America is a land with a rich history which has taken scholars a substantial amount of time in their bid to study it. This paper is about the slavery and the struggles that the slaves underwent and the revolution that took place in a bid to have the slaves freed and pronounced as equal American citizens. This is a very interesting topic that has been written about and that has been very well received as well as criticized.
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It is said that it may be possible to prove that African travelers may have landed in America before the Europeans did and in a bid to support this, there are some stone carvings of a Mexican era called Olmec that have facial features of Africans. Christopher Columbus was termed as the first man to discover America. In his expedition, he had a black navigator named Pedro Nino. When Christopher Columbus arrived in Hispaniola he was accompanied by Africans.
This is now currently called Spain. When they left Hispaniola, they were termed as free people and that way they were free by the time they were getting into the Spanish American colonies. Another man called Vasco Balboa travelled to the Pacific Ocean and with him were about thirty Africans. When all this was happening the Europeans had not yet set foot in America.
Slavery was not a new thing and it did not start in America; it was only continued there when the settlers started streaming in. Hernan Cortez started a revolution for the Aztec Empire; black Spanish (Conquistadors) people were trying to resist him in a bid to set up their own kingdom.
The Africans who had been brought in from Africa were used as casual laborers in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba. After Hernan defeated the uprising, they were awarded land by the Spanish King and they started farming.
They were able to produce wheat in bulk. It is also in record that a run-away Moroccan born Muslim slave called Esteban and his friends had tried escaping from the slavery. They boarded a small boat in a bid to free themselves but many died in the sea and only a couple made it as they were washed ashore to what is today referred to as Texas.
This Moroccan is the first known person of African accent to ever set foot in today’s Western part of the United States. Esteban was however included in an expedition that was commandeered by a Mexican known as Marcos Niza. Esteban was killed in this expedition in the town of Hawikuh and this today is known as the boarder of Arizona and New Mexico.
Africans did not stop their quest to discover more land though this was not the primary aim of the expeditions. They went on to accompany Francisco Vasquez from Mexico to the current Kansas. Some Africans chose to settle there. Now the Spanish Kingdom had come to a consensus with the Indians after intense fighting between the Spaniards and the Indians.
Through this, Indian slavery was abolished in their new colonies. The Africans who had been freed were however restricted from wearing gold, pearls or silk unless they were married to a Spaniard man and they were not also of elite status unless married to a Spaniard.
Africans are regarded as some of the first founders of a number of towns in New Mexico, Texas, Santa Fe, and California just to mention a few. There was also a race that was referred to as mulattoes. These were a combination of European and African ethnicity. They were classified as Africans; they were also forcefully shipped to Latin America and forced to labor in farms and mines.
There was a group of fugitive slaves who elected Gaspar Yanga as their spokesman and they were successful in signing a memorandum of agreement with the Spanish king. Through this they were granted their freedom and their own town too.
This however went on for a period of over two hundred years and the British came in and colonized America, and this led to the streaming in of Europeans in America. Blacks were recognized as free settlers and they were also indicted in the State House of Representatives.
The changes have been phenomenon and black women were first allowed to vote in Wyoming; and elsewhere children of black accent were allowed to attend school though the segregation was still at its peak.
The African American community took to the streets and they were in demonstration where they were demanding the right to vote as they quoted the constitution. Great strides were made in their quest and they even had the first black officer to commandeer the Buffalo Soldiers.
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It was a great struggle for the African American society. Interestingly, they were making progress no matter how limited it was. They had resolved to keeping to themselves as they were not allowed to attend to white churches or stores.
Davies Catherine, Brewster Claire and Owen Hilary. South American independence: gender, politics, text. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006.
Eggleston, Edward. A first book in American history: with special reference to the lives and deeds of great Americans. California: American Book Company, 1899.
Olson, James Stuart and Beal, Heather Olson. The ethnic dimension in American history, fourth edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
Purvis, Thomas L. A dictionary of American history. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1997.
- Stuart, Olson James and Beal, Heather Olson. The ethnic dimension in American history, fourth edition. (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 113
- Thomas, Purvis L. A dictionary of American history. (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 1997), 54.
- Edward, Eggleston. A first book in American history. (California: American Book Company, 1899), 18.
- Edward, Eggleston. A first book in American history. (California: American Book Company, 1899), 28.
- Catherine, Davies, Brewster Claire and Owen Hilary. South American independence: gender, politics, text. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006), 241.