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Types of Racism

             Old racism originated in the 16th century with the beginning of chattel slavery. When Americans traveled to Africa to buy its people they did so because African's had strong bodies that will provide the labor plantation owners needed to sustain the American economy. In essence, chattel slavery was a business. They buying and selling of humans were seen as mere transactions in the eyes of those with power. Africans were seen as sole commodities. Since slavery lasted for over two hundred years it was easy for white folk to have the misconception that they weren't of the same species as humans. For decades they were viewed as animals with no access to inalienable human rights. The turning point of this mindset is seen in the Amistad case. It led to no immediate legal changes but it was amongst the first to regard Africans as humans who deserved their individual rights and freedom. The case is about a group of Africans that were victims of the illegal slave trade. When they arrived on American soil in 1839 they were technically free people, and that's the technicality that won them their case. The Africans were never slaves but despite that the people of our country still treated them as if they were, simply because they were black. America's old ideology that black people should be slaves was questioned and put on trial in the Amistad case and that's why it's a landmark case. When the Africans won their freedom after years of fighting to go back to their homeland, their trial sent a message out to everyone. According to Howard Jones in the book Race on Trial, .
             "Black people had brought suit on behalf of their rights as human beings and, whether on the basis of law or morality, went freeIf they [blacks] found equality before the courts, the momentum would develop for their achieving the same status outside the courts. Once people of color could claim equal protection under the law, they would predictably use their civil rights victory to help undermine the institution of slavery" (Jones, p.

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