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Black People in a White People’s Country by Gary B. Nash

Essay by   •  September 24, 2018  •  Article Review  •  715 Words (3 Pages)  •  153 Views

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        The article “Black People in a White People’s Country” was written by the author, Gary B. Nash. This detailed article touched base on the African slaves in the Americas as well as their treacherous journey getting there, enduring slavery, and the history behind it all. Nash wrote this in more of an objective standpoint which is odd to me because slavery is a hugely controversial topic and I would have wanted to put in my opinion. The point that Nash was trying to make by writing this article, was to inform the readers about the slaves from Africa and how they served in the Americas.

        Gary Nash intended to educate his readers about slavery back in 1400s-1700s. I believe he did this very well because I learned a lot more than a typical textbook. It is interesting, but terrifying how the Europeans treated the African slaves. Nash described how the Europeans sailed Africa and traveled inland to capture the Africans; they were sometimes captured by force. Then the Europeans took the African blacks back to the coast, however, this wasn’t the easiest excursion. They rode in coffles, or trains, that took them roughly two months being locked up around their necks and feet. Many committed suicide while others died of exhaustion or hunger. The way Nash writes this in such detail; it really makes one think about it and see just how horrible it was.

        Nash writes this in such a way that it is very convincing to believe what he writes. It seems as if he did his research quite well and prepared accordingly. I quite honestly learned a lot about the African slaves from this time period. I had no idea they were treated like this: I thought they were treated with respect and just had to do labor. The way Nash described specific actions the Europeans performed on the Africans during the trip, sort of made me think of the Holocaust. The Holocaust involved Germans enslaving and torturing Jewish people. The colonization of the New World involved slavery as well with plenty of torture.

        Gary Nash doesn’t seem biased at all, I think he fights for both sides equally. He does focus on the Europeans perspective, but he inputs multiple quotes from Africans who know about what they went through. Nash was more informative and objective than biased or subjective. I believe Nash was equally fair to each group because he didn’t input his opinion.

        When I read this article I kept wondering to myself how could slaves possibly improve colonies. Sure, they worked hard in the fields and other plantations, but it doesn’t seem like a colony needs slaves in order to succeed. Nash made it seem like the only way a colony can grow and prosper was through slavery and I don’t know if I entirely believe that. The Indian Americans I think were the backbone of why the Europeans were successful, not the African slaves. Another question that came to mind was how this torture of slaves came to be? Slave trade essentially started in 1472 when a Portuguese captain reached Benin and began to trade gold, silver, and slaves. Slaves weren’t really “needed” in the 1400s or until the tobacco became a popular crop to grow. By that time Portugal brought over 40,000 slaves and that just seems insane to me. The Portuguese were relatively nice to their slaves but I’m not sure how the torture came to be. It is quite sad how many Africans suffered pain and were taken away from their families for life.

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