African Americans And The United States Essay

1758 Words Dec 6th, 2016 8 Pages
African Americans have been economically disadvantaged in the United States for generations because of factors that are beyond their reach. Economic Advancement among African Americans has improved over time but the wealth gap is still too large to ignore. The lack of black wealth can be attributed to several factors the main one being slavery. Other factors that had huge impact are the G.I Bill, red lining by banks and real estate agents, and high incarceration rates.
Slavery in the United States drove the economy in the country. With the advent of the cotton gin the United States was producing more cotton than ever before all at the hands of African slaves. It is well known that slaves were never paid or compensated for their labor while on these plantations across the United States. “The final value of slave labor is almost incalculable. The face value of American slaves in 1860, in 1983 dollars, was $17 billion. Assuming that the money slaves produced for others from 1790 to 1860 grew in the economy, economists, using conservative compound interest rates, calculate that the value of such income by 1983 was between $1.4 trillion to $4.7 trillion.” (Jackson) After the Civil War and the Emancipation proclamation the South was in ruins. Entire cities were burned to the effort and a massive rebuilding effort was soon to be underway.
The federal government at the time gave every freedman at the time 40 acres and a mule to give economic advancement and opportunity to a now…

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