How to Improve Race Relations

Written By: Josh Platt

The Beginning of Slavery

Slavery began when merchants started the Triangular Trade. Triangular trade is a term meaning trade between three countries. This triangular trade involved sugar, tobacco, and cotton exported to Europe from America. Textiles, rum, and manufactured goods to Africa from Europe. Also slaves being sent to America from Africa. Slaves were transported from Africa to America on slave ships. They could hold anywhere from 250 to 600 slaves at a time across the Atlantic ocean. Around twenty-five percent of slaves on board died due to dehydration, malnutrition, scurvy, and many other diseases. Around twelve million slave were transported to America. The south needed many slaves in order to work their farms.


Slaves in America were treated very poorly. Slaves had to work from sunrise until sunset and barely got any sleep. They only got one meal a day, some had two including a very small breakfast. They got to sleep on straw on a dirt floor. They also sometimes got a blanket. Slaves were not allowed to go to school, marry white women, vote, own land, or get jobs. they were in fact encouraged to marry among other slaves and have children for the slave owner to have after the parents died. If slaves were ever caught running away, eating sugar cane, or theft, punishments were getting whipped, beaten with a stick, getting bones broke, or getting locked in a cage with no food or water for a certain amount of time.


It took until 1865 for slavery to be illegal in the United States with the 13th amendment in the United States Constitution. Before the 13th amendment, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This declared that "All people held as a slave within the rebellious states, are and henceforth shall be free." This proclamation changed the motives to win the war. Instead of the war deciding whether the Confederacy would be independent or not, it would decide whether we would continue to keep slaves or for slavery to be outlawed. There were many well known men in women throughout history that supported the outlawing of slavery including Frederick Douglass, President Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Tubman, and Susan B Anthony. These men and women were know as abolitionists.

Plan to Improve Race Relations in America

Race Relations In America Today

It's evident that there is still racial tension in America today. There have been many incidents in the past year or so with police forces that has caused much concern about the continual racial tension in America. The New York incident, Missouri incident, Cleveland incident, and Ferguson incident are all unfortunate, accidental killings of African Americans that have been seriously questioned by the Government and US citizens. Going back to slavery in the 1800's in America and the white and black segregation in the 1950's and 60's, it's evident that emotions may still be running a little higher than citizens might think.


The legacy of slavery has contributed to these racial tensions in America today. Slavery has made a large impact on whites and blacks in America today. White men and women are ashamed of what they did to African Americans during slavery. We took them from their homes, separated families, treated them like property, we didn't even look at them as human beings. Even though it wasn't us that did these terrible things, it's horrible to think our ancestors did them.


The idea I have to improve race relations is to create a new class for schools across America. The class will be called, "Race Relations". It will be available to every school in America for first to twelve graders. Children's parents can choose to enroll them into this class for the whole school year or have of the school year. In this class, kids will be taught about multiple races history and culture including African, American, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Korean, and French.

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