The Story We Tell: Pre-viewing Activity

Please answer BOTH of the following questions prior to our viewing Episode Two: The Story We Tell

> How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?

> Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

26 thoughts on “The Story We Tell: Pre-viewing Activity

  1. 1. I guess the idea of race was around for long time, maybe about 400 years. and it comes to justify the ruling of one people over others.
    2. its complicated. we all know that everybody fears of unknown and when we see something or somebody different from our rules or culture, we feel uncomfortable and try to put things right. The Europeans were very educated and thought to be superior to other cultures, such as Africans/ or Native Americans, who seemed to be barbarians with “lack of culture”, different skin color, etc. and because of this “inferiority” and idea to have slaves, they (Africans) were enslaved because being deemed inferior.
    it was my guess 🙂

    • Good response. If you look at African culture, the continent of African was more civilized and advanced and that was prior to European development. African was already leading nations with kings and royalty and had a concept called “history” (or recording events as they occurred) long before Europe was inhabited let alone civilized. I appreciate your raising the idea that those who appeared different were seen as barbaraic— and the truth their ancestry is that of leaders/nations/kings/queens, while European history was that of actual barbarics and settlers who killed enter races of people for land. It’s quite the paradox or contradiction as to who was more ‘civilized’ than whom. Your response touched upon that nicely and enslavement was a driving force behind perceptions of inferiority.

  2. 1. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    Well in my opinion I think the idea of race has been around for a really long time. Its a concept that does not change over time and exists among society till this day.
    2. Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior. Some human beings tend to take advantage of others weaknesses to create what is better for themselves. According to my prior knowledge, African Americans were looked upon very low in society back then and so they were enslaved.

  3. I think the idea of race has been around for quite some time; like pre-slavery. I think slavery was when it was “glorified”. I think it came from people wanting a social latter and that was one way to distinguish who was where on that latter.

    I think Africans were enslaved because they were different. Americans didn’t respect or understand different cultures; I believe they were felt threatened but didn’t want to seem weak so they deemed anyone who was different to be inferior. They believed their way was the right way and any other way was wrong.

  4. Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    I believe the idea of race has been around for a really long time and it was just used as a way to categorize people into groups.
    I also believe that Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior. The Europeans saw them as different and saw themselves as very powerful and to suppress the Africans they made them slaves, maybe they didn’t think the two groups could live in peace or were afraid that the Africans would come to power like them.

  5. I think that the idea of race was born when the europeans started colonizing other parts of the world. When the europeans began to colonize other part of the world and encounter other people that looked and where different from them the idea of inferiority began. The europeans felt that because the people they encounter were so different in their features and the resources that they had, then they weren’t as developed as they were.

    I believe that slavery was a results in the europeans feeling that African Americans were inferior to them.They felt that these people weren’t as educated, resourceful and establish as they were and so they should be treated as such. I honestly think that they were in enslaved because they were seen as inferior to whites.

  6. 1) I think that the idea of race has been around over a long period of time, and it was used to categorize individual on skin color and religion.
    2) I don’t think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior. Africans had their own culture with their own goods and own beliefs, such as the Natives, Aztecs, Mayan, etc. The Natives and the Aztecs were also different from the Europeans and had similarities with Africans based on communicating themselves with the environment, and jet the Natives, Aztecs, Mayan were not used as slaves. What I think is that African became deemed inferior because they were already enslave. Some African were sold to Europeans by other Africans after capturing them during battle, or traded them for other goods.

  7. 1)How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?

    I would say the idea of race has been around for decades and decades ago from great philosophers/thinkers, etc. However, in my opinion, since race is viewed or pictured now as a social construct by man, at the same time enables us to distinguish or differentiate ourselves by our skin color, i would say RACE come from Africa. I assume philosophers, sociologist, psychologist, and other thinkers must have studied, if not everything, a lot about the different skin colors of people and their biologic/genetic makeup, including their ability to do other things than others. Because the skin color of blacks or African Americans has a lot to do with the creation of the word race. And although not only blacks/Africa Americans are included in the idea of race, but the root of forming the word race as it is seen today sprang from what people of colors are capable of doing or engaging in.

