the way many imagine. Chief Justice Earl Warren’s opinion — signed by all nine justices — overturned the precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) by stating, “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” marrom provided a legal framework for dismantling segregated schools throughout the nation. A setback occurred a year later, however, when the court returned to the decision and provided an addendum: Federal courts would handle individual cases to ensure that desegregation proceeded “with all deliberate speed.” The inclusion of “all deliberate speed” in what is known as Brown II allowed recalcitrant school districts to slow down the process.

As Black families nationwide started to push for desegregation, the effort unsettled Northern Whites, who often fought such measures. Even today, more than half of school children in the United States attend school districts where more than 75 percent of the students are either White or of color — a clear sign of continued segregation.

Myth No. 5

Black Power was a departure from the civil rights movement.

One of the most lasting myths of the 1960s and 1970s is that the Black Power movement was a break with the civil rights movement. At John Lewis’s funeral last summer, former president Bill Clinton made subtly disparaging remarks about Black Power activist Stokely Carmichael, suggesting that there was a moment when activists “went a little too far towards Stokely.” The spirit of that remark aligns with history textbooks, which deemphasize Black Power and instead praise leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, setting out nonviolent resistance as the ideal form of Black protest.

Nonviolent resistance during the civil rights era was obviously significant. But Black Power was influential in the effort to secure Black political rights and opportunities. This wing included a broad coalition of groups that advocated armed self-defense and endorsed Black political autonomy and Black pride, ideas that had ample support in the broader movement. Proponents of Black Power were deeply connected to and even sustained the civil rights movement. Carmichael, for instance, was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the most important civil rights organizations of the period.

The civil rights movement and the Black Power movement were not separate ideologies so much as distinct expressions in the quest for Black liberation. As historian Tim Tyson explained in his study on activist Robert F. Williams, they “grew out of the same soil [and] confronted the same predicaments.”

Five myths is a weekly feature challenging everything you think you know. You can check out previous myths, read more from Outlook or follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.


Leaving Evidence of Our Lives

How can the historical record be both huge and limited? To consider the strengths and limitations of the historical record, do the following activity:

  1. Assign students to work individually or in small groups. Alert students that they will share their activity responses with the class.
  2. Ask students to think about all the activities they were involved in during the past 24 hours, and list as many of these activities as they can remember.
  3. Have students write down what evidence, if any, each activity might have left behind.
  4. Direct students to review their lists, and then answer these questions:
    • Which of the daily activities were most likely to leave trace evidence behind?
    • What, if any, of that evidence might be preserved for the future? Porque?
    • What might be left out of a historical record of these activities? Porque?
    • What would a future historian be able to tell about your life and your society based on evidence of your daily activities that might be preserved for the future?
  5. Now think about a more public event currently happening (a court case, election, public controversy, law being debated), and answer these questions:
    • What kinds of evidence might this event leave behind?
    • Who records information about this event?
    • For what purpose are different records of this event made?
  6. Based on this activity, students will write one sentence that describes how the historical record can be huge and limited at the same time. As time allows, discuss as the strengths and limitations of the historical record.

Análise

In this section, students analyze primary source documents.

  1. Assign two primary sources from the primary source gallery Slavery in the United States, 1790-1865 to individuals or groups. Students should be assigned to look at two different kinds of primary sources to allow for comparison.
  2. Allow 30 to 50 minutes for students to analyze the documents. Students analyze the documents, recording their thoughts on the Primary Source Analysis Tool. Before the students begin, select questions from the teacher&rsquos guide Analyzing Primary Sources to focus the group work, and select additional questions to focus and prompt a whole class discussion of their analysis.

Discussão

In this section, students discuss their primary source analysis with the entire class and compare and contrast analysis results.

  1. Have student groups summarize their analysis of a primary source document for the class. Ask students to comment on the credibility of the source. If several groups have analyzed the same document, encourage supporting or refuting statements from other groups.
  2. Conclude the lesson with a general discussion of the following questions:
    • What was slavery like for African-Americans in the period before the Civil War?
    • Was any document completely believable? Completely unbelievable? Por que ou por que não?
    • Did some types of primary sources seem less believable than other kinds of sources? Why do you think this is true?
    • What information about slavery did each document provide? How did looking at several documents expand your understanding of slavery?
    • If you found contradictory information in the sources, which sources did you tend to believe? Porque?
    • What generalizations about primary historical sources can you make based on this document set?
    • What additional sources (and types of sources) would you like to see to give you greater confidence in your understanding of slavery?

Extension

Each student might be asked to find one additional primary source on slavery. Individuals or groups might be challenged to research and gather a set of primary sources on a topic other than slavery.

