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Reparations For Slavery. Essay

1563 words - 6 pages

Reparations for SlaverySlavery in the United States started back in the early 1600's. Millions of Africans were unwillingly, brought to the United States and forced into slavery. Slaves had no rights and were seen as wild animals. Many slaves had to watch their family and friends get beat and sometimes killed. Many families were separated because they would be sold to different slave owners. Some women were forced to be their owner's mistress, and many had children for them. For years, African Americans fought for their freedom. During the fight, many were killed. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, freeing all slaves in the United States, issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Forty acres and a mule were also promised to all freed slaves. African Americans never received forty acres or a mule. However, the fight did not stop there; for years after that, African Americans fought for equal rights.Today, many African Americans are seeking reparations for slavery.Holmes 2So, what are reparations? Reparations are money paid to African Americans for slavery. Many people feel that the United States should take responsibility for slavery, starting with reparations. Who will receive the money for reparations? African Americans who have ancestors that wore slaves will receive the money from reparations. They will receive the money for the pain that their ancestors went through. White Americans will pay the money for reparations. Why should African Americans be paid reparations for slavery? Reparations for slavery should be paid to African Americans for the following reasons: whites have benefited from slavery, African Americans today still suffer from the effects of slavery, and reparations will show that white Americans are sorry for slavery.The first reason why blacks should be paid reparations for slavery is that whites have benefited from the free labor of slavery. The term free labor means that slaves worked free. They never were paid for the services that they provided. For example, some slaves worked on cotton plantations. They spent long hours picking cotton and working under harsh conditions. Moreover, of course, the owners of these plantations received a lot of money from the cotton the slaves picked. Some people argue that the owners paid the slaves. The owners provided food, clothing and shelter in place ofHolmes 3money for the work they did. However, they barely had enough food to feed their whole family and the houses wore usually only one room. The food, clothing, and shelter still do not add up to all the work that they performed and the pain they suffered.Not only did white Americans benefit in past, but they also do now. According to Feagin, "whites whose families have been in North America for a generation or more, which is the majority, benefit today from the significant racial advantages that their ancestors gained often including gains under slavery or segregation" (263). Whites have inherited money and land that was made possible by...

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