There are many things that people feel uncomfortable looking back on in American History. Although these things from the past do not reflect well on America, they cannot be ignored, but instead must be studied in-depth and remembered fully. One of these horrible but important aspects of American History was slavery.
We cannot forget that there was a time in our country when people were bought and sold as commodities and not treated as humans. We cannot forget that this enslavement of human beings, and the terrible lies told about these human beings to rationalize their enslavement still haunt America today, and serve as the foundation of many of the injustices and inequalities that are all to prevalent in its society.
It began with the enslaved peoples being crammed onto ships to be transported across the sea.
Once they”d arrived from Africa, these men, women, and children were sold at auction – often resulting in entire families being torn apart.
Once sold to a household or plantation, those who were enslaved were subjected to terrible conditions – living in small cabins with many other slaves and working long hours in the hot sun.
If a person tried to escape his or her enslavement, a warrant or bounty would be sent out, and whole teams of men and dogs were go out searching.
With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1st, 1863, America saw its first step toward the freeing of those who were enslaved. But many injustices continued and still continue.
One can see that the U.S. has come a long way since its days of slavery – but one must also be aware of the weight of history and the continuing struggle for civil and social equality in America.