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Negative Effects of Slavery Essay


A community can be viewed as a people that share common languages. Attributes and many other cultural similarities. Strong communities usually signify a unity or bond. This bond forms a sense of sense of self and “brotherhood”. However, this does not appear to exist in the Black community. Slavery has nearly destroyed the existence of any unity. When the Africans were taken from African, different tribes were mixed together on the ships and stripped of their identities. The differences between the African tribes had a positive affect for the enslavers because it caused disunity. Which helped them maintain control both during the voyages and once they arrived to the U.S. realizing the affect of the disunity, slave owners continued to develop tactics that would further disunite African Americans from generation to generation until today.

Slavery Period The disunity among Africans helped the slave owners operate their plantations more efficiently and furthered enslaved the Blacks. Their lack of unity increased because of distrust for one another and an increase of loyalty and dependence on their owners The Africans were divided based on physical attributes (ie. Skin tone, physical build). Of all the attributes, skin tone was of the most prominent tactics of division used. The fairer skinned were usually used as house laborers and held a higher status than that of the darker skinned who were used as field hands or given harsher treatment. . Because they were more privileged, a sense of superiority arose among the light skinned or house laborers. This caused the darker skinned Africans to envy the fairer skinned by distancing Negative Effects of Slavery and disconnecting themselves from each other, they caused division on the plantation.

Any sign of unity, even seemingly harmless bonds such as bonds between children and their parents, posed a threat to the slave owners causing most families to be separated and sold to different plantations. African women were even taken from their families to become mistresses to their owners. Separation of families left the men unable to uphold their duties as a father and head of the household and left or forced women to raise families on their own or with other men.

Segregation Period Before slavery was completely abolished certain slaves were freed, many of which were fair skinned or “Mullatoes”. When slavery was abolished and the other slaves were freed, the Mullatoes feared that mixing or associating themselves with the other Blacks would diminished their status as the “Buffer Class” (more accepted by Whites). Even after segregation and Jim Crow, laws were implemented and African Americans were limited to all Black living areas, school, restaurants, etc., Mullatoes were still favoritism in some cases. The resentment and rivalry between Mullatoes and Blacks resulted in separate churches, schools and organizations. Some Mullato organizations, schools and businesses had certain procedures that determine acceptance because they were viewed as “better” than other Blacks’ were. For example if you were lighter than a paper bag you could get accepted into their organization, if not your were asked to go elsewhere.

Another cause of separation was the lack of employment opportunities for Black Negative Effects of Slavery men. They were unable to uphold their position as the man of the house by providing for their family. Women were offered more job opportunities then their men. Resentment grew between both the men and women because the men that were unable to provide for their families felt inferior to the women and the women were left to provide for the household on her own. Lack of jobs for men was such a major issue that some men would seek illegal ways to provide for their families and many were often jailed or killed causing and absence of a father or man in the house.

Desegregation until Present Because of the increased availability of more freedoms and opportunities for Blacks since the end of segregation and Jim Crow, African Americans now have the choice to patronize whom ever they please. Many Blacks stopped patronizing other Blacks and sought out White businesses. This has resulted from the influence of the Euro-worldview society is under the belief that White schools and businesses are better than that of Blacks. This is a form of disunity because there is a decrease in Blacks supporting other Blacks.

Much like during the time of segregation, Black men have a difficulty being employed. However today welfare or financial government assistance is in
place for women who are unemployed with children or without a man in the house; decreasing the need for a male presents. THe decreasing need for the Black male presents is causing not only a separation of family unity, but also the desire to have family unity.

Negative Effects of Slavery Conclusion Although we are more than 100 years out of slavery, affects of its corruption still exist within the Black culture. Slavery has nearly destroyed any presents of unity among the African American people by forcing them to compete with each other and by targeting their differences and using them as a means of separation. Aids for minorities such as Affirmative action are nothing more than tactics to force competition, divide Blacks, and maintain a lack of unity whenever there is act to better themselves. Because of fear of an uprising or gain of power after Blacks enslavement slave, owners and other Caucasians developed documented tactics in order to maintain control and disunity of the community.

William Lynch gave a speech in 1712 that gives proof to these acts by illustrating their strategy: “I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves, I take these differences and make them bigger I use fear, distrust and envy for control purposes… you must pitch the old Blacks against the young Blacks…you must use the dark skin slaves against the light skin slaves and the light skin slaves against the dark skin slaves…But it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us…The must love, respect and trust only you.”


Noble (1986). “Breaking the Chains of Slavery”.

Psychological Legacy of Slavery Retrieved May 29, 2007.

Hall, Russell, Wilson. (1992). The Color Complex. Retrieved May 29, 2007

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