Background - The Secret Life of Bees. The Secret Life of Bees. History of Slavery - In 1700s, blacks were captured in Africa and shipped to America, where they would be sold as slaves to pay off the debt of transportation Southern states of U.S. needed slaves for their cotton fields.
History of Slavery
- In 1700s, blacks were captured in Africa and shipped to America, where they would be sold as slaves to pay off the debt of transportation
created the cotton gin in 1793.
make cotton quicker, stronger
and cheaper than the previous
cotton from India.
- Slave narratives told of the horrors of family separation, the sexual abuse of black women, and the inhuman workload. They told of free blacks being kidnapped and sold into slavery. They described the frequency and brutality of flogging and the severe living conditions of slave life.
where they come from and where
they were headed.
Often conductors would change
to keep the secret safe.
10-20 miles or 15-30km (from
downtown Brampton to Toronto
(straight as the crow flies)
- Canada was seen as ‘heaven’ or ‘The Promised Land’ due to its anti-slavery laws
American Civil War
- Devoted to plantation life
- Slow population increase
- Slave states
elected President of the
United States (without having
a single electoral vote from
any of the Southern states).
Carolina, Mississippi, Florida,
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas seceded from the Union.
attacked Fort Sumter
in South Carolina and
captured it; the ‘Stars
and Bars’ were flying.
- The Border States (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware) were slave states, but did not secede and remained part of the Union
started to lose the war.
approves the 13th Amendment to
the Constitution (abolish slavery);
was submitted to the states
More important dates:
- May 1865 – remaining states
surrender: NORTH WON!
13th Amendment – abolish slavery
14th Amendment – Citizenship and equal protection to all people
15th Amendment – Right to vote for all citizens regardless of race, color, servitude
- Gave land to ex-slaves in S.C.
- Taxes were raised to help restore the damaged and destroyed lands and buildings
- Carpetbaggers and scalawags given power of land ownership and voting rights
- Union army present throughout entire South
Ku Klux Klan
- originally founded in 1865 by veterans of the Confederate Army
- Wanted to restore white supremacy
NOTE – Reconstruction officially ended in 1877.
After Reconstruction officially ended, white state legislatures enacted JIM CROW LAWS
- included all segregation (schools, restrooms, etc.)
damage to public and
Stock Market Crash of 1929
and the Great Depression
Problems with Stock Market in 1920s:
Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s
segregated. Stores would have "WHITES
ONLY" signs, fountains/parks
and schools would be
ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that school segregation was unconstitutional.
were the first black
teenagers to attend
all-white Central High
School in Little Rock,
Arkansas. On the first day
of school, the governor of Arkansas
ordered the state's National Guard to prevent students from entering.
- President Eisenhower had to send federal troops to
protect students. Still, they faced threats, insults, and
mobs of people who spat on them.
until a federal ruling came into
effect that said segregated bus
laws were unconstitutional
instrumental in leading the
troops to University of
Mississippi to ensure first black
student (James Meredith) could
safely attend. Riot ensued and 2
people were killed and
300+ injured in the violent riot
between protestors, National
Guard and eventually the U.S.
- Also, Supreme Court rules segregation of transportation facilities is unconstitutional.
May 1963 – Commissioner of Public Safety in Birmingham, Alabama uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators during civil rights protests:
- help gain sympathy for
civil rights movement.
Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his
"I Have a Dream" speech
- 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, which officially abolishes racial segregation in the U.S.
- 1964 – setting of our novel (SLB)
- James Earl Ray arrested, pled guilty and sentenced to 99 years in Tennessee state penitentiary