Essay Sample on The African Americans: A History of Hard Work & Perseverance

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  907 Words
Date:  2023-03-28


The African Americans, famously known as Negroes, have a great history. Their story dates back to the early seventeenth century when they were captured as slaves and traded in the American territory to work in the plantations for the whites. Over the years till the eighteenth century, the slave trade continued with large numbers of Africans now in America as slaves. The plantations continuously proved productive owing to the hard work the blacks were doing. The blacks were mostly preferred over the white workers as they were easy to control and were relatively skilled, having been exposed to farming in Africa. To better understand the African Americans, who they are and their history, there is a need to internalize by way of discussion how the Africans were captured, transported, traded, worked on the plantations, and their relationships with their masters.

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Among the first slaves were "20 and odd Negroes," as quoted in the text whose ship docked in Jamestown, Virginia, from Angola in the early seventeenth century. The journey was full of misfortunes for the ill-fated slaves. A more significant proportion of the slaves on board succumbed to illness while others were exchanged for medicine and other supplies, not forgetting piracy activities spearheaded by the European powers.

The African workers were extremely exploited. Under the law, they had very few rights, and nobody would bother to observe such rights. In most cases, they were used to perform extremely tiring and demanding jobs. Working under the European colonies, the slaves had to push a little harder to provide the labor needed to make the white settlements profitable. Due to their growing numbers all along, the African workers developed multicultural societies that were assigned very distinct and inferior legal and political status.

Chesapeake, among other areas, had a significantly increasing population of the black community by the end of the seventeenth century. Virginia had close to forty-five percent of the total population being black by the mid-eighteenth century. The main driver behind the growing community was the labor-intensive plantation economies. Despite their increasing numbers, there was a real problem in starting new families, minimum freedom, and also no one was allowed to own property. With the whites holding many dispersed parcels of land and plantations, the newly arrived slaves who were not experienced and could not converse well in English were tasked with clearing the land and cultivating tobacco among other crops under the supervision of the whites.

Rice farming was doing well in Carolina. The African slaves possessed a great deal of experience the rice cultivation, which was extremely beneficial for the whites. The unique skill made the whites establish task systems where the slaves were assigned daily tasks and allowed to work unsupervised provided they finished their work, which was an incentive and acted as a source of motivation. They were even permitted to firm small allotments land and could raise livestock and grow their food. A few slaves were given special duties to oversee the work of other slaves. While the whited observed the Sabbath, the enslaved blacks had to work even on Sundays for their survival.

In New England, the African slaves had a better time not being exploited as it was the norm in other colonies. This area had unfavorable climate conditions, which inhibited the cultivation of labor-intensive crops amongst them sugar, rice, and tobacco. Much of the agricultural activities were for subsistent purposes. These people were shipped in items such as beef, wheat, and butter, among others. That was in exchange for molasses, sugar, and indigo, among others.

In the eighteenth century, Britain's Middle Atlantic colonies developed into lucrative markets for the slaves. These areas were in dire need of both skilled and unskilled labor, all playing an essential role in developing and cultivating the agricultural regions. In addition to tendering the fields, these slaves also cleared the land, attended the livestock, chopped wood, maintained fences, grounds, and buildings and also served as domestic workers when needed. However, the suppression continued even in the occupancy of the available space. While the white servants were accorded a more decent area to sleep, the Negros were unlucky to secure such places, with the port cities remaining as the largest slaveholding areas.

By the mid-eighteenth century, slavery had extended far west and south, reaching the colonies in the periphery of European settlements, including French, Louisiana, and Spanish Florida. The colonies had been suffering short of labor and were too isolated and sparsely settled. The acquisition of Louisiana by the French saw thousands of slaves imported to the Mississippi valley. While other colonies like Georgia, Spanish Florida continued to flourish, more and more slaves were being brought from the various parts of the Blacks society to meet the increasing need for labor.


In conclusion, we have observed that the black community has gone a long way in serving the white community as slaves since the seventeenth century. They were shipped to America to work in the farms, but over the years, their societies have grown. They undertook activities such as tendering the farms, looking after livestock and worked in the homesteads, among others. They also had their societies and could even start a family within themselves, although it had to be mostly secretive. Over the years, they were shipped in small numbers, but those numbers have grown as they continue to multiply by birth. However, they have been treated in an inferior manner over the ages.

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