FROM INDENTURED SERVITUDE TO SLAVERY: THE UNTHINKING DECISION

 

  • A PERIOD OF INDENTURED SERVITUDE (1620 – 1670)
    • BLACK AND WHITE WORKERS SHARED THE SAME STATUS AND ACCOMMODATIONS
    • EUROPEAN HISTORY OF INDENTURESHIP
      • CHILDREN WERE INDENTURED BY THEIR PARENTS TO “MASTERS”
      • EUROPEAN CONCEPT
      • PATH TO LEARNING A SKILL OR TRADE FOR THE POOR
      • BRUTAL SYSTEM — THE EUROPEAN WAS DEVOID OF CONCEPTS OF HUMAN EQUALITY AND DEMOCRACY
    • AMERICAN CONCEPT OF INDENTURESHIP
      • SERVANTS WERE TRADING A PERIOD OF THEIR LIVES (2 – 7 YEARS) IN EXCHANGE FOR TRAVEL TO THE “NEW WORLD”
      • SKILL OR TRADE DEVELOPMENT WAS A NON-FACTOR
      • THE GOAL WAS TO SURVIVE THE INDENTURESHIP AND THEN BECOME A FREE PERSON WITH PROPERTY
    • AFRICANS ARRIVE IN VA. AND MD.
      • THEY WERE FORCED TO WORK FOR THEIR “MASTERS” UNTIL THEIR PURCHASE PRICE HAD BEEN RECOUPED
      • CONTRACTS AND ARRANGEMENTS WERE SIMILAR TO THOSE ENTERED INTO BY WHITE INDENTURED SERVANTS
      • THE VAST MAJORITY OF INDENTURED SERVANTS DIED PRIOR TO SECURING THEIR FREEDOM AS A RESULT OF OVERWORK AND DISEASE
      • TOBACCO PLANTATION OWNERS SOUGHT TO GET THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF WORK OUT OF THEIR WORKERS BEFORE THEY WENT FREE
    • THE UNUSUAL TALE OF ANTHONY JOHNSON
      • ARRIVED IN JAMESTOWN (1621)
      • 1625 CENSUS LISTS JOHNSON AS A “SERVANT”
      • BY 1651 JOHNSON OWNED AN ESTATE OF 250 ACRES WITH MANY SERVANTS (BLACK AND WHITE)
    • THERE IS NO RACIAL DISTINCTION BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE IN 17TH CENTURY JAMESTOWN
      • BLACK MEN WERE ABLE TO FULLY PARTICIPATE IN COLONIAL LIFE
        • LANDOWNERS, LENDERS, USED THE COURT SYSTEM, SERVED AS JURORS, CAST VOTES, AND HELD MINOR GOVERNMENT POSITIONS
      • WHITE ELITE, UNLIKE THEIR POOR BRETHREN, CAME TO CONSIDER AFRICANS “INALTERABLY ALIEN”
      • THE “UNTHINKING DECISION” IS MADE TO DENIGRATE AFRICANS FOR FINANCIAL AND CULTURAL REASONS
    • THE ORIGINS OF BLACK SLAVERY
      • 1640 – 1700 SOCIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC REVOLUTION OCCURS THROUGHOUT COLONIAL SOCIETIES
        • JOHN PUNCH SENTENCED IN 1640
        • SHIFT FROM BLACK & WHITE INDENTURED SERVITUDE AS THE PRIMARY LABOR SOURCE
        • HOUSE OF BURGESSES (THE VA. COLONIAL LEGISLATURE) MAKES THE FOLLOWING DECISIONS
          • BLACK SERVANTS WILL BE SERVANTS FOR LIFE (1661)
          • A CHILD’S STATUS WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE MOTHER’S STATUS (1662)
        • LABOR DEMANDS PLACED SQUARELY ON THE BACKS OF AFRICANS
          • (1671) LESS THAN 5% OF POPULATION IS ENSLAVED
          • (1700) 20% OF POPULATION IS ENSLAVED
        • THE ROAD TO ENSLAVEMENT
          • PRECEDENT FOR ENSLAVEMENT SET IN THE BRITISH CARIBBEAN SUGAR COLONIES
          • BRITAIN GAINS GREATER CONTROL OVER THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE
          • FEWER BRITS ARE WILLING TO INDENTURE THEMSELVES
            • COLONIAL OPTIONS IN REGARDS TO INDENTURE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES THE COST OF INDENTURED SERVANTS
          • BRITISH CONTROL OVER THE TRANS-ATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE DROPPED THE COST OF STOLEN AFRICANS
        • DEVELOPING THE CHARACTER OF SLAVERY — RACE & CLASS FACTORS
          • XENOPHOBIA (IRISH — NATIVE AMERICANS — AFRICANS)
          • OCCUPATIONAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE WOMEN
          • BLACK SERVANTS DID NOT HAVE SURNAMES — WERE LISTED SEPARATELY FROM WHITES IN CENSUS RECORDINGS
          • BLACKS COULD NOT BARE ARMS BY 1640
          • AFRICANS COULD NOT BE CHRISTIANS BY 1640
          • MISCEGENATION RULED A SERIOUS CRIMINAL OFFENSE BY 1662
        • THE CASE OF JOHN PUNCH (1640)
          • 3 INDENTURED SERVANTS (AFRICAN, SCOT, AND DUTCH) RUN AWAY AND ARE CAPTURED
          • COURT RULES THAT THE SCOT & DUTCH WILL HAVE THEIR TERMS EXTENDED FOR 4 YEARS
          • JOHN PUNCH “BEING A NEGRO…SERVE HIS SAID MASTER OR HIS ASSIGNS FOR THE TIME OF HIS NATURAL LIVE.”
          • BY 1650 IT WAS UNDERSTOOD THAT BLACKS (MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN) WOULD BE SOLD FOR A HIGHER PRICE THAN THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS AS THEY WOULD SERVE “FOR THEIR LIFE TYME” OR “FOR EVER.”

Committed to investigating, examining, and representing the African-American male, men, and manhood by offering commentary regarding the status of Black Men and Black Manhood as it relates to African-American Manhood, Race, Class, Politics, and Culture from an educated and authentic African-American perspective aimed at improving the plight of African-American men and African-American Manhood in regards to Politics, Culture, Education, and Social Matters.

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