History of Black slavery
Massive protests of the Black Lives Matter movement continue to gain traction across the US for more than a month already. The protests seek to advance not only the rights and welfare of Black Americans but also to rectify the centuries-long oppression and exploitation against them in the US.
Africans first arrived in the northern part of the American continent as slaves. Although Africans were traded as slaves in the continent as early the 16th century, August 1619 was marked as the beginning of Black slavery. This was when a ship carrying 20 African slaves arrived in Jamestown. US was then still a territory of Britain (UK).
Slavery was legalized in 1641. Slaves were made to work in tobacco, rice, sugarcane and indigo plantations, among others. For the first time in 1654, a court in the US issued a ruling allowing a landlord master to enslave an African. The lifelong ownership of slaves was first legalized in 1654. Slaves suffered an inhumane life and brutal punishments including whipping, death by hanging, mutilation and rape, among others.
At the end of 1700s, 3.2 million Black slaves were made to work in cotton plantations. By 1860, two-thirds of the entire global supply of cotton was produced by slaves. This was from which modern manufacturing was born.
The movement against slavery gained ground during the second civil war in 1861. Slavery was officially ended in June 19, 1865, but forms of discrimnation and racism against Black people persist.
It took 99 years since the end of slavery for the US government to recognize racial equality in 1964. This was a result by massive movements in the 1950s and 1960s for civil rights, as well as the emergence of revolutionary organizations of Black people.
After more than half a century, however, discrimination, oppression and exploitation against Black people continue unabated. Massive protests by Black people erupt periodically. The “Black Lives Matter” protests which continue until today is the broadest and most sustained in previous decades.