The persistence of slavery throughout our world

Slaves are being sold and separated from their families

Slaves are being sold and separated from their families

Slavery is horrible. In my research I was trying to learn about slavery and how it has changed and persisted throughout time, including how it went from working in fields to today’s human trafficking and its trauma. 

In the United States, up until the Civil War many people in the South kept slaves and treated them horribly. Whippings caused many slaves to die. Spartacus Educational Encyclopedia discusses how they were whipped and why. “The main method used to control the behavior of slaves was the threat of having them whipped.” In her autobiography Elizabeth Keckly reported how she enjoyed a good relationship with her master who was a church minister. However, he arranged for her to be whipped in order to subdue what he called her “stubborn pride.” People should be able to use their voice and express their personality, but for slaves there were consequences for doing that. 

The slave trade was and still is an issue. When the slave trade started, families were ripped apart and going to different people who bought them for work. On the website “Reclaiming Kin” it tells us all about slaves and what they went through in the slave trade. It says, “Slaves knew that in most cases sale was the death of their familial relationships. If they were “sold south” they would never see their family again. Slaveholders often used the threat of sale against their enslaved laborers.”

Slaves were upset and when they got threatened with being sold they knew they would never see their family again. If they were sold they could die from working too much. It also says, “Slaves were shipped by steamboat and later by rail, but many were forced to walk long distances overland to their destinations in chains. The slave trade business included running hotels, auction houses and slave and jail pens.” Walking on foot long distances is painful, especially while getting whipped, barefoot, having chains tied around them and most of all, doing it against their will. They would have jails ready for them and tight chains so they wouldn’t escape.  Families being ripped apart against their will is dreadful. 

Lynchings, or hangings by a mob for an alleged crime without a fair trial, were also used to maintain white supremacy, especially after the end of slavery. Emmett Till, a 14-year old boy, was murdered on August 28 1955 for supposedly flirting with a white woman. After the two men who kidnapped and murdered Till were found innocent by an all-white jury in less than an hour, Roy Wilkins, head of the NAACP, said, “It would appear from this lynching that the State of Mississippi has decided to maintain white supremacy by murdering children.”

According to the PBS article “Lynching in America, “The brutal slaying of a 14-year-old boy was shocking, and when the killers later confessed to the crime in an article published in Look magazine, African Americans and others who supported civil liberties realized they would have to organize en masse and risk their lives in order to bring change.” Black lives were at risk. If people wanted a change they had to risk their lives. 

What is terrible is that overtime there is still slavery, but now people are often being held on bondage against their will for sexual activities. In the CNN News article “Sex trafficking: the new American slavery” it talks about a girl named Sacharay getting raped by a guy and the guy telling her to do it with other men for pay. In the article it says, “Sacharay’s trafficker began asking for “favors” — asking her to help make some money for him, by sleeping with another man.” Then he would slowly put two, three more guys. I got upset when I first realized what he was doing, but I kept doing it because he made me feel like I was special.” The trafficker made her do favors for money. She would always get tired and upset but she tried to not care since it made her feel like she was special which was wrong. “Sacharay soon was being sold to dozens of men a day. She would meet these sex buyers in motel rooms near a freeway, or even sometimes in the back of the barbershop. “One day I was like, I can’t do this anymore. I was in pain. I had sex with almost 40 guys in one day, and I was so tired, and I said, ‘I can’t do this no more.'” Her trafficker didn’t care. He made sure she knew leaving was not an option.” He went into the other room, came back with a gun, and he was like: ‘If you go somewhere, we’ll see.'” She was being sold to dozens of guys. When she had enough she wanted to stop and leave because she was suffering but when she talked to her boss he threatened her and made sure she knew that she couldn’t leave. 

After looking at the articles, it is clear that there are forms of slavery still in existence.  Throughout American history, people have been forced into labor through real or threatened violence. This has gone too far since 1619 to today in 2020. That is how it looked back then and how it looks no. Slavery needs to stop.