1 step forward or 2 steps back?
Slavery and Segregation in America
2 Steps back
Slavery began back at the start of the Untied States when we began to trade with European and African countries. This trade was known as the Triangular Trade because the goods that were traded followed a pattern in the shape of a triangle that went from Europe to Africa, Africa to America, and America to Europe. The goods traded included cotton harvested from American plantations, weapons from European factories, and slaves from African settlements. The slaves were vital to this trade system because they were needed to work on the plantations that grew goods to send to Europe. This system seems like it wouldn't cause any problems, however it turned into one of the darkest spots in American history. The slaves that were taken over to America arrived on slave ships. These ships were packed tightly with slaves with each ship carrying up to 600 passengers. The slaves were kept under the deck that was filled with wretched smells and diseases spread quickly. Women were let above deck more often then men but all slaves had the same dangers presented to them on the boat and on the life ahead of them. An estimated 20% slaves were lost in transit and as many as 50% of slaves had died in one journey.
At a stand still
Once slavery reached America, it would take years and a war for it to be abolished. Until then, slaves worked on plantations, mainly in the south, working the fields or helping around the masters' house. The most common job for a slave was picking cotton. On average, a slave would pick 200 pounds at minimum per day. Slaves weren't allowed to leave the plantation unless they had written permission for the owner stating they had a job to accomplish that required them to leave. For example a slave could be used to pick up supplies for their owner at a store in town.
Taking baby steps
After a bloody Civil War, slavery became illegal in 1865 with the 13th Amendment. Even with the owning of other humans being illegal, blacks continued to face discrimination. After their freedom, the southern states began passing things called "Black Codes" to get around laws made by congress. These laws were to to take away rights of blacks by making them unable to do things like vote, receive an education, own land, and even make a living. It wasn't until a century later that blacks regained their rights and racial segregation became illegal.
Slave ships were packed as tightly as possible to make the journey from Africa to America. Hundreds of Africans were "packed" for one journey.
Slave work was intense and punishments were severe. If a slave did not pick the minimum amount of cotton per day ( which was over a hundred pounds) they could face whippings.
"Colored to the back!"
Racial segregation was shown by signs telling where and where not citizens of color could go. Water fountains, restrooms, schools, and buses all had signs stating what was for white citizens and what was for colored citizens.
#TeamInternet for Racial Equality
The power of social media has been creating movements for racial equality. One of these movements was "I can't breathe" which was in support of Eric Garner's famous last words from racial discrimination and mistreatment. Another movement was #ferguson which showed the world the riots and deaths of citizens in Ferguson, Missouri. Through hashtags on Twitter, millions of people spoke out against police brutality towards African-Americans.
Racial tensions still exist today because of the morals parents are teaching their children. Although many parents don't say discriminating things, their actions show a different story. Young children learn by watching as much as they do by being directly told ,so when they see their parents doing something that is racially unequal the children will learn by example and could repeat those actions as they grow older. When these children are older they will teach their children the same discriminating actions and the cycle continues.
#TeamInternet loves everybody
My idea to prove race relations in America is to use the power of the Internet. I'm going to start a YouTube channel called "Broadcast equality" . This channel would feature weekly updates on race relations in the world. It would also feature popular YouTubers such as Tyler Oakley, Zoella, Danisnotonfire , and many more. They would share their personal experiences with racial discrimination and how they fight against it. YouTube is one of the most popular media outlets and having a channel would show millions who use the website what is happening and can tell them how to fight against discrimination.
Starting a movement
When the story of Eric Garner reached social media, millions spoke up to defend him and started the movement "I can't breathe". Hashtags and t-shirts worn by citizens, including basketball players during warn-ups and actors, spread like a wildfire and made way for change.
A parent's job is to teach their children wrong from right. This could be by directly talking to them or leading by example. If parents are teaching their children discriminating behavior, it stops our country, and countries across the world, from becoming racially equal.
With millions of people across the world watching YouTube everyday, it is the perfect platform to start a change. Users are shown a large variety of content daily and with racial equality being shown, it can convince people to stand up and speak out.