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Analyze how the 4 authors approached the issue of race, its history, and place within slavery - Research Paper Example

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Introduction The history of African Americans in the New World has been a major factor in shaping the contours of modern American society. The prosecution and the ensuing struggle of African Americans and the peculiar factors that shaped the whole struggle have been debated in literary circles for quite some time now…
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Analyze how the 4 authors approached the issue of race, its history, and place within slavery
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Download file to see previous pages The authors discussed below each represent a certain part of the African American heritage in the New World. Ira Berlin Ira Berlin in his essay “From Creole to African: Atlantic Creoles and the Origins of African-American Society in Mainland North America” discussed that not all slaves transported to the New World were not pure Africans. Instead there were a lot of people who were between Africans and European and were known better as Creole. The origination of the term Creole in early America is also traced and is indicated as an integral part of early America (Berlin, 21). Creoles are often overlooked by historians but they are an integral part of black immigrants in early America. Berlin supports his thesis by using evidence such as the opening story about Virginia’s Robert “King” Carter who renamed all of his slaves to prove his absolute power and ability to abuse slaves (Berlin, 19). The author focuses on how plantation slaves were handled and this is merged into the origins of the Creole people. The influence of the European traders in modifying large tracts of the populations along the Gold Coast and Elmina by interracial mixing of African and Europeans is also clearly demonstrated (Berlin, 22). Based on this change, Creoles were put in a position to assume roles that eventually made them important mediators between European traders and indigenous Africans (Berlin, 27). The movement of Creoles into the New World demonstrates that the influence of Dutch traders was significant in settling the Creoles in America through their bases in Curacao and New Amsterdam (Berlin, 30). Following this the author talks of various Atlantic Creoles who were established in Virginia who later diverged into other states present in early America (Berlin, 42). The end of the essay is used by the author to present various kinds of evidence used to augment the initial thesis. Margaret Washington Washington’s chapter “Gullah Roots” is based on a specific ethnic group of African slaves captured from several different African countries that were later known as the Gullah. The author argues that a majority of planters in America preferred a specific ethnic class of Africans who were adept at cultivating rice. These Africans were captured and enslaved from a region better known as the Gold Coast (Washington, 68). These slaves were subjected to masters who “also reinforced the Old World heritage” which means that these salves were subjected to inhumane treatment and were treated as people of lower status. These slaves are shown as being large contributors to modern African American culture. The author has used multiple primary sources such as a written source from the governor of Leeward Islands from 1701 (Washington, 68). This example as well as others supports the argument that slaves from the Gold Coast area were preferred. The records of Henry Laurens have also been used and reveal “a sense of prevailing attitudes toward African origins” in terms of slaves destined for the New World (Washington, 72). The author also uses secondary sources such as those related to the Muslim religion in order to augment aspects of the Gullah culture for example the Fulani and Mandinga Muslims who were settled in the mountainous regions of Sierra Leone (Washington, 76). These examples show that Muslims gained influence and authority and used it to enslave other ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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