Essay Sample on African-Americans' Hardships in White Homes Post-Civil War

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  2
Wordcount:  489 Words
Date:  2023-01-27

African-Americans who served in white homes after the South's civil war were faced by dozens of challenges, most of which are inhumane treatment by their white bosses. To begin with, African-American servants were accorded harsh working conditions. For instance, they were impelled to undertake extra chores around the homestead. In most instances, those employed as house help were obligated to take unlimited care of the white family's tender age baby, and at the same time, they bore the burden of caring for the elder siblings as their parents remained idle. Besides, when the baby was asleep, and they had accomplished their due chores, they would be asked, or rather commanded to undertake other chores such as gardening.

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The African-American people in service were also underpaid. They received monthly salaries of roughly $1-$16 depending on the type of chore they undertook. From the little salaries, the poor colored servants had to pay for their house rent, provide food and clothing for their, in most cases numerous children and cater for all their house expenditures for that month. This led to poor living standards as the servants, and their families lived miserable lives. These servants were treated inhumanely by both at their bosses' homes by their employers and even their children and even out in the streets where they were perceived as low-class servants subordinate to the whites. The servants weren't allowed to freely intermingle with the whites. They even traveled in different carriages from the whites.

African-American women servants were specifically oppressed and demeaned by their bosses (especially men), irrespective of whether they were families too and deserved to be treated with dignity. Worst of all, women servants were assaulted by their bosses where they were forced to sexually subject themselves to their boss's failure to which they would lose their livelihood. In many cases, even their boss's wives sided with the immorality. Their wives perceived the vice with preference as it helped tame their husbands so they wouldn't cheat on them with white women. In many instances, the black women were even housed separately as concubines. This resulted in the reproduction of mixed-race children with black mothers and white fathers, leading to the emergence of a mixed race.

The author brings up the argument that if not anyone else then the white women should intervene in their situations to better their works and working conditions. The author contends that in the future, the black mummy's tears and suffering may be acknowledged but they rather intervene and offer assistance to the black servants at the prevailing moment. She argues that the white women are in the best position to help them since it's them who feed, bathe and clothe them and even in instances sleep with them. Due to this contact with the black servants, she contends that the lives of the white children they nursed would be affected either positively or negatively due to the colored nurses' close interaction.

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Essay Sample on African-Americans' Hardships in White Homes Post-Civil War. (2023, Jan 27). Retrieved from

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