Essay about Black Americans

2559 Words 11 Pages
Black Americans

Black Americans are those persons in the United States who trace their ancestry to members of the Negroid race in Africa. They have at various times in United States history been referred to as African, coloured, Negro, Afro-American, and African-American, as well as black. The black population of the United States has grown from three-quarters of a million in 1790 to nearly 30 million in 1990. As a percentage of the total population, blacks declined from 19.3 in 1790 to 9.7 in 1930. A modest percentage increase has occurred since that time. Over the past 300 and more years in the United States, considerable racial mixture has taken place between persons of African descent and those with other racial backgrounds, mainly
…show more content…
Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland. Slavery in America The earliest African arrivals were viewed in the same way as indentured servants from Europe. This similarity did not long continue. By the latter half of the 17th century, clear differences existed in the treatment of black and white servants. A 1662 Virginia law assumed Africans would remain servants for life, and a 1667 act declared that "Baptism do not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom." By 1740 the SLAVERY system in colonial America was fully developed. A Virginia law in that year declared slaves to be "chattel personal in the hands of their owners and possessors . . . for all intents, construction, and purpose whatsoever." In spite of numerous ideological conflicts, however, the slavery system was maintained in the United States until 1865, and widespread antiblack attitudes nurtured by slavery continued thereafter. Prior to the American Revolution, slavery existed in all the colonies. The ideals of the Revolution and the limited profitability of slavery in the North resulted in its abandonment in northern states during the last quarter of the 18th century. At the same time the strength of slavery increased in the South, with the continuing demand for cheap labour by the tobacco growers and cotton farmers of the Southern states. By 1850, 92 percent of all
Open Document