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Discussing the topic of the slave trade and its impact on the development of the Black race has always been complicated since that period of global history was characterized by the unequal treatment of people based on their skin color, which was unfortunate. According to the document “Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race,” the concept of race was relatively modern because in ancient societies (e.g., the Greeks), people were not divided on the basis of their physical differences; however, the division existed between religious, class, and language groups (ITS). Nevertheless, with the development of race as an idea, the superiority of the white population became acceptable in countries like America, justifying slavery and discrimination against Native Americans, immigrants from Asia, Africans, and Mexicans. Subsequently, practices that involved race were deemed legal and thus were institutionalized within the practices of the American government regarding its laws and societal relations.
It is important to mention that historians have neglected the Afro-American history for a long time, which led to the generations of Black children being deprived of knowledge about their heritage. This refers to the concept of “miseducation,” which implied that the educational system did not care to present the Black History in schools accurately (Woodson). Young people of color are of particular importance in the discussion of the Black experience because they shape the future of their race. The miseducation contributed to the development of insecurities, intra-racial cleavages, and interracial antagonisms, all of which influenced the shaping of the Black experience (Woodson). The Black experience was predominantly documented by white supremacist ideologies, prevailing between the fifteenth and nineteenth century, which ignored the contribution of Black people to the history of America (Lawrence). In almost all cases, the role of Black experience was overlooked to justify the oppression of the race and to limit the imaginations surrounding the potential and possibilities of the U.S. democracy in the context of justice for all races (Lawrence).
For many modern historians, the American government did not make an effort to enhance the knowledge of Black young people and teach them philosophy, economics, religion, and other subjects the same way other races were taught; this led to their minds being controlled by oppressors, holding the development of Blacks down. It was proposed that by controlling what the Blacks thought, the government had to worry less about their actions. As mentioned by Woodson, a person “will find his “proper place” and will stay in it” when there is control imposed on him or her (29). A conclusion can be made that slavery had a direct impact on how younger generations of Blacks were treated, which subsequently led to the and limited development of the Black experience as a whole.
To summarize, it is critical to mention that the slave trade influenced the Black experience in a number of ways. It led to broken traditions, which changed after Africans were brought to the New World and forced to become slaves; it tore families apart when slaves were not allowed to stay together as a family; it brought illiteracy and unpaid workforce that made white people wealthier; it also broke the legacy of families (Dawkins). It is crucial to recognize that the Black experience is a human experience and thus it should not be ignored in discussions about American history to prevent future generations from over-estimating the role of race in society and allow them to learn from the mistakes made by their ancestors.
Dawkins, Yanique. “8 Ways Slavery Affected Black Families and Still Has an Impact Today.” Atlantablackstar. 2014. Web.
ITS. “Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race.” Resources, 2003, Web.
Lawrence, Novotny. Documenting the Black Experience: Essays on African American History, Culture, and Identity in Nonfiction Films. McFarland & Company, 2014.
Woodson, Carter Godwin. The Mis-Education of the Negro. BN Publishing, 2012.