To understand the impact of slavery on African Americans one must understand the inhumanity Africans endured while enslaved by the Europeans. The captured African slaves were shackled together and taken across the ocean, many Africans died during this trip and their bodies were tossed overboard like trash. When the captured Africans arrived in America, they were put in cages and forts and were sold as products to perform unpaid labor on European American plantations. Between the years 1720 and 1760, 159,000 Africans were transported to America as slaves, and only 105,000 Europeans moved to America during the same period. African Americans had a commonality in their struggle to survive slavery these early struggles came to define the culture of African Americans. European Americans in Virginia defined slaves as property in 1669. The Virginia legislature formally began to define a slave as property in 1669. Also during this time European Americans in Virginia denied African American slaves voting rights, and the right to hold office, and to be a witness in court but still counted African Americans as 3/5 a person so that European Americans in slave states could count slaves in their regions as part of their populations for representation in Congress and the Electoral College. 100 years later some European Americans begin to free the children of slaves but left their family and other existing slaves in slavery. Unlike the South, the discontinuation of slavery in Northern states had limited financial problems.
Slavery left a legacy of racism in American society, which affected how people in American society developed and maintained the psychological development of race based hatred. Slavery as a result caused the two cultures to develop ill feelings toward each other and this anger and hatred was spread and passed on to their children as a part of their psychological development.
Slavery still causes distress to African Americans today. One of strongest concepts that remain from slavery is applying value judgments of superior or inferior based on physical attributes such as skin color. Being judged by one’s skin color is a remnant in American society from the time of slavery in which African Americans were viewed as inferior to European Americans.
Slavery has led to the common feeling of embarrassment for Americans, whose history is often viewed as a story of the fight for freedom. The subject of slavery often goes against this view of freedom, which causes the feelings of embarrassment by Americans.
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