Early African American Identity

Slavery is defined as a civil relationship wherein one person has total control over other people's life, freedom, and fortune. During old times, especially in Africa, slavery was very evident and popular issue; it was even recognized as a system of living. During those times there was also a division among slaves; there were individuals taken to become slaves and those that were born into slavery. The purpose of this essay is to identify the differences between the two classes of slaves.

The main difference between those individuals taken as slaves and those who were born into slavery is that, individuals taken as slaves, by definition, refer to those who chose to become slaves because of some certain reasons and instances (Crawford, 2008). For example, during old times, especially during wars, soldiers of the defeated tribe, which were held as captives, were turned into slaves of the winning tribe. These slaves then were forced to do labors in favor of the winning tribe and they could not do anything to protect themselves because if they did, they would be badly punished or even killed. Another reason why the individuals taken as slaves existed is because of huge debt being owed. When one person had a huge debt to the other person and if it was impossible for him/her to pay such debt, the only way to pay was through becoming a slave of the creditor. The last reason is colonization. During the early times, one of the main purposes of colonization was the search of man power or slaves. Once a certain country has been colonized, not only its natural resources were seized but also its inhabitants. These people were captured, turned into slaves and forced to work for the colonizers.

On the other hand, the individuals who were born into slavery, by definition, refer to those who were already classified as slaves even before they were born. The main reason for this is the class system. During the early times, societies were divided into three classes: the upper class, middle class, and the lower class or the slaves (Walvin, 2004) It means that if a certain family was recognized as part of the lower class, all the family members were automatically recognized as slaves, and when one family member reached the right age, he/she was sent either to a middle class family or upper class family to serve as slave and work for that family forever.

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