Essay about African-American Leadership, Politics, and Institutions

3047 Words 13 Pages
African Americans have a long history in the Americas. Their experience in United States is however laden with historical records of oppression and segregation. It has been difficult to shed off slavery tags that emanates from their historical entry into the Americas. There are many issues that emerge when considering the experience of African Americans. One of the most important issues that has been extensively studied in regard to African American experience is the issue of leadership and politics. For a long time, African-American leadership has been sidelined until the rise of civil rights movements starting from 1950s. Since then, African Americans have exerted their position in United States leadership culminating in election of …show more content…
With the legalization of the practice, many Africans were taken as slaves and transported through the sea to provide labor in the American plantations. The process of slavery was performed in a very inhuman manner. In the slave trade, the blacks were regarded as trade goods and thus, they had no rights. At the dawn of the American Revolution, more than 20% of the population in all the American colonies was of African descent (Amadu, 2007). Robin, (2000) argues that, during the era of the revolution, more than half of all the African Americans lived in Maryland and Virginia. In Chesapeake, the black people made up to 60% of the total population. The majority of the African Americans were slaves. According to the official US census taken in 1790, only 8% of the black population was free (Dorsey, 2007). However, whether free or enslaved, the blacks in the American colonies established familial relationships, survival strategies and various forms of resistances to their conditions. As indicated above, the slaves were like farming tools to their owners and thus, their survival depended explicitly on the will of the plantation owner. The conditions of slavery were that, the workers got very low pay for great amounts of work done. Therefore, the African Americans formulated survival techniques to curb the effects of their worse conditions (Charles, 2003).
The main interest of this study is