Social and Cultural Identity Withstands Discrimination.
Captivation of a group normally leads to similar characteristics and behavior of that group. This statement is evident for Africans and their descendants who were subjected to slavery for over three hundred years. The article, "The First Passage" speaks of these Africans who were exploited by Europeans and how they came to develop and sustain various cultural and social forms. The way the Africans were perceived by others made it difficult for them to maintain some form of identity, however they had for themselves their own beliefs and this was the basis of their individuality.
Many persons are inclined by nature to associate with others of the same type. Africans had no choice but to do just this because of the racial and class divisions imposed on them by the Spaniards and the Portuguese. Africans in particular, were set far apart from others in the society and were considered the lowest rank out of Whites , mestizos, mulattoes and the Indians. The Africans then had their own main principal groups, with the main distinction based on place of birth. The first group , the ladinos, were born in Africa but spent time in Europe before they were transported to the Americas. The second group, the bozales, were those who were born in Africa and cane directly to the Americas. The third group, the criollos, were those who were born in the Americas. Their low perception by others made the Africans a target for harsh work and in humane conditions. Many times they were not looked at as being humans beings, but as machines who were expected to do an unimaginable amount of work," one African could do the work of 4 individuals"(Palmer,21). Not only was the work load large, but the type of work was extremely difficult as well. However, it was at this time that slaves were able to have some interaction with each other. .
In Hispanola, Africans were used first in the copper and gold mines.