Sample Essay

Words 1,430

Depicting the end of slavery as the conclusion of the long struggle of runaway slaves, rebellious slaves and abolitionist freedmen is not only a totally distorted picture of the struggle against slavery but also may have grievous consequences for the cause of any oppressed minority group in the future.

In the United States it is common for people to blame minorities and poor people for their own woes. A large number of people, if not the majority wants the poor and the oppressed to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” or “pull their own weight”[1], people often attribute their own financial, political or economic success to their hard work not noting that there exist many people who perform the same or a greater amount of work but are not able to achieve comparable levels of success, especially among the minorities. Many of the most intense opposition to any action from the government that is intended to alleviate the condition of the poor comes from people whose wealth is merely the result of the accident of birth.

If the struggle to end slavery comes to be seen as a result of “black people puling their own weight” instead of what it was; a necessary governmental intervention in order to correct a social and political injustice, this could easily be used to discredit the demands of any oppressed minority in the future, it would be said that the reason that any minority group continues to be oppressed is because they are lazy in pursuance of their cause, they should not demand governmental intervention in order to correct the injustices done to them but should “work hard” to correct these injustices like the Black people did in the case of slavery.


[1] Singh, N. P. Black is a country: race and the unfinished struggle for democracy. Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

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