    2) Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    Yes, I would say Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior and enslaved because they were deemed inferior. Because from the time they were bought as slaves and brought to the Americas, from that moment, their inferiority traveled and stayed with them as they are seen even today. For example, slaves brought to the Americas were savagely slaved, punished, killed, raped, fed to gators, hanged on trees – remember now, this is after they were bought. There is no excuse for one not to think or consider these Africans as inferior. They were bought to clean, wash, cook, do farming…you name it. Fortunately, they were freed from slavery. Not everyone was pleased. They never wanted freedom for these inferiors. They are property and nothing – not comparing to us. Even after the abolishment of slavery, we see again how the Africans (or now African Americans) were deemed inferior and deemed inferior because they were enslaved as slaves – even at this present time. There is more to this. But I will halt here.

  8. Q: How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    A: The idea of race was probably around since the beginning of time. It comes from the idea that things can be categorized and we as humans use it to categorize each other based on our looks, geographic history, culture and in many other ways. The first part of this film stated we are as different from each other as we are alike, and that statement is much more profound than just words.

    Q: Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    A: Africans were deemed inferior because they were enslaved not the other way around. The Europeans most likely feared Africans because they were different triggering the human quality of selfishness.

  9. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    I believe race has been around long time ago, where people think they were superior than others because they win wars against a country with different skin color. They might think race categorized a group of peoples that they explored and win war against.

    Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    I believe that Africans were deemed inferior because they were enslaved, African people has their own belief and culture, they were very into their belief, they have their own ideas and rules in life. We see them different because we misunderstand their belief and think they were deemed inferior. Africans becomes deemed inferior because of lost of many war to other country and enslaved to many country to uses as hard labor. Africa were colonized by European and African were being trade to all around the world as cheap labor. African were use as slave and has no education in past therefore their next generations has little educated by their parent and africans were not allows to go to school so they can’t read or write.

  10. I believe race was around since the beginning of time. I find that people usually identify themselves according to their what they have been taught. Although their are many shades in each race or nationality, whatever your family identified with growing up, is what we stuck with.

    I believed that Africans were enslaved because they were thought to be a potential threat to the Europeans. I believe that the Europeans enslaved the Africans to show that they were superior and to ensure that the Africans believed that they were inferior. It was taught, beat and instilled in the Africans from capture that European was best and that what they knew and believed was wrong.

  11. I believe every group before exploration already classified themselves as a people. It was just their race their culture. Maybe science played a hand in race along with governing societies. Trying to understand the human body, why we look the way we do, move, act, etc:. Needing to classify the human as society became diversified.

    I believe they were deemed inferior for becoming enslaved. Not having the technology to defend themselves, the Europeans probably thought they were inferior for that reason. Being that survival and expansion were the main goals in that time period. The Europeans saw the Africans as unfit for society and used them however they wanted being that they believed them incapable of anything substantial.

  12. 1- I think “race” has been around from long time. I believe when the aliens started to coming to America, they were different from the Native Americans. So to distinguish themselves from others they started using different terminologies such as race. Countries where majority of the population is same or living there from ancestors, they don’t use word “race” or have no concept of race.
    2- When Africans were in their native country, they were free human beings. They had no concept of race because everyone was same. When European traveled there, they saw them as different species because of their color and thus inferior. They were considered inferior by Europeans and therefore they were enslaved.

  13. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    — I believe the idea of race has been around for a very long time. It all started when Europeans colonists first arrived on North America. But this time the land was already inhabited by Native Americans. I also believe that people don’t know which race they are. They believe that you’re born into it, or whichever one is told to them; that’s it. Race also had a huge impact on “whites and blacks.” Whites were known to be superior and Blacks were known to be inferior.

    Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    — Africans were considered to be inferior because when they were sent to the Americas they were not like the others. Because of them being of a different race, this made the Europeans feel inferior about the Africans. This is also why they enslaved them because of them being so different.

  14. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    The idea of race has been around for quite long time. People for very long time have been segregating themselves from one and other. In spite of the study made and the culture mixture that occurred throughout history the race issue will remain the same. certain people believe that race start on Africa. Only the master would know what make them thought of themselves superior of the rest.

    Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    I think Africans were enslaved in America, because they were brought with the inferiority mind. In order for them to think of themselves different would come far, and they live with no right they have to provide for themselves a good example how they do their hair was the fact that they had no knowledge about hairstyle but would invite afro and twist etc.

  15. 1.The idea of race has been around for centuries. I think it was started by powerful people who wanted to categorize other people in society based on their skin color etc.
    2. Africans were brought to the Americas in the 17th century as servants, because the more powerful and educated Europeans saw them as inferior and people who they could take advantage of. The Industrial Revolution started in European countries such as Netherlands and England in that same period, so they were way ahead of other countries when it came to technology. These technologies such as guns and ships for sea transportation, made them very aggressive and also gave them the will to invade other countries. On the other hand, the Africans were very strict when it came to their cultures, so they did not accept various technologies until later. This situation made them susceptible to European invasions because they could not defend themselves and they were eventually enslaved. So I think Africans were enslaved because they were seen as inferior.

