4 June 2015
Takaki Paper #1: The Hidden Origins of Slavery (Chapter 3)
When one thinks of the origin of slavery, they commonly think of the profit that the South was able to make off of it. Although this is a major origin and would explain why the institution carried on so long, the text in this chapter gave me a different understanding of the history of slavery. The author, Ronald Takaki, gives us a feel of the early colonial foundations of Virginia and the progression of slavery. In my opinion, Takaki 's argument for this chapter would be that Whites early on had negative images of African Americans because they were different and they knew very little about them. This judgement early on progressed …show more content…
Takaki argues the contradictions of slavery and judgements of African Americans. He does this by providing viable examples of contradictions made by Whites in the North and the South. Takaki also argues that control is an important factor of slavery. We are able to learn about the origins of early prejudices against African Americans in our country.
Takaki introduces us to David Walker. Walker was the son of a slave father and a free mother. Fortunately for him, he inherited the status of his mother. But he wasn’t naïve of the injustices and cruelty of slavery. He witnessed others of his color become a form of property to their masters rather than human beings. Although Walker was a free man, he quickly realized freedom wasn’t what he expected. He came to the realization that "freedom" in the North was only a façade. Northerners preached about freedom for slaves but when they were free they treated them as if they were social outcasts. Finding a job was the biggest struggle for freedmen. Not only were they discriminated against but they were also pushed away by other employees. When it came down to it, former slaves were only allowed menial jobs. The biggest contradiction of all would have to be when Takaki quotes Walker countering, "that whites were the true barbarians: the enslavement of blacks, the selling and whipping of slaves-- such practices were signs of savagery, not civilization." (Takaki 98) Walker calls out the fact that whites are so quick to call African Americans "monsters" and "devils" but based on actions they are the ones constantly proving themselves to be the