Fixing Race Relations

Ethan Gallagher

Slavery in America

Slavery began when European merchants started the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade was a trade from Europe, to East Africa, to the United States of America. The United States sold cotton and other goods to Europe, who made weapons for East Africa, who sent slaves to the United States.

Slavery was around since the early 1600s' and thrived for about 200 years. In that 200 years, slaves were beaten, sold, separated from their families and worked to death. Slavery, though, was only used in the southern part of the United States; only about 15% of people in the South actually owned slaves. But most of these slave owners were brutal.

The conditions for slaves were not very good. They lived in stable like homes, usually not being given three meals a day. They worked for the whole day not getting breaks unless their slave owner said otherwise. If they did not work, they were whipped as punishment. That usually kept all of the slaves obedient and after they were whipped they did not make many more mistakes.

Most slave plantations were cotton plantations. Cotton was used mainly for clothes that a lot of people wanted, especially in the northern part of the United States where the winters are pretty rough. The slaves had to pick a certain amount of cotton every day or else they were whipped.

The slaves were whipped for a lot of things like being late, not picking enough cotton, doing anything wrong and more. slaves were not treated with much respect at all. They weren't aloud to learn how to read or write.

Slavery was stopped at the end of the Civil War when the Union defeated the Confederate Army. This war was mainly over this issue. After those 200 years, slavery was abolished from the United States, forever.

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My Solution to Current Race Relations

There are still racial tensions in america today. Since as early as slavery was started until this very day, stereotypes have been formed and still are used in hurtful ways. Even after Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech there is still tension between races. The tension may not be addressed directly but everyone knows it is there. For example, all of the police killings that happened in 2014.

All of those victims were African-American. Was it a coincidence, or did the police think they were more "dangerous" because of their race? Only a couple of those crimes were the victims actually committing a crime. One of the crimes was ridiculous because the boy was just walking around with a toy gun and the police did not tell him to settle down, put the gun down or stop doing what you are doing. Instead, the police shot the kid and killed him.

There was a lot of controversy over all of these, but the thing all the news reports had in common said was of prejudice of the African- American race. Even 150 years after the 13th amendment made slavery illegal the tensions are still here.

Although the tensions weren't immediately expected to go away after slavery was abolished, they were expected to go away at most 100 years after. I'm tired of it, and I have a solution.

What I am going to do is to create a billboard in front of a plethora of major highways. This billboard is going to say "We all are human. We all make mistakes. We all can fix them." This means that we messed up with having slavery and segregation and i has translated to the present time, but now it is our time fix it it. In smaller print below it it is going to say "Slavery and Segregation are over, but stereotypes are still here. We all need to help fix this." The picture is going to be an African- American man in sorrow resting his head on his hand. He will be sitting down. It will say in smaller print "go to www. to learn more."

This Billboard will be seen by people driving by on the highway. It is short, simple and gets the message across. We are hoping that people think about that as they drive to work or something. Maybe they have an African-American Co- worker and they will start a conversation with him or her. Maybe they will see him or her differently and will view African- Americans not as a stereotype, but a human being.

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