African American Life During The United States Essay

1240 Words Sep 6th, 2015 5 Pages
African American life in the United States has been framed by migrations, forced and free. A forced migration from Africa—the transatlantic slave trade—carried black people to the Americas. A second forced migration—the internal slave trade—transported them from the Atlantic coast to the interior of the American South. A third migration—this time initiated largely, but not always, by black Americans—carried black people from the rural South to the urban North. At the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, African American life is again being transformed by another migration, this time a global one, as peoples of African descent from all parts of the world enter the United States.

While each of these massive movements shaped and reshaped African American life, none was more important than the first, the so-called Middle Passage from Africa to America. More than any other single migration the Middle Passage has come to epitomize the experience of people of African descent throughout the Atlantic world. The nightmarish weeks and sometimes months locked in the holds of stinking slave ships speak to the traumatic loss of freedom, the degradation of enslavement, and the long years of bondage that followed. But the Middle Passage also represents the will to survive, the determination of black people not to be dehumanized by dehumanizing circumstances, and the confidence that freedom would eventually be theirs and that they would take their rightful…

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