Additional activity suggestions for different types of primary sources:

  1. Objects -
    • Hypothesize about the uses of an unknown object pictured in an old photograph. Conduct research to support or refute the hypothesis. Make a presentation to the class to "show and tell" the object, hypothesis, search methods, and results.
    • Study old photographs to trace the development of an invention over time (examples: automobiles, tractors, trains, airplanes, weapons). What do the photographs tell you about the technology, tools, and materials available through time?
  2. Images -
    • Use a historic photograph or film of a street scene. Describe the sights, sounds, and smells that might surround the scene. Closely examine the image to find clues that will help you. (weather, time of day, clothing of people, vehicles and other technology, architecture, etc.)
    • Select a historical photograph or film frame. Predict what will happen one minute or one hour after the photograph or film was taken. Explain the reasoning behind your predictions
  3. Audio -
    • Research your family history by interviewing relatives. Make note of differing recollections about the same event.
    • Listen to audio recordings from old radio broadcasts. Compare the language, style of speaking, and content to radio and television programs today. How do they differ? What do they tell you about the beliefs and attitudes of the time?
  4. Statistics -
    • Study historical maps of a city, state, or region to find evidence of changes in population, industry, and settlement over time.
    • Choose a famous, historical, public building in your area. Research blueprints or architectural drawings of the building. Compare the plans to the building as it exists today. What changes do you see? Why do you think the changes occurred?
  5. Text –
    • Select a cookbook from another era. Look at the ingredients lists from a large number of recipes. What do the ingredients lists tell you about the types of foods available and the lifestyle of the time?
    • Select a time period or era. Research and read personal letters that comment on events of the time. Analyze the point of view of the letter writer. Compose a return letter that tells the author how those historical events have affected modern society.
  6. The Community -
    • Make a record of family treasures (books, tools, musical instruments, tickets, letters, photographs) using photographs, photocopies, drawings, recordings, or videotapes. What was happening in the world when ancestors were using these family treasures? How did those events affect your family?
    • Prepare a community time capsule. What primary sources will you include to describe your present day community for future generations? When should your time capsule be opened?

1934–1968: FHA Redlining

When it was established in 1934, the Federal Housing Administration included underwriting guidelines that specifically discriminated against and devalued neighborhoods containing minorities. As a result, Blacks received only 2% of federally insured home loans. As the link above demonstrates, banks following the FHA’s guidelines systematically redlined minority housing districts. The outcomes of these policies included plummeting home values, white flight, and the departure of many businesses from minority neighborhoods. The direct result of this was the impoverishment of these minority communities.

At the same time, Blacks migrating north to escape the convict leasing and debt peonage systems that threatened their freedom, their livelihoods, and their very lives in the South, were systematically victimized in predatory housing and lending schemes.

Today a hugely disproportionate number of minorities, especially Blacks, are economically confined to impoverished, crime-ridden, inner-city ghettos. This is not the result of “poor choices” or cultural failings, as white conservatives are prone to suggest. It is the direct result of discriminatory housing policies that helped whites while targeting Blacks from the 1930s to the late 1960s.

While no longer built into official housing policy, those practices remain very much in place today.


The Three-Fifths Clause of the United States Constitution (1787)

Often misinterpreted to mean that African Americans as individuals are considered three-fifths of a person or that they are three-fifths of a citizen of the U.S., the three-fifths clause (Article I, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution of 1787) in fact declared that for purposes of representation in Congress, enslaved blacks in a state would be counted as three-fifths of the number of white inhabitants of that state.

The three-fifths clause was part of a series of compromises enacted by the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The most notable other clauses prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territories and ended U.S. participation in the international slave trade in 1807. These compromises reflected Virginia Constitutional Convention delegate (and future U.S. President) James Madison’s observation that “…the States were divided into different interests not by their…size…but principally from their having or not having slaves.”

When Constitutional Convention delegate Roger Sherman of Connecticut proposed that congressional representation be based on the total number of inhabitants of a state, delegate Charles Pinckney of South Carolina agreed saying “blacks ought to stand on an equality with whites….” Pinckney’s statement was disingenuous since at the time he knew most blacks were enslaved in his state and none, slave or free, could vote or were considered equals of white South Carolinians. Other delegates including most notably Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania argued that he could not support equal representation because he “could never agree to give such encouragement to the slave trade…by allowing them [Southern states] a representation for their negroes.”

With the convention seemingly at an impasse Charles Pinckney proposed a compromise: “Three-fifths of the number of slaves in any particular state would be added to the total number of free white persons, including bond servants, but not Indians, to the estimated number of congressmen each state would send to the House of Representatives.” The Pinckney compromise was not completely original. This ratio had already been established by the Congress which adopted the Articles of Confederation in 1781 as the basis for national taxation.

Although the three-fifths compromise and others regarding slavery helped hold this new fragile union of states together, many on both sides of the issue were opposed. James Madison and Edmund Randolph of Virginia used the phrase “Quotas of contribution” to argue that slaves should be fully counted, one for one, and opposed the compromise.

Northern opponents correctly pointed out that slaveholding states had more representatives than if only the free white population was counted. By 1793, slaveholding states had 47 congressmen but would have had only 33 if not for the compromise. During the entire period before the Civil War slaveholding states had disproportionate influence on the Presidency, the Speakership of the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Supreme Court because of the compromise. By the 1830s abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison of Massachusetts used the clause in their argument that the Federal government was dominated by slaveholders.

A cláusula dos três quintos permaneceu em vigor até que a 13ª Emenda pós-Guerra Civil libertou todas as pessoas escravizadas nos Estados Unidos, a 14ª emenda deu a eles cidadania plena e a 15ª Emenda concedeu aos homens negros o direito de voto.


Assista o vídeo: História dos Estados Unidos - Leandro Karnal (Janeiro 2022).