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THE IDEA OF OPPRESSION

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Four leading scholars offers similar ideas on the enslavement of black people in North America. They believe that this, just may have been the greatest influence on the development of the United States as it now exists. "Many Thousands Gone, The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America" : Ira Berlin, the author an historian, believe that if you put aside slavery in North America, "the music would be different; the language would be different; religion would be different; food would be different."

"The whole racial makeup would have been different," says Deborah Gray White, historian in "Ar'nt I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South."

"America, would not have become one of the great cultures of the world" so say Orlando Patterson, Harvard University, Sociologist and author of "Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries."

These views may pose a paradox in exactly how to assess one of the most brutally violent epochs in the history of the United States. Gerald Early, a social critic and professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. says, "on the whole, slavery was a terrible thing for the United States and terrible for the people to have endured. America, what it is today, and so much of what is good about America, has come out of the tragedy of slavery. Our moral worth, our ability to claim ourselves as a democracy and as an inclusive society ... It made this country more humane." An interesting question is "what would be the state of the economy in the Americas, then, if Black people were not forcefully brought to this Continent from Africa? The story of the Jamaican maroons partly answer this question.


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