Historical Report on Race

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Historical Report on Race

ETH 125/Cultural Diversity

November 17, 2013

Sally Kwitkowski

Historical Report on Race

African people are natives or inhabitants of Africa and people of African descent. (Oxford, “African”.) The African continent contains many different ethnic groups, have diverse origins, and include differing cultural, linguistic, and social traits. Africans live in different climates, between deserts, jungles, and modern cities.

Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the Atlantic slave trade took approximately 7-12 million slaves to the United States. (Wikipedia, Africa, “Height of slave trade”, para. 1.) Because of the slave trade, millions of African-Americans in the United States today can trace their roots back to African men, women, and children who were transported from their homes across the Atlantic to the New World.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States . . . ." The Thirteenth Amendment was passed on January 31, 1865. (Library of Congress,

Africans were left with very little choice about their futures: whether to go back to their country of origin, go to another country more tolerant of them, or stay in America and try to start a new life next to the people who enslaved them. Those that chose to stay did so because they were most likely born and raised in the United States and were descendents themselves from earlier slaves taken from Africa.

Although slavery was abolished, in its place, “separate but equal” laws (called the Jim Crowe laws) were set in place. These laws separated blacks and whites in everything from drinking fountains to bus riding to dining out. The laws were supposed to support each race in equality, but overall the “equal” rights given to black Americans fell far short of the white rights....