African American Issues: Slavery and Continuing Racism

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There are many issues that African Americans face in today’s society, many of which I had not realized until after taking Africana Studies. Some issues dwell on the horrific past of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, which not only is history, but also is part of African American heritage (Karenga, 2010). African Americans frequently experience many perilous problems, such as dire economic situations and feelings of hostility from the cultural mainstream in America (Kaufman, 1971). The cultural collision between African Americans and whites continues to create several problems in society. African Americans are susceptible to racial discrimination, a reality that ultimately shapes the way of life for African Americans (Hine, et. al., 2012).

To many people, the term slavery suggests the enslavement of African people that were transported by the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. But to Karenga, the term slave means much more. Karenga defines the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as the “Holocaust of Enslavement,” which is a much more powerful designation of slavery. The slave trade incorporated the imprisonment, purchase, or discarding of an individual with intent to diminish the person to enslavement; this included all actions involved in the purchase of a slave with the intention of selling or exchanging the person (Karenga, 2010).

Inequalities originating from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade continue to plague persons of African descent. Even today, African-Americans still feel the reverberations of slavery. These issues are not just the history of African slavery—it is the very heritage of African-Americans (Bogue, 1977).

Growing up in a predominately white community, I never fully realized the harsh reality of the Trans-Atlantic ...

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