Stand Your Ground Summary

1740 Words 7 Pages
As Kelly Brown Douglas notes in her book Stand Your Ground, one of reasons for perpetuating slavery after the other Western European countries abolished it was due to America’s belief in Manifest Destiny. White Anglo-Saxons assumed they were called by God to rule the “New World”, but also to rule the Africans they had enslaved. In essence, God chose white people over all other races to be the ruling elites who dominate the world. They are the chosen people, in similar ways to Israel, who were God’s chosen people, determined to rule and colonize the “Promised Land”. Not only would Americans colonize, they would also proselytize and set an example of what pious morality ought to look like. In being an example, whites began to understand themselves …show more content…
Although a few historical instances have helped me to realize the opposite, Douglas A. Blackmon’s Slavery By Another Name founded the severity of how wrong I really was about my country’s history. Blackmon makes the case in his 400 page historical commentary that ten years after the emancipation of slaves, African American’s few freedoms were again taken away by way of peonage. Jim Crow laws were implemented to not only subjugate blacks, but also to further Manifest Destiny. He follows the Cottenham family generation by generation, first outlining their great-grandfather Green who was torn from his African motherland and placed into antebellum slavery. After Abraham Lincoln’s venture to end slavery, the next generation of Cottenhams were given the opportunity to vote and receive a small tract of land. Unfortunately, certain Southern states, crippled by the war, such as Alabama and Mississippi, knew the only way to rebuild their lands was through the re-enslavement of their African neighbors. To work around the new anti-slavery laws, states such as Alabama would arrest any and all young African males who they deemed as miscreants or sexual predators. Black males were detested in Southern society since they played the antagonist role, but were also essential to the vitality of the South’s economy. Once these men were in custody, the flourishing mines would purchase them for an inconsequential fee. Working twelve to fourteen hour days, many of these men were treated far worse in this form of peonage-slavery than ever before during the antebellum era. More often viewed as simple possessions that could be discarded and replaced, countless slaves died from inhumane treatment as well as harsh working conditions. Blackmon estimate that over 50,000 men are buried in mass graves all throughout the

Related Documents