Improving Race Relations

Laurel Nolan

Slavery in America

Slavery began when European merchants started the triangular trade. The triangular trade was when slaves were traded for other goods and items. They were brought to America on slave ships, slave ships are large cargo ships specially converted for the purpose of transporting slaves, especially newly purchased African slaves. America felt they needed slaves to work on businesses and other things. There were more slaves in the south because they had large plantations and had slaves working in the field. When the Cotton Gin was created to remove the "impurities" in the cotton like seeds and other things. When the Gin was created it increased the need for slaves to harvest in the fields.

Slaves in America were treated poorly. Most slaves had to be up about an hour before dawn and worked until in got dark. They got to eat one or two meals a day and were not given good food. They were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding or imprisonment. Slaves were not allowed to learn how to read and write. They were not allowed to go to church either. They were encouraged to marry because the owners thought that a married man was less likely to run away. If a slave was caught running away they would be punished by whipping or by cutting off a part of an arm, leg, hand, or foot.

It took until 1865 for slavery to be illegal in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In October of 1883 abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison began to publish his news paper, The Liberator, which was about the way the southerners treated slaves. Another event was President Lincoln created the Emancipation proclamation, he stated that "If I could save the union without freeing a single slave I would. If I could save the union by freeing every slave, I would." Lincoln did not start the Civil War to free the slaves he started it to keep the Union together. The war later turned to a war over freeing the slaves because of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Plans to Improve Race Relations

There are still many unfair judgments about people of black descent. Just after the Civil War ended people in the south created Blacks Only and Whites Only signs, some people would only serve white people and not allow blacks in their restaurants, stores, schools, and churches. Some people would even restrict blacks and whites from using the same water fountains. When Martian Luther King Jr. came along he used to lead peaceful protests that blacks and whites are equal. They used to let loose attack dogs on people protesting or they would spray the water from a fire hose on them. One woman, Rosa Parks, refused to get out of her seat for a white man and she was arrested.

The way I feel we should improve race relations is by creating a park that commemorates all of the slaves that were forced to work for their lives on a plantation in the south. The park would encourage racial equality and give thanks to those who worked against their will. Anyone who went to the park would see a large statue to honor slaves and there would be a large grassy area to have picnics in and play games in. It would also have a pavilion for the classes they hold. Every couple of weeks (not including the winter) they have a program in the pavilion that teaches young children about racial equality and to treat others fairly. They would make it so that the children would not get bored and so that they could play games, and have fun while learning to work together instead of feeling that one race was not suitable to be working with a person of another race.

In the future there will hopefully be less racial tension and people will treat each other with more respect and the color of people's skin will not matter. Although there might still be some people who treat others differently because of their skin, most of the young children should hopefully be less racist. It is never right to judge someone by how they look, instead get to know them. Also lets hope that people will not jump to conclusions about who looks like an untrustworthy person and who doesn't.

A Look at Race Relations through a Child's Eyes