Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom,” of A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinc takes about the slave rebellions, abolition movement, the Civil War, and these effects on African Americans. Zinc included this chapter to explain the life of African Americans before and after the Civil War and their treatment accordingly. Howard Zinc explains how the life of an African American remained cruel and taken advantage of through explaining the life of a slave before the War and then the mentality that whites were better than blacks hat continued after, seen through the effects of the Klux Klux Klan.
First of all, Howard Zinc proves his thesis by talking about the life of a slave prior to the war. “But can statistics record what it meant for families to be torn apart, when a master, for profit, sold a husband or a wife, a son or a daughter… The whippings, the punishments, were work disciplines” (Zinc Chi. 9). Not only were slaves separated from their families, but also they were also physically abused. Their bodies and love for each other were continuously damaged in hopes of downing their spirits.
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Even as slaves tried to escape the shackles that they wore, the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 was then passed which made it necessary for states to return fugitive slaves to their owners. As the abolitionist movement continued and strengthened, “Blacks had to struggle constantly with the unconscious racism of white abolitionists” (Zinc Chi. 9). Even those who supposedly support the African American still regard them as a lower people. All of this related to the thesis because before the civil war, they were looked on as property.
They were denied the right to stay with their family and they were abused. Even those who supported their freedom still denied them complete equality. As the country then propelled itself into Civil War in hopes of changing this type of life, the results were not exactly what were expected. After the Civil War, a war that took the life of millions of Americans, African Americans were stilled denied complete rights. After the war, laws were passed that defended the rights of African Americans, but that all changed with the Klux Klux Klan.
Originally, “The Constitutional amendments were passed, the laws for racial equality were passed, and the black man began to vote and to hold office,” but, “The violence mounted through the late sass and early sass as the UK Klux Klan organized raids, lynching, beatings, burnings… As white violence rose in the sass, the national government, even under President Grant, became less enthusiastic about defending blacks, and certainly not prepared to arm them” (Zinc Chi. ). Africans Americans were granted the equal sights that they wanted, but with the actions of the Klux Klux Klan, a white supremacy group, the US government began to back off from supporting the African American due to fear of more attacks (possibly becoming more violent). The African American also lived in poverty, “The average wage of Negro farm laborers in the South was about fifty cents a day, Fortune said” (Zinc Chi. 9).
Not only were the newly freed blacks being hunted down by white supremacy groups, but also they lived in poverty. Yes, they life of some approved greatly and they were able to receive an education, UT for the majority of African Americans, they were still living in the shadow and fear of whites. In conclusion, Howard Zinc wrote “Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom” to explain that the life of an African American did not change too much from before the Civil War to after.
They still lived in poverty and were living in fear and shadow of the white man. Zinc proves his thesis by including the separation of families that occurred, the racism that existed in the abolitionist event, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the physical abuse of slaves prior to the Civil War, and then the amendments that were basically ignored after the emergence of the ASK, and the living conditions of an African American after the war.
Zinc was successful because through the addition of all those details, it is clear to see that their situation, though seemingly better (and possibly better for some) the average treatment of the African American remained pretty constant from before to after the Civil War; they still lived in hopes of surviving in a white man’s world.