Today, we went to the African American History Museum. It was mostly about how unequally they were treating African Americans. It all started when explorers first came to Africa and saw the Africans as people to own.

Buying and selling someone is not how to treat another human being. As the slave trade continued, more and slaves were coming into Europe. Then the Americas were discovered, and hundreds of thousands of slaves were sent to work in the sugar farms of the Caribbean. Then came the American Revolution, and quickly 1/7 of America’s population was slaves.

There were tons of slaves in America and Europe. Hundreds of slaves stacked on boats. A whole lower deck devoted to holding slaves. Slaves stuffed the boats from tip to stern. You couldn’t even walk in there without stepping on someone. They were treating the slaves as cargo. There was a whole system for the slave trade. About one million people were torn away from their families just to go to one plantation. Many unfair laws were passed, going against the slaves.

1680 | No black person (whether slave or free) may carry weapons, travel without a pass, or lift a hand against a white person.

1691 | Free blacks and white persons married to blacks are banished from the colony.

1705 | The law states, “All negro, mulatto, and Indian slaves are considered real estate.”

1705 | It is legal to dismember an unruly slave.

1715 | Virginia abolishes voting rights for free Negroes and Indians.

-African American History Museum

Slavery built our nation. Without slavery, many European countries would have been different. I’m not saying slavery is good, I’m just saying that it changed our nation into a more developed one. Slavery is definitely not good.

As time went on, the Civil War started. It was a massacre. The underground rail was established then. And in the museum, they had Harriet Tubman’s lace shawl and her hymnal! Then, in 1864, it became illegal to own slaves in America (the 13th Amendment). But blacks rights were still unequal. A man named Jim Crow segregated white and black people a lot. There was segregation with the bus seating, water fountains, bathrooms, schools, restaurant seating, and more. There was also just how black people were treated. It was still very unequal. In 1865, there was an organization that formed called the Ku Klux Klan. It first started in Tennessee, and quickly spread through the South. The Ku Klux Klan is an organization that was against black people, and they were very violent. They wore these hats from a form of Christianity to disguise themselves.

Confederate veterans organized the first Ku Klux Klan group in Tennessee in 1865. The Klan spread quickly, intent on intimidating freedmen across the South. After the end of Reconstruction, Klansmen escalated their violence to discourage African Americans from voting or running for office. They also threatened Republican politicians. Their actions helped white Democrats return to power in the South and undermined the political influence of African Americans.

African American History Museum

In the 1900s, Martin Luther King Jr rose up and gave protests against inequality between blacks and whites. He made very moving speeches. He had many followers. There were many other protesters such as Rosa Parks. These protests are still here today. And there have been changes. For example, the first black president, Obama, was elected just before Trump.

Below: Shackles

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Below: Harriet Tubman’s Shawl and Hymnal

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Below: Slave ships