Bleron Suma

Word count: 430


After analyzing Hannah-Jone’s views on slavery in “The 1619 Project” and expanding my ideas of other writers’ views by reading Wilentz’,” American Slavery and the Relentless Unforeseen” I was able to see understand sides main points. Wilentz makes a point that it was not inevitable that slavery would be abolished. He made it clear that it was a great fight between abolitionists and antievolutionists due to their differing views to reach an end of slavery. He doesn’t go into the struggles of slaves in America, but he expresses the trials and tribulation that people went through to make adjustment in America. It was not only slaves or freed slaves that fought for the rights of African Americans, but it was also a human effort that sought for dramatic change. In Hannah Jones’s writing, she makes it seem as though the origins of America were completely bad when it came to the treatment of African Americans. She doesn’t visualize the shade of gray within it all. Wilentz makes a good point that America had a turning point within the 1740s and the 1750s. This was known as the anti-slavery movement. Within this timeline America got to “look at themselves in the mirror”, they got to see the monster that they had become from the dehumanization of people based on race. It was an awakening for some of humanity to see the evil that was within the ideals of slavery. 

The battle for the abolishment of slavery was not planned, it came quite abruptly. The power that slavery had, began to weaken and seventeen years down the line of this movement, the ideals of slavery began to lose it’s significant and change for African Americans began to slowly take come into effect. Wilentz quoted, “the neglect of historical understanding of the anti-slavery impulse, especially in its early decades, alters how we view not just our nation’s history but the nation itself”. This is significant because it made me think of the views that Hannah Jones presented within her essay. Although Hannah Jones and Sean Wilentz have never experienced the acts of slavery firsthand, they both have great knowledge on the topic. I believe that Wilentz gives a more neutral statement on the topic in comparison to Hannah Jones. In a way, Hannah Jones paints America as the “evil supervillain” in the story of African Americans. The people that wrote the constitution may have failed to include African Americans, but people have worked remarkably hard to make up for the wrongs that have been emplaced.

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