Relationship between Races in Civil War Era

frederick 

When we talk about racial differences, then we’ll think about how those races relate each other or how they treat the other based on their races. Let us talk about it that has been in the civil war era. As you know that the civil war era has caused many social movements and it also affected American life after the civil war. Here I am trying to analyse “My Bondage and My Freedom” by Frederick Douglass.

Where justice is denied, where

poverty is enforced, where ignorance

prevails, and where any one

class is made to feel that society is

in an organized conspiracy to

oppress, rob, and degrade them,

neither persons nor property will

be safe.

-Frederick Douglasss

While reading this book, I gained much insight into slavery and the evils associated with it. There were many events in the book I devoted much thought to while reading it. One of these thoughts is the topic of slaves fighting back. The first thing I wondered is, “Why didn’t more slaves fight back against their masters?” They could have easily overpowered their masters and gained an advantage over them, and yet the majority of them didn’t. I realize now, from Douglass’ explanation, that the reason slaves didn’t rebel often was because they were beaten severely for just planning to rebel. If they actually did turn on their masters, they were usually hung for all the slaves to see. The masters instilled a fear in the slaves, so that they would not cause problems and would be obedient.

”Nature had made us friends; slavery made us enemies.”

“Slaveholders,” thought I, “are

only a band of successful robbers, who left their

homes and went into Africa for the purpose of

stealing and reducing my people to slavery.”

“The more beautiful and

charming were the smiles of nature, the more

horrible and desolate was my condition.”

I can see some similarities between the enslavement of blacks in the 19th century and earlier and school. Apart from that, there are few things that I can find similar between Douglass’ life and experiences and today African Americans’ experiences. We were raised in completely different environments, under different living conditions, different standards of living, etc. He grew up an enslaved black, while today African Americans are growing up a free white. There was one thing, though, that Douglass mentioned that African American experienced and seen in modern times. Douglass described that there was still racism and discrimination in the United States, even in the so-called “free-states.” When residing in Europe, he experienced no such racism, except from Americans who were touring there.  The Civil Rights Movement may have gained more freedoms, equalities, and opportunities for blacks, but I really don’t think America has learned from their mistakes. In freshman English, I find out an interview between a Hispanic student, an Anglo student, and a teacher, to find out what, if any racism exists in Americans school today. I wish I could honestly say that no racism exists in their school today, but, in my opinion, as well as the opinions of the interviewees, it still exists in Americans school. Although not as obvious as the hate crimes committed against blacks in the 1960s, there are smaller incidences of racism in school. At times, it can be a seemingly small derogatory comment that starts a large argument between a Hispanic and an Anglo student. Other times, it is just the difference of treatment between Hispanic and Anglo students.

 

By: Putri Dian Astuti

 

Bibliography:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/higher/history/usa/race/revision/1/

http://www.gallup.com/poll/163535/americans-rate-racial-ethnic-relations-positively.aspx

http://erichmusick.com/writings/literature/my-bondage-and-my-freedom-douglass.html

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