African-American History ~ Week Two Lecture
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African-American History ~ Week Two Lecture






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  • (copyleft 2007) Chad David Cover.Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 1.0 Generic. See
  • Transatlantic slave trade also given impetus when British revoked charter of Royal Africa Company in 1698, allowing N.E. merchants to ply the African slave trade, and when English forced an “Asiento” from the Spanish in 1713, in which that government agreed to supply British New World colonies with 4800 slaves per year for 30 years.
  • Year 1650 1700 1750 1790 Percent Black 3.18% 11.09% 20.19% 19.27% Percent White 96.82% 88.91% 79.81% 80.73% Number 5196827870514071804686422Number Black 160027817236420757208Number White 5036825088811707603929214
  • Massachusetts Lawes & Liberties (1641) had a provision making slavery illegal “unless it be lawfull Captives taken in just warres, and such strangers as willingly sell themeselves or are sold to us.” The word “strangers” was removed in 1670, thus allowing for the sale of children born to slaves in the state. Other New England colonies modeled their laws on Massachusetts’.
  • Notes Greene: “The New England slave had to be equally at home in the cabbage patch and in the cornfield; he must be prepared not only to care for stock, to acts as servant, repair a fence, serve on board ship, shoe a horse, print a newspaper, but even to manage his master’s business.”Prince was a devoted slave who superintended his master’s farm in Framingham in the mid-18th century. (Appears in Temple’s History of Framingham).

African-American History ~ Week Two Lecture Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Making African-American Culture
  • 2. The First Generation
    African slavery took off slowly in British North America. “Atlantic Creole” slaves were not necessarily treated differently than white indentured servants.
    The slave population took off after 1675:
    • expansion of tobacco cultivation in Virginia & Maryland
    • 3. Atlantic slave trade opened to British & North American slavers (1698)
    After 1675:
    • ratio of slave to free population increased in Upper South
    • 4. ratio of African to Atlantic Creole population increased
    • 5. necessitated “Black Codes.”
  • Sugar Plantation
  • 6. North American Plantation Labor
  • 7. Growth of Slave Population in Colonies
  • 8. Slavery in Colonial America
  • 9. Slavery in the North
    First slaves believed to have arrived in 1638, when Capt. William Pierce of Salem, MA brought a shipment of “salt, cotton, tobacco & Negroes” from the West Indies.
    New England merchants began trading in slaves in 1644, but could not compete with British & Dutch monopolies.
    The region benefitted from the Triangular Trade:
    As a carrier of slaves;
    As a shipbuilder of well-respected “trim, sturdy” slave ships;
    As rum distiller;
    As insurer of slave ships & slave cargoes.
    Growing foodstuffs & manufacturing for the Sugar Islands.
    Colonies collected a per Capita taxes on imported slaves.
  • 10. Slave Labor in the North
    Slaves brought to New England to satisfy “not a specific but a general demand.” Specialized plantation labor uncommon.
    Unlike the South, the gender ratio in 17th-century New England was skewed toward slave males—a nearly 2:1 ratio.
    New England slave “had to be more skilled & versatile than the average plantation” slave.
    Unlike Southern slaves, who were often advertised as “likely looking,” those sold in New England were advertised as “Jacks of all Trades,” as “fit for town or country work,” either “indoors or without.”
  • 11. Slave Societies
    All regions of British North America had slaves, but historians draw a distinction between:
    A Society with Slaves
    New England
    Most of the Middle States
    2. A Slave Society
    Parts of the Middle States
    Virginia, Maryland & the Carolinas
  • 12. Forging a Common Identity
    African-American identity developed in the crucible of the New World, amidst a background in which black people were:
    Outnumbered by a white majority
    Surrounded by a strange religion
    Surrounded by new languages
    Sharing a common oppression as a racialized minority
    Sharing common heritage as a diasporal people
  • 13. Shared Cultural Practices
    Between 1650 – 1750, enslaved blacks formed a common identity on larger plantations, an “African-American” culture.
    African-American cultural practices were “syncretic,” drawing upon mixture of beliefs, including:
    • African traditions
    • 14. European practices
    • 15. Indian influences
    Can be seen in such cultural forms as:
    • African-American Music & Dance
    • 16. Folk Tales
    • 17. African-American Christianity
    • 18. African-American Speech
  • “Tituba, the accused witch, telling the children of Salem Village mysterious tales of the Devil."This postcard shows one of the dioramas in the Salem Witch Museum. It depicts the scene of Betty Parris and Betty Williams in the kitchen of the Rev. Samuel Parris house, listening to Tituba.
    Tituba, “the Witch”
  • 19. Mother Bethel Church
  • 20. Baptist AME Church: Black Egalitarianism
  • 21. The Black Church