Chapter 2 drawing the color line
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Chapter 2. “Drawing the Color Line”. Antonio Alvizo CHS 245OL. What is Slavery?.

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Chapter 2. “Drawing the Color Line”

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Chapter 2 drawing the color line

Chapter 2. “Drawing the Color Line”

Antonio Alvizo

CHS 245OL


What is slavery

What is Slavery?

  • Originally Slavery did not begin in America, as a mater of fact slavery did not begin with Africans. American Slavery began when the first African slaves were brought to North America in 1619 Throughout the 17th an 18th century.

  • This slavery continued all the way up until the American civil war in 1861. Over 4 million slaves were freed thanks to the Union’s victory.

  • But the end of slavery did not terminate Racism, which is where this chapter of Howard Zinn’s A people’s history of the United States comes in, the title states it all. Where is the color line drawn?


Drawing the color line

Drawing the Color Line

  • Let’s take a look at the title.

    When we read, “Drawing the Color Line” We obviously get the impression the chapter will deal with racism.

  • Howard Zinn uses this chapter to bring up the

    point that racism still exists in todays era, in what I like to call “Modern day slavery”.

  • Since the 17th century the color line was drawn, the

    color line referring to what separate the rich and powerful from the poor and less powerful, and unfortunately this separation of power was separated by the color of people’s skin.


Chapter 2 drawing the color line

  • “In any case, slavery developed quickly into a regular institution, into the normal labor relation of blacks to whites in the New World.”(Zinn 23)

  • Zinn speaks about the fact that slavery became a social norm during the time, It was common for people of white color own people of color.

  • Slaves were imported from Africa since there was a need for Labor in North America.

  • The first slaves were brought to Jamestown in 1619, they were sold to the English and were used to complete many different tasks, mostly for helping with the cultivation of tobacco.


What were slaves used for

What were slaves used for?

  • Many people would argue that

    Slavery in fact help build America into the nation that it is today. As stated previously, African slaves were brought into America originally in 1619 to aid labor need.

  • Slavery was then practiced all

    throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in which helped build the economic foundation of America.

  • During the 18th century, there was a

    huge demand for cotton, in which the very important cotton gin was born , developed by Eli Whitney which changed the production of cotton for the better, but further depended the nations slave labor.


Chapter 2 drawing the color line

  • “On one occasion, hearing a great noise from below decks where the blacks were chained together, the sailors opened the hatches and found the slaves in different stages of suffocation, many dead, some having killed others in desperate attempts to breathe. Slaves often jumped overboard to drown rather than continue their suffering. To one observer a slave-deck was "so covered with blood and mucus that it resembled a slaughter house." Under these conditions, perhaps one of every three blacks transported overseas died, but the huge profits (often double the investment on one trip) made it worthwhile for the slave trader, and so the blacks were packed into the holds like fish.”(Zinn, 28)


Chapter 2 drawing the color line

  • Slavery not only tortured many humans, but resulted in many humans deaths, through large amounts of slave trading, many died from poor conditions as stated before.

  • “By 1800, 10 to 15 million blacks had been transported as slaves to the Americas, representing perhaps one-third of those originally seized in Africa. It is roughly estimated that Africa lost 50 million human beings to death and slavery in those centuries we call the beginnings of modern Western civilization, at the hands of slave traders and plantation owners in Western Europe and America, the countries deemed the most advanced in the world. “(Zinn, 28, 29)


Chapter 2 drawing the color line

  • Often times slaves were thought about as slaves. Howard Zinn brings forth the idea that slave masters, mostly the smart ones knew that “Negroes” were not natural born slaves, they had to be trained and conditioned.

  • “The system was psychological and physical at the same time. The slaves were taught discipline, were impressed again and again with the idea of their own inferiority to ‘know their place,’”(Zinn, 34)


Slave rebellions

Slave Rebellions

  • Of course slaves rebelled against the white supremacist, although not many, there were enough to put fear into white planters.

  • In one instance, “About twenty-five blacks and two Indians set fire to a building, then killed nine whites who came on the scene.”(Zinn, 34)

  • Of course the consequences for such a thing were brutal, with either being burned, hung, or other brutal punishments for other slaves to notice.


Chapter 2 drawing the color line

  • According to Howard Zinn, This beginning of slavery, is what set the color line to what we now refer to as racism.

  • “With it developed that special racial feeling-whether hatred, or contempt, or pity, or patronization-that accompanied the inferior position of blacks in America for the next 350 years-that combination of inferior status and derogatory thought we call racism.”

  • Man Is not born knowing wrongs, man is not born knowing what “racism” is. Racism and discrimination are learned behaviors. The beginning of slavery marked the beginning to institutional separation of colors, literally “drawing the color line” into what we now know as racism.


Slavery in america

Slavery In America

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmYRgxyLkKI

  • The video above, beginning from 0:51, states a very important quote, “kidnapped, tortured, chained, raped, enslaved. This is the African who was stolen from his mother land and had everything taken from him, his language, his religion, his culture, his family, his identity”.

  • “In fact, it was because they came from a settled culture, of tribal customs and family ties, of communal life and traditional ritual, that African blacks found themselves especially helpless when removed from this. They were captured in the interior (frequently by blacks caught up in the slave trade themselves), sold on the coast, then shoved into pens with blacks of other tribes, often speaking different languages.”(Zinn, 27).

  • Zinn further explains about how these African Slaves were robbed basically from their lives, they were no longer who they used to be.


Racism in the media

Racism in the media

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sls5H4xVHys


Instances of racism

Instances of Racism

  • Although we live in the 21st century, and the presence of racism is often times over-looked.

  • A professor by the name of Daehawn Lee once told me, “In todays world, we do not know who is a racist anymore because they hide it inside of them, at least back then we knew who was a racist”.

  • Racism is most evident in our media which has a huge influence in our society, from commercials such as KFC, television shows such as family guy, music artists saying racial slurs in all their songs, and sports teams having racist names such as the “red skins”.

  • It has become part of the social norm to involve some sort of racism in our daily lives, whether it is a stereotype, or some sort of comedian making racist jokes, it is now seen as “okay” within our society.

  • Below is a sample of a KFC commercial that shows a typical African American Stereotype.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5vx2itH49s


Historic figures

Historic Figures

  • Although Zinn does not go into depth about the revolution, or the civil rights movements, an important figure was quoted, “W. E. B, Du Bois put it, is still with us. So it is more than a purely historical question to ask: How does it start?-and an even more urgent question: How might it end? Or, to put it differently: Is it possible for whites and blacks to live together without hatred?”(Zinn, 23)

  • Du Bois is speaking about racism, he is obviously stating that racism in fact existed, he brings up the problem if will ever end, or if there would ever be peace between all races, which is what many of our civil rights historic figures lived for. Leaders such as Du Bois himself, or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, and the list goes on.


Summary

Summary

  • Overall, it is obvious by just reading Howard Zinn’s title to this chapter in which what he will expand on throughout the rest of the chapter. “Drawing the Color Line” Marking the beginning of slavery, marking the beginning of what we now call racism, describing the brutal conditions these African Slaves faced every day, and how there is still a separation of powers due to the color of one’s skin.

  • Will there ever be equality?


Works cited

Works Cited

  • Zinn, Howard. A People's History of America. New York, New York, USA. HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.

  • Mayes, E. (2007). Drawing the color line. Philadelphia Tribune, 123(41), 1A

  • . N.p.. Web. 3 Apr 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery>.


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