It is my intent to assess the plight of African Americans at a time when they were slaves. They were forcibly taken by rich white merchants to a new and strange land called America. Right from the very start, slavery was a controversial issue and it was argued with the constant reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. This was evidence in movements such as the abolitionists and in the literature. Books such as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe did much to fuel the controversy of slavery in the United States.
Slavery was a practice that was favored by the South. In the North, Americans were involved in industrial things, and had little use for slaves. They could afford to be more moralistic about the issue of slavery. However, when it came to the plight of land owners and Americans who lived in the South, they were highly preoccupied with their nice lifestyle. It is true that even George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson had slaves as did many of the forefathers of the new country.
Its also a fact that many of these individuals had children with their Black slaves. What this means is that slavery was an issue of moral dilemma for those Americans who lived in the North and of economics to the South. What was Abraham Lincoln’s role in this? His experience as a lawyer compelled him to see that there are always two side to every question, both of which must be fully understood in order to understand either and that is of greater advantage to an advocate to appreciate the strength than the weakness of his antagonist’s position.
No doubt slavery was the most delicate with which Mr. Lincoln was called upon to deal. After the conclusion of the Civil War and the emancipation of the Negroes, Blacks were essentially on their own. In fact, many chose to stay on the plantation, while others braved racism, prejudice and all the other disadvantages that go with being a Black man who has just received his freedom. Many found greater prospects in the North, and industrial areas.
In fact, many Blacks in the 1800’s actually amounted to great social prominence, both in the South and in the North, but in my view, it was really the African American religious experience which was quintessential in their salvation. Slaves found a solidarity in religion. It did allow them a chance to feel their spirits. It was the church that remained in the spotlight as the struggle for freedom not only a dream for the African American, but also a very realistic hope during the post Civil War period.
Martin Luther King was a pacifist, and believed in change through peaceful means. The story of the African American continues to this day. Certainly many strides have been made, but indeed racism still prevails. Not only amongst whites vs. Blacks, but also people of other skin color, races, political affiliations, etc. It is my personal opinion that until we all realize that we are of one spiritual community, that we will never fully realize a total coming together.