  16. 1.the idea of race has been around for along time, when they used people of African descendants as slave in the European countries. Europeans of high status saw them as a inferior race because of their skin color and the way they lived compared to them. That’s when they were brought up as slaves.
    2.i think that Africans were enslaved because they were first deemed inferior back in the motherland, before they were brought to the Americas. The ideology was then also brought along when Europeans traveled to America and sold them as slaves.

  17. I believe that the idea of race has begun centuries ago. The reason why I think is that, a thousands of years ago, when our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), was se spreading our religion, he then, taught people that no one is superior on this earth based on their country of origin and color. People in that time were practicing racism based on color. Black people werw not treated equally. That is why it was taught to them.
    In terms of treating Africans in the United states , I think they were enslaved because of their color. It is because, there is a histroy of treating black people rnqually since the world has begun.

  18. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    I believe race came from humans noticing the differences within them from other humans. Race has been around for a very long time.

    Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    I personally believe African Americans were deemed inferior because they were enslaved. They seen the African Americans as strong and valuable individuals but ignorant and unaware of their worth so they became taken advantage of.

  19. 1. I believe the idea of race must date back to the colonization era, when the two worlds and therefore human beings with very different physical characteristics first met.

    2. This questions is very tricky (it reminds me of the “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” question). I believe Africans were first deemed as inferior because of their different skin color, bone anatomy and traditions and consequently were enslaved. I also believe that given that the Europeans were the ones taking over African territories, that enhance their idea of being a superior race.

  20. i don’t know if the idea of race can be pinpointed but i would assume it started around the time of slavery of people based on the color of their skin. i believe kit comes from Christopher columbus who set forth a movement of Divine/white right.

    i believe Afrikans were deemed inferior because they were enslaved. the reason i believe this is because when Europeans invaded Afrika they kidnapped philosophers, astronomers, doctors, and masons who have spread knowledge throughout the world. i do not believe Afirkans who have contributed so much to the world could be looked apon as inferior.

  21. 1) How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    I’m not sure when the idea of race came to be, but it probably existed when the idea of slavery came to be as well. Slavery has been around since a long time.
    Probably as far back as when Egyptians enslaved Hebrews. It could be even further back, but that is the only example as far back, as I can remember.

    2) Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    I think it’s because they were enslaved, that they were deemed inferior. Since it looks like their lands were invaded and then essentially kidnapped, most likely with some amount of struggle, but lost, since they were enslaved. It’s almost like a prisoner of war mentality, being put to work, except this being a twisted and extreme case of it.

  22. 1-How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?

    The idea of race has raised very long time ago. It came the European countries to differs people based on skin color and physical characteristics.

    2- Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    Of course they were, When the Europeans in the 19th century began to attribute military success due to shortage of manpower resulted in profitable slaves trade. They were deemed in their physical features and color different with the whites.

  23. 1. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    2. Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    I think that the idea of race has been around for shorter of a time than a lot of people think. I think it simply came from people’s stereotypical thoughts of people that looked different from themselves. I feel like during the era of slavery racism and classification of race was slowly socialized into what it is today. Even though we have gotten past a time where we had slaves racism is still very strong in today’s world. I really believe the idea of race started from enslavement of people in the Americas. I think that Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior by the people who enslaved them. I really think that they though that the Africans were not as smart, strong, intuitive, and hard working so they decided to capture them. I think it was like this because if the people had thought as though the Africans were equals they would not have enslaved them and created racism and classification of race.

  24. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    I think the idea of race has been around for a while. I think it came from when the Europeans used them as slaves and considered them being different by appearance and characteristics.

    > Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?

    I think the Africans were enslaved in the Americans because they were deemed inferior due to them not knowing who the Europeans were until they came to their native country and captured them, and taking advantage of them. Europeans felt that the slaves had no voice and no right at all.

  25. How long do you think the idea of race has been around? Where did it come from?
    I think the idea of race has been around for quite a long period of time. It might be around the time when slavery had started. Might be when they started doing Slavery based upon the skin color or the group they are from.

    Do you think Africans were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior, or were they deemed inferior because they were enslaved?
    I think they were enslaved in the Americas because they were deemed inferior. The Europeans were smart and educated, so they thought that they could dominate Africans. The Europeans enslaved the Africans based on their color, skin and the physical growth.

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