The Effect of the Abolition of Slavery on Lives of Black People

The Effect of the Abolition of Slavery on Lives of Black People

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The Effect of the Abolition of Slavery on Lives of Black People

There are many reasons to whether the abolition of slavery improved
life for black people or not. Some say life for black people is still
the same but others say it has improved. Some of the main factors are
what it was like to be a slave, how black Americans reacted to the end
of slavery, the views of different black leaders and the advantages
and disadvantages blacks faced after the Civil War. I will look at
each point in detail and then finally decide whether the abolition of
slavery improved life for black people or not.

It was a very hard life for slaves as they had to do a lot of hard
work and had extremely harsh punishments. Some of their punishments
include having their head chopped off, salt and peppering their skin
and getting a spike in their mouth. Slaves had a very hard life; they
started off as being normal people and just living their life in
Africa. Then one day someone would have come and captured them while
they were at home minding the house, next they would have been tied up
and taken onto a slave ship. The slave ship would have been quite big
but because of the huge amount of slaves taken on it, it was a very
cramped living condition for the slaves. Whilst they were on the ship
they were given certain amounts of food and drink. The living
conditions on the ship were very wrong and harsh and many slaves died
even before they got to America. When the rest of living slaves got to
America then were sold at a slave auction along with other goods. Then
the slaves would have been taken to their new owner's house and would
continue their life from there, whether it was good or bad.

At the end of slavery black Americans reacted happily. After many
years of slavery finally over, they felt releaved, with their freedom
finally to themselves, where as at the same time they felt they wanted

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harsh revenge. The black Americans had been treated with no respect
and had suffered for many years. When it was all over the slaves were
extremely glad and they began to live a pain free life. Many black
Americans were still treated differently just because of the colour of
their skin.

Black people contributed to the Civil War by helping in lots of
different ways. Black soldiers got paid less even though they were
risking their lives. Black soldiers got paid $7 and white soldiers got
paid $13, the black soldiers were 10% of the union army. Another
200,000 people served as labourers, cooks and nurses. After the Civil
War 17 black soldiers and 4 black sailors were awarded the
congressional medal of honour. During the Civil War lots of black
people contributed because they wanted to be free.

The disadvantages blacks faced after the Civil War were that half the
USprison population is black, one in twelve of the total population is
black. 67% of black families earn less than the USA's average family
income. White family income: $39,000. Black family income: $21,550. 38
of the top 50 companies in America have no black people on their board
of directors. The advantages blacks faced after the Civil War were
that blacks were treated much better. In 1984 only 20% of students in
southern states attended segregated schools. Blacks are a minority of
drug users but a majority of those sentenced for drug offences.

Martin Luther King started freedom rides and published his own story
about freedom. He also travelled around India to learn more about
Gandhi's views on non-violent protests. His views on the abolition of
slavery were that it was a great idea. His famous speech "I have a
dream" tells you that he is against slavery because he has a dream
that one day his four children will not be judged by the colour of
their skin but by the content of their character.

Malcolm X was a militant leader of the Nation of Islam, also known as
the Black Muslims, in the 1950s and early 1960s. Malcolm X created a
secular nationalist group known as the Organization of Afro-American
Unity. Despite threats on his life, he continued to preach this "new
religion" until his assassination in 1965. His views on the abolition
of slavery were that it was a good idea. He said "Whites can help us
but can't join us".

After the Civil War whites reacted quickly. A group called the Ku Klux
Klan was invented. It was formed because some whites still hated black
people and wanted them dead. The KKK dress up in white to show they
only like white people not black. They would have lynched black
people. Segregation is when black people are separated from white
people. The segregation laws were known as "Jim Crow" laws because Jim
Crow was a character in a song that was made to make fun of black
people. White people in the south were keen to have segregation
because black people will still be classed as 2nd class. Black people
felt powerless when segregation laws were introduced.

Black people faced racism through economics by being paid a lot less
than white people in their work. White people had the chance to vote
but black people didn't. This was because to vote you had to pass a
literacy test in which the black people were no good at. People's
attitudes towards black people were not very nice. They hated the
blacks just because of their skin colour.

After going through these factors I have finally decided whether the
abolition of slavery improved life for black people or not. I think
that life has improved for black people after the abolition of slavery
but not as much as it should have. After slavery was over black people
became free and could live a pain free life, but also the KKK was
invented and black people were hated. Although blacks were free they
weren't treated completed equally, white people got paid much more
than black people which was very unfair. The abolition of slavery
improved life a lot for black people but I still think a bit more
could have been done to make blacks and whites completely equal.
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