All About Race Relations

Written by Corinne Duffy

The History of Slavery

Slavery started with the Triangular trade. This happened between America, Europe, and Africa. America would ship raw materials to Europe. Then, Europe would turn the raw materials into finished products, which they would send to Africa. The finished products would be traded to the Africans in return for people to take to America. The Africans that had been traded were put on slave ships and brought to America.

Africans that had been traded were treated poorly from the start. The ships that brought slaves to America were always packed. The men on the ship fit as many people into the bottom of the ship as they possibly could. Slaves would often die from lack of food and water. It was also easy for disease to spread because of how close everyone was. When slaves finally did get to America they weren't treated any better. Families were often separated never to see each other again. Most were sold to plantation owners who made them work in the fields. They worked from sun up until sun down with little or no breaks. If they did something wrong, they were whipped. Some owners even whipped their slaves for fun. Overall a slaves life was horrible.

After many long years, slavery was abolished in America. In 1865, the 13th amendment was added to the Constitution. It stated that slavery was no longer legal. The 16th president Abraham Lincoln started the Emancipation Proclamation which helped lead to the end of slavery. Also the Civil War was fought between the North and South parts of America because the North did not want slavery, but the South needed slaves to work on their plantations. The anti-slavery Northerners won and the South came back to America. Slavery was over in America, but that did not mean that African Americans would be treated correctly.

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Race Relation in America Today

In America today, there are still racial tensions. There are many reports in the news about police officers being racist. There was an incident in Cleveland, Ohio where a 12 year old African American was shot and killed by police. He was reported as having a gun which ended up being fake. There was also the African American man that died after he was put into a choke hold by a Caucasian police officer. In a video, the man is heard telling police that he cannot breathe but the officer holding him did not loosen his grip any. There have been many other instances with the police, and other people, that show racism.

The fact that the slavery of African Americans was once legal contributes to these racial tensions. Directly after slavery was abolished African Americans still were not treated the same. For many years whites and those who were colored were separated everywhere. There were different drinking fountains, restrooms, and many other places. When people started to take a stand against discrimination, things changed, but not a lot. Yes, the colored were able to drink at the same fountains and sit wherever they want on the bus, but people still had the same mindset. Caucasians still viewed themselves as better than African Americans. There are still people that are like that today.

I think that a good way to improve race relations in America would be to start a YouTube channel called We Fight For What's Right. The channel would start off with a main video about how prevalent racism is in America. Then there would be videos posted every other Friday. They could be discussions about race relations, or videos that try to encourage people to be more accepting. There could even be challenges done with people of different races. Links to the channel could also be put out on social media in order to encourage people to watch the videos. If enough work is put into the channel, it could really make an impact.

Corinne DUFFY