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Slavery's Effects on America

By , Wilbraham, MA

Race is a myth; something created a long time ago characterizing people with similar features into groups. An issue with this is that some races think they are superior to others. Back in the 1600s, Whites -thinking they were superior and powerful- used Blacks as slaves to help build the economic foundation of the new nation. The African American race was most of the time treated horrifically by their masters and even after slavery ended the resentment of Whites stuck with the Blacks, and the feeling of superiority stuck with the Whites. Some may ask, “how has slavery impacted America?” Slavery has in fact had a lasting effect on America. Conflicts today between Blacks and Whites were caused by slavery.
     

It is true that people of different races are constantly judging and causing problems with each other, but that is not the reason for the extreme conflicts that Black and Whites encounter today. Slavery has made future generations of Blacks feel inferior to Whites. In the book, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the Younger’s have the opportunity to move into a bigger and better house, but in a new neighborhood. The issue that came with this opportunity is that their new house is located in a White neighborhood, which lead them to struggle with the decision of moving. That may not seem like a big deal, but to them it was. Even after slavery, Whites treated blacks like they were worthless and had a lasting feeling of superiority. Linder, a man from the White neighborhood, came to the Younger’s house and offered them money to not move in thinking that they would listen. He made it clear that he was speaking for the rest of the Whites living in that neighborhood and that their family was not wanted there. Now the Younger’s just needed to decide if the upcoming “bullying” and racism was worth having a new home. The legacy slavery left for the Black race in America is awful. Could you imagine being afraid to move into a new, big, and beautiful house because of the people around it?
    

Race is a big part in our lives and is the way people see each other and the world. It may be the reason that someone gets a certain job, into a certain college, gets certain medical care, or gets into trouble with the police. Since slavery, Whites have formed different stereotypes of Blacks. Besides viewing them as being inferior, they have also created this theory that Blacks are more dangerous than Whites and more likely to be criminals.  The Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner killings and their reactions are perfect examples of how people view the situation on racism of Blacks. The mothers were interviewed after the killing and Martin's mother claimed, “I think absolutely my son’s race and the color of his skin had a lot to do with why he was shot and killed (Chen 2014).” The mother of Eric Garner said, “If Eric Garner was a white man in Suffolk County doing the same thing that he was doing — even if he would have been caught selling cigarettes that day — they would have given him a summons and he wouldn’t have lost his life that day... I believe that 100 percent (Chen 2014).” The beliefs of Black inferiority and White superiority were nailed into people’s minds back when slavery was around, and has stuck with the future generations of Americans. Why else would the mothers of these African American boys be specifically speaking out against their boys dying due to race? I understand that accidents happen, but there was not just one case, there were multiple where the boys ended up being innocent in the end, but had lost their life due to the color of their skin.


Slavery has had a lasting impact on America, creating issues between Blacks and Whites. It may seem that the racism between these two races is a part of human nature, but it did not always exist. The idea of White supremacy and Black inferiority started because of slavery and the slave trade. Whites looked at Blacks as an object for the longest time, and even when that was changing it still stuck in people’s minds. There has been a lasting feeling of resentment and sensitivity that the Blacks have toward the Whites today because of that time in history. It also leaves the Whites feeling like they are the superior race. The thoughts left by slavery on these two races have caused the conflicts we hear about today.






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