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The African and African-American histories are conjoined in the past years, before and during slavery. Nonetheless, there are some significant differences arising from the geographical separation and act of the African-Americans being mingled with the natives of their new found home, America. To understand these histories, I will examine (1) Slavery and Slave Trade, (2) Political and Economic factors, (3) The African History, (4) and a summary of these frameworks.
Slavery and Slave Trade
The Africans and African-American have shared the same history in the period between 800 and 1500 AD.1Their ancestors went through the same ordeal trying to resists being captured and the shipped to the Americas for work. European countries had commenced on an extensive with African countries. The English men, Portuguese, Spanish and even the Dutch would sail by vessels to African to trade. The commodities they would manage to get would be taken to Europe and Asia for further trading. First of all, Europeans were more interested in the gold, feather, ivory tusks and metals that were found in Africa. Afterwards, they realized that the African rulers could exchange their slaves for some long distance suppliers. After the establishment of colonies in the Americas which was just traversing the Atlantic Ocean, it was then that the administrators of these colonies so it necessary to institute trade course. The African people had very stringent regulations. The traders form Arab who had transacted businesses in the various African capitals for had experienced total peace and freedom to do their trade. When the Europeans came, they also found the same situation as the African people were very welcoming. Few of them met any violence or were robbed of their belongings. Even though there was some degree of slavery in Africa, it is the Europeans who introduced the chattel trade. Africans usually enslaved ‘other’ people, not their own particular ethnic group. The captured slaves were forced to be jailbirds that waited for war in order to fight in return for a settlement of a debt or as a penalty for misconduct. This led to increased raids, wars and kidnappings to be able to sustain the soaring demand for these slaves. At this point, both the ancestors of both sides received the same kind of oppression. The goods that were exchanged by the Europeans included ammunition and rifles for the African kings. The African kings on the other hands handed over their salves besides the other commodities for batter trade.2These poor slaves could be crammed inside huge voyaging ships for transportation to the Americas to work on the big plantations. During this period, so many Africans people died while trying to resist the slave trade. These individuals who contributed to the foundation of the spirit of independence both in Africa and America are the ancestors of the African who remained in their motherland and those who were shipped to the Americas (African Americans). Africans who were sold as slaves were shipped to the Caribbean islands and the America colonies. The Africans who had their family members and relatives taken or killed endured emotional trials such as depression, anxiety and deep sadness for a number of years since it was difficult to their the loss of a loved one. The case was the same for those who were taken away as slaves. Moreover, in the Americas, they worked in cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations. The produce would be taken to Europe for selling. Then these items were taken back to Europe for domestic consumption or selling. The system of trade was referred as the Triangle Trade. It is estimated that about 10 to 15 million persons got shifted away as to slaves. The trade continued for more than three hundred years. In the United States of America, a civil war was fought in the period between 1860 – 1865 AD thus bringing the slave trade to an end. However, its heritage of discrimination still continues up to today.
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Political and Socioeconomic factors
The African Americans after arriving at the new continent of America found new challenges that were different from those of the native African. They were highly discriminated due to their color (racism) by the other races. They, however, managed to work with the Native Americans especially in a bid to bring an end to racism that continued to be a thorn in their flesh for a number for years. They could only manage to live average lives since they could only be allowed to some minimal occupational positions even after the abolition of slavery. However, as time went, interracial marriages between the Native Americans and the African Americans diffused some of the negative stereotypes between the races, therefore, reducing the discrimination that arose. Presently, the term African American is used to signify the black people living in America that have white and (or) Native American ancestry. Before the tern African American, this group of people was referred to as colored, new, or black. It is in the 1990s when the term African American was coined.4 The political challenges that have faced the African Americans have been serious and racial based. For instance, even after the abolition of slavery, they were not allowed to vote just like the rest of the Americans. Political figures like Martin Luther King Jnr are some of the significant individuals that have reshaped the American history in modern-day America. Just recently, a historic event that is seen by many as the greatest milestone in the African American history is the crowning of the first African American president in America.5 Barrack Obama has the origins of a Kenyan father and an American mother. The African Americans are progressively closing the socioeconomic and political gap with the Native Americans that were initially there.
The African History
The African history has been coupled by a number of issues even after independence. Expectations were high on the road to independence. Conversely, these hopes were met by disappointments after the Africans took over the control of the political, social and economic sectors from the colonizers. The greatest contributor to African’s underdevelopment has been corruption. Many African leaders who took over the leadership only thought of the way they could reap benefits from the new positions they held and no the services they had to offer their people. Many African countries are now faced with poverty, poor healthcare that causes high mortality rates, high illiteracy levels, and food shortages. Historically, many of these countries have relied on the developed nations for aid and grants. This has led to unsustainable national debt s. Many of the multinational companies that are especially involved in the exploitation of mineral resources have put a lot of constraints on the African nations leaving them on the receiving end. This is due to the fact that despite the huge mineral deposits in Africa, the African people to not have adequate finances of the technology to engage in the extraction and processing of these materials. Civil and tribal wars have also contributed to political instability and the economic halt.
Currently, millions of people of Africans decent are found in North and South of America. Slavery may have been experienced by all Africans in the whole of the continent, but the culmination of this captivity which saw mass shipping of Africans from their land came with the Triangular Trade initiated by the Europeans. The African Americans have encountered a number of challenges in America that are different from of the Africans in their native land, Africa. The two continents have dissimilar political and socioeconomic climates that shaped the histories (as well as the lives) of these two groups of people differently.