African American History

The term race is mostly defined as the physical characteristics of a given group of people, their skin colour or facial appearance. This is usually brought about by the difference of how they are located on various geographical regions. It may cover the difference in religion as well, whereby it is said that a Muslim and a Christian are of a different race because of their religion. Citizenship, on the other hand, is the state of belonging to a certain state.


According to walker in the book Jubilee, slavery started over two hundred years ago and the slaves used to work in the plantations. Most of them were from the African-American origin. This was started by the British government since America was a British colony. Later, when America became independent, they continued with the black slavery. The slaves were not supposed to gain access to the fields. They were denied the right to bear children so that they could be profitable all the year round. Their power of speech was taken away. They were also not expected to show any form of defensive mechanism against their master’s words. They could not, therefore, defend themselves in any way. For instance, if a slave would refuse to do the piece of work assigned to him or her, penal punishment would be applied. According to the rich, Slaves had no rights.  

The mistreatment of the slaves was not only practiced in the fields .Some of their masters took advantage of the situation and used them as sex partners. A good example of such people was Dutton, the son of the plantation owner. Dutton took Hetta as his wife, and used her to fulfill his sexual desires as per his own wish. Later, Hetta’s situation went from bad to worse. She moved from being Dutton’s concubine to a woman, whose work was to bear children without having any say about it. Hetta’s health deteriorated due to this condition of bearing children now and then without limit and without giving her body enough time to prepare for the birth of the next child. She later died while giving birth to her fifteenth child.

When White Race came into existence, the political economy started. This was based on class oppression. We are able to know these through Theodore Allen writings. He argues that in 1676, Virginian bond laborers, who came together as a class rather than a race started fighting those, who owned the plantations and slaves. The fight was against slavery and the group consisted of Scottish, Africans etc. They united to fight together regardless of their race or complexion. The end of the fight by the laborers led to the invention of “the white race”, which led to the African American becoming Slaves. This “white race” was used as a political trick, in which the ex-slaves got some of the white privileges, and it ensured the whites never did any hard labor, and in return, they were to ensure that they keep the Africans and the American enslaved.

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They were also to ensure that the slaves’ children assumed the roles of their mothers and not fathers. The poor white social class came into existence when the whites accepted privileges from their masters. These white people came to believe that they were better than their counterparts. This was the work of the rich white men. They followed the white’s advice, which ended putting themselves in a trap. All that the white rich people were avoiding was a revolution, which would result in a class struggle. They wanted themselves to be superior and that was the reason behind tricking the poor white people. They had no problem if racial conflict arose. When they were able to ensure that racial conflict existed instead of class conflict, they made sure there would be no future laboring-class revolts in their plantations. Since the whites, who were poor would be free at some time in the future and some privileges conferred upon them on the promise that they ensure that blacks got humiliated, they had to ensure that the “Negroes” never attended the buffer role. They are also agreed that if the Negroes experienced the role then the privileges would become useless.

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Slavery continued to be depicted where the poor whites ensured that the black people continued to be under racial slavery. The poor whites do not work on the plantations anymore, and the blacks were expected to carry out the manual hard labor. They were the ones, who worked and produced for the consumption of both the north and south capital. They were expected to continue making their masters richer and richer and, this came to be through the use of the poor whites. Racism, therefore, continued to rule the land and an end to it was less likely to happen. Chances of the black people taking themselves from bondage were slim. This is because of systems put in place by the whites ensured that it would never happen.

The African-American had no plans to free their selves from the calamity that had engulfed them. Silence started to consume them and their camp. These brought lot of joy on the part of the whites since work would continue to be carried out, and the class revolution would not happen. Racism exerted on the blacks may have reached a point of hitting on the whites themselves (Margaret 55). The poor whites got onto a point of hating both the slaves and their masters. They felt that both these two groups were taking everything, and they were themselves ended up getting nothing. The slaves would point a finger on the poor whites and say that they used to get the basic jobs and leave the hard jobs on blacks. The masters used to get the wages, and this was the source of frustration for the poor whites. They started to wish if they were like their race men, who used to live in spacious houses and ate delicious food. Their children had swollen bellies, and many of them died because of the poor diet.

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From the novel Jubilee, I was able to see how slavery, race and citizenship get    interconnected together in this story. I can say that the  race is the key factor that contributed to slavery because much of the hard work was assigned to the African -Americans and those slaves taken from the Caribbean (Margaret 21). The poor whites did the simple jobs while the blacks were assigned to do the hard work (Margaret 99). The blacks got oppressed together with their wives and children, who never missed in the field. Failure to work led to different punishment depending on your race. Death was the punishment set aside for the blacks just because their citizenship was different from the whites.

Walker shows how people got carried away and affected by humiliating situations brought about by racism. Slavery was not only practiced in the field but, it also happened in other sectors of live where a person would be deprived of their right or freedom to own something. Being forced to perform a given task against your will is a form of slavery irrespective of whether the task will be of any importance to your life. A child made to go to school is not always a smart idea though education is of enormous importance to the Childs life. Different people have different talent and a child should be given direction in the path he/she decides to suit him/her. This is because the child will always perform better in that field. Though, this is not the case with the blacks themselves.

Hettas' daughter decides instead of living with Brown instead of Randall, she decided to live with Brow despite the fact that he was not educated. She took this step thinking that he was the one, who suited her best. She came to realize that the guy was not the best when he whipped her son Jim. Brown was uneducated, and he disagreed with the idea of Jim being taken to school as well. These showed that the Africans still held themselves in a state of oppression instead of liberating themselves. The white supremacy all the same brought about various problems upon these people’s lives.  This supremacy caused them to view relationships as unhealthy. They thought liberation as a process, which could never happen. Any African, who seemed to have money got in these class with the whites based on the slave’s definition. This was well explained when Jims mother refused to marry Randall claiming that slavery killed their chance of getting married. She even drifted further away from him because of his financial status.


In conclusion, I can urge every human being, who understands the great harm brought about by racism and slavery to aim high and work hard to bring these two to an immediate halt. All culprits taken to face the law for the crime they have committed should also be urged fairly and no one should be made to be the servant of the other person. All those affected by this problem and through one way or the other managed to rescue themselves from these, should unite and help their friends, who are still trapped in the same. This will be the only way to bring racism to an end. ‘‘It is a shame that, the blacks instead of uniting together, they start getting suspicious of each other in the road of liberation.’

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