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Chapter 2. Drawing the color line Elizabeth Johnston. Racism . According to W.E.B. Du Bois: “There is not a country in world history which racism has been more important, for so long a time, as the United States. And the problem of the color line is still with us. .

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

Drawing the color line

Elizabeth Johnston


According to W.E.B. Du Bois:

“There is not a country in world history which racism has been more important, for so long a time, as the United States. And the problem of the color line is still with us.

where did it all begin
Where did it all begin?

What is the history behind racism?

  • The Virginians were desperate of labor in order to be able to stay alive. They need help with crops and other labor and as more people arrived, there was less food to live off of.

The Indians knew how to live off of the land, but most of the white men were craftsmen or leisure men and needed help living off of the land. The Indians would not work for them, and they were frustrated with their inabilities to succeed in this new land. They decided that black slaves were the answer.

slave trade
Slave trade
  • By 1619, Salve trade had become a common resource in Spanish and Portuguese colonies, South America, and the Caribbean.
  • Slavery had previously existed in African states and they had their own hierarchies, however, the slaves were considered purely lower class, not actual slaves.
  • Africans were ripped from their native land and seen as barbarians to the White man.
  • Although they were treated so poorly and seen as less of a human than the white men, the Americans needed these African slaves in order to survive. The White men were so incapable of producing their crops and doing manual labor, that without these salves, they would have not survived.
ripped from their homes
Ripped from their homes
  • These slaves were ripped from their land and could not embrace their roots.
  • They were uprooted from their tribal rituals and lifestyle and thrown into horrible conditions.
  • Slaves had been shackled to each other by the neck and walked for thousands of miles. It is said that every 2 out of 5 blacks died on their way to slavery.
unjust treatment
Unjust treatment
  • Slaves were treated like animals.
  • When being brought to America, they were kept in spaces no bigger than 18 inches in height. They were not able to even turn on their sides.
  • They were chained to each other and often could not move to go to the bathroom. Many would choke on the stench of their own urine and secretions.
  • Ten to fifteen million blacks had been transported to America by 1800 and it was estimated that Africa lost over 50million people to death or being sent to America as slaves.
unequal treatment
Unequal Treatment
  • This unequal treatment was a development of racism.
  • Was it purely a color bias?
  • Was it because whites felt inferior to the black men’s abilities?

In the 1600’s the color black was seen as distasteful.

  • It is correlated with darkness and could have been associated with night and the unknown.
  • Whites saw the blacks and unequal beings and treated them as if they were not even humans. While some began to work together and socialize together.
  • It was solidified in 1961 when a law was passed that the two colors of skin could no longer mix.
through the years
Through the years
  • The book goes on to introduce more slavery issues throughout other chapters, but it is important to learn where it all began and understand the motives so that it never happens again.
  • Slavery hit many bumps in the road. There were many issues with racism and there still is to this day.
  • America has come a long way but still faces many challenges.