African American Of The Whaling Industry Essay

1164 Words Apr 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
African Americans in the Whaling Industry

Throughout the late 17th Century and into the late 19th century, whaling was a major industry in America. Massachusetts was known very well for its whaling communities and whaling businesses. In towns such as New Bedford and Nantucket, the Whaling industry thrived. The Whaling Industry was a crucial business since the whale oil that was extracted from the Sperm whales in the Pacific Ocean was used to light the houses and streets all over America.(The History of Whaling, PBS) Being a whaler is a difficult and deadly job, and it takes a certain level of strength, confidence and motivation to be on a small ship for many years at a time, all while trying to harvest whales. Whoever could handle this enormous task, was accepted to work on a whaling ship. Workers slept in small quarters and got paid very little. The captions would recruit anyone willing to work on the boat, including African Americans, Native Americans, and all other races. (In The of the Sea, Philbrick) Though little is known about how the African Americans were treated on the ships, but in Nantucket and other whaling communities, African American men were generally not mistreated in the whaling industry due to the non-discriminating residents, the ability they possessed to do the job, and the need for workers.

One major reason for African American men coming to the north to join the whaling industry were the non-discriminating residents of the whaling towns and crew…

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