Blacks, both free or enslaved, were treated equally in their respective classes as whites from the period between the establishment of Roanoke until the late 1670s. Many black slaves that came over from Africa were freed by their owners after working a period of time. Slavery was not inheritable during this period of around eighty years. Furthermore, freed blacks were able to sue, be sued, do penance in the parish church for illegitimate children, and learn English. They could also earn a living to buy their freedom if they were slaves. Northampton, the only county with full records, showed that there were at least ten free Negro households by 1...
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...e original English goal to establish freedom and liberty to all people. Putting down a people because of their skin color is inherently superficial and naturally inhuman. However, regardless of racism’s conflict with the very foundations of America, it allowed for the English colonies to justify their incentive to prosper and to thrive with stability by degrading the African Americans to the lowest of classes.
Edmund S. Morgan. Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox. USA: Organization of American Historians, 1972.
History and Culture. “Bacon’s Rebellion.” National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior. http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/bacons-rebellion.htm (accessed February 29, 2012).
Oscar Handlin and Mary Handlin. Origins of the Southern Labor System. Virginia: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1950.
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