Type: History
Pages: 4 | Words: 1051
Reading Time: 5 Minutes

This essay will look into problems African Americans have encountered since the Trans-Saharan slave trade to take them and do farm work for the whites. The African Americans have since the Trans-Saharan slave trade been treated with excessive abuse and a lot of brutalities, unlike the Trans-Atlantic slave trade who were treated fairly. These variations have since turned to shape the behaviors of African Americans. That withstanding, the African Americans have ever since had major problems in most spheres of life although there have been outstanding changes since the slavery times to the end of that time and now into the new millennium. This was brought about by the struggle to be recognized as humans and the civil rights movement in the 1950s especially by Martin Luther King and later the right to vote in the American elections.

Major problems

Most of the African Americans are descendants of slaves sold or kidnapped during slave trade. The first major problem has been the issue of slavery in which the first case of slavery was in 1619. The slaves in the Trans-Atlantic were treated badly by being beaten, raped, and starved and many other foul mishaps committed unto them, unlike the Trans-Saharan slaves who were fairly treated. This was mainly because they were not seen as human sand thus did not receive any form of respect whatsoever. They were only kept alive because they would earn their masters money once they reached their destinations. As their numbers grew, there was competition for food, space, and land and the need to get recognized amongst the predominantly white communities. There was a rebellion that later gave birth to the abolishment of the institution of slavery in 1808 by congress (Campbell R. & Fraser R. 2008).

Although slavery was banned, most of the freed slaves lived in abject poverty and there was still racial discrimination. This meant that the Africans Americans were not welcome in white owned business and any properties owned by the whites or that they could be mistreated if found in those establishments. This triggered the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865. From 1861 to 1865 during the American Civil war, President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in the Emancipation proclamation. In 1865 slavery in the US was outlawed and in 1868 African Americans were granted US citizenship, by 1870 black males were allowed to vote (Holt Thomas & Brown E. 2000).

Another major problem that affected African Americans is racial discrimination. Most whites treated blacks as inferior and categorized them into a social division. They were seen as not fully human and thus were discriminated upon on issues such as education and jobs as they were not capable or as per intellectually like the whites. This meant that blacks were not allowed to some schools which were exclusively for the whites and also were not allowed to do some jobs like that of a judge. Some philosophers even complicated the matter for Africans by widely declaring that they believe scientifically that blacks are naturally inferior to whites. A Germany philosopher, Immanuel Kant, concluded by saying that although red Indians have a meager talent, the Negroes are way below them and the lowest point is part of the African American people. This further aggravated the situation in America and made life for the blacks really hard as they had to work extra hard to prove that they are not inferior (Campbell R. & Fraser R. 2008).  

Racial discrimination has and continues to occur in various institutions apart from the schools and in employment above. It also occurs in housing and in the government. The whites are given a priority when it comes to the distribution of government houses and even government jobs while the blacks are left out even if they have the same qualifications. As recently as 1997 the African Americans were denied loans by the United States Department of Agriculture even though they had the same circumstances. There’s also the problem of blacks being associated with being criminals. A majority of Americans in cells are blacks. This is because they are seen as aggressive and violent. It is usually possible to find a black being jailed for life while a white with the same type of case given a lesser sentence (News Batch. Race and Ethnic Policy Issues. 2008).

In the new century, a wave of new and hardened institutions of hardened racism has been seen. Organized groups such as Ku Klux Klan emerged and they were perpetrating terror to blacks who despite having the right to vote, were repulsed at poll stations. This gave rise to lobbyist groups like 1909 of NAACP.   By 1954, the Civil Rights movement had begun and was directed at ending racial discrimination against African Americans. In 1964, then President Lyndon Johnson supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Act abolished all forms of discrimination in employment, public places, voting rights, and labor unions (News Batch. Race and Ethnic Policy Issues. 2008).

Although substantial gains have been made throughout history in fighting for equal rights amongst all Americans, there’s prejudice, racism, and discrimination against blacks and this has resulted in still having black poverty, lack of quality education in most black children. During the 2008 US presidential elections, many saw the election of Barack Obama as a step closer to sealing racial discrimination. Many also saw this as a fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality. This is because Obama was voted in not only by the blacks who are a minority but even by the majority of whites.


The African Americans have had various problems since slavery times to work in the US for white farmers. They were beaten, raped, and discriminated upon on several issues. They were segregated and were not allowed to mix with the whites as they whites saw them as inferior and they were seen to have a small IQ. The government did not either help the situation as they as gave privileges to the whites and denied the blacks some of their rights. The Civil Rights Movement rose up and demanded equal rights. Some substantial gains have been made through more needs to be done to not only empower blacks but also recognize them and stop discrimination. The election of President Obama has been seen as a step closer to ending some of these problems.

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