Americans have come a long way, from being on top, and somehow being on the
bottom. Even though they endured many hardships. they were able to make
something out of nothing. Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness simply didn’t
seem consistent with slavery. But somehow slavery would manage to survive the
revolutionary era, but changes were going to come nevertheless.
Sometimes history repeats itself.
The rise and fall of two kingdoms of west Africa is an example of this. Those
two kingdoms known as Mali and Songhai both popular for their gold. But even in
their greatness, they all collapsed for similar reasons. Africa’s economic
performance in the second half of the twentieth century has been very poor.
There’s one, informal explanation for Africa underdevelopment is its history of
extraction, characterized by two events: slave trades and colonialism.
Africans on the Spanish frontier
shows that Columbus’s navigator Pedro Alonso Nico, was of African descent. And also,
there were progressively getting more darker blacks in Spain pulling more
manpower from mixed population, in the Caribbean. Mali’s power decreased
Songhai asserted its independence rose to power in the area. Songhai had been
an essential trade partner with Mali empire, just like Mali once were before
ruled by Ghana. The riches of the gold and salt mines drew invaders, though in
the late sixteenth century a Moroccan army attacked the capital. The Songhai
empire already had started to decline because of political issues.
Opportunities were hard for people of
color at the time. But most African Americans were into the gold rush. It gave
them a chance to gain a life of their own. But additionally, found
opportunities were barbers, launders, and cooks. Since there was a more
development of mixed race. Those who were of mixed race were used as a vessel
on the Spanish Frontier. One individual named Tuburicio Topia he was of African
descent mixed. Half black and half Indian he started off his career as a
solidier in the Military. In Santa Barabra he later on moved up to a higher
History shows back then if black folks
knew if they saw a white person walking on the same sidewalk as them, they had
to step off or they would suffer consequences. But this was not so in the West,
and on the frontier those rules didn’t matter. Blacks had more ability to find
opportunities, wealth, and gain more status. The women on the frontier were
doing well for themselves as well. Rules that regarded gender were a bit
blurred. In the 1800s Mary Ellen Pleasant’s was making a fortune 30 million to
be exact. That’s why the frontier was so needed it gave blacks the opportunity they
needed to become something more, then a slave.
One of the prime roles in the enslavement
of blacks was the economy. The colonies in the South wanted to produce the most
goods for export as possible; therefore, requiring the cheapest labor. With the
money the colonies were making from the exports, they were able to buy more
slaves. The price on slaves then started to rise quickly, which meant even more
profits could be drawn from the slaves who were already owned. A slave owner
could not only profit from the new increase in the cost of a slave but also in
their breeding and labor as well. Some slave owners were allowing their slaves
to grow their own crops like rice, corn, etc. They even allowed them to trade their
crops to white neighbors, passing traders, and their fellow slaves.
Indeed, the words, images
and heritage of Douglass abound in history and popular culture. Douglass
describes in his book his experience of escaping slavery. He also described how
he felt like as miserable as a criminal. Alluding to him fleeing from his
lifestyle of being enslaved. Once he became a free man he began to imagine
everything who could, and would do. Because no man can ever tell he can’t do a
thing. Douglass had to endure a lot just so he could have his freedom.
In Angela Y. Davis’
book she explains how black women were put on the same wagon as men dealing with
the same oppression as men. Going on stating how women suffered in different
ways. Such as sexual assault and mistreatment was only towards the women. Yes.
It was easier to exploit the women then to exploit the men. Also, when it came
to punishment the author says that the men received flogging, as well as the
women. But the women were being sexually assaulted and could not fight back,
because if she did she would receive an even greater punishment for doing so. She goes on to say that black women weren’t
treated as the “weaker sex,” or housewife, black men couldn’t run his
own house, because he wasn’t the head of it his master was. All men, women, and
children were bringing in the money for their slave hold.
The time period came when things were beginning
to change for African Americans. Slavery was abolitionist, black men got the chance
to vote, and black women as well many years later, but it did happen. According
to Davis abolitionism of slavery didn’t change much for black men, and women. Black
women still were held accountable to the oppression of black men. Many things changed
for black folks, but it was still a struggle to be a happy free man next to
white folks, because they still didn’t see black folks as “free.”
You see history come up and go down. It’s
not easy having to start all over. The blacks and many of the mixed raced were
still able to establish a solid foundation. African slaves turned to their
respective cultures to finds clues to survival as well. Religion was important
because it gave them hope, once they were able to understand Bible. Music was
used to fill the emptiness. But family was most important because that’s was
how they bonded, and was encouraged on another. Through it all African
Americans survived it.