After watching the video with professor Edna Greene Medford’s lecture “Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation,” I learned more about how big of an impact Abraham Lincoln had on freeing the African American slaves in the United States. Edna Greene talks about in 1869, when the South Carolina militia fired at the federal installation in Charleston harbor. Abraham Lincoln delivered the speech to congress making the statements and trying to connect both of the nations. First, Lincoln referred to the Declaration of Independence by the seceded states and Thomas Jefferson had bought up. The Quote was “All men are created equal.” She also states that, Abraham Lincoln views this as a deliberate effort to deny the people for their rights that was already pointed out in the Declaration of Independence and the Confederate thing saying, “We the people.” Abraham also said that it’s essentially a people’s contest. Meaning that he wants to help the people get the right they deserve and he doesn’t want anyone to feel like they’re being treated unfairly. He is mostly talking about elevate the condition of men in the nation. Abraham Lincoln found it really weird how some people would say that they have the rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but they would only claim it for themselves. Those people doesn’t want other people to have the same rights as them. Lincoln advocated for rights of the African Americans and said that selling them was unfair because he believed that according to the Declaration of independence people should be free with rights. Even most of the states agreed to this, some of the states in the south didn’t even send their advocate for the first ever congress meeting. Also, some of those states kept on having slaves and kept on violating what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution said about the freedom of people.
In my perspective I think President Lincoln did a great job of advocating for the African Americans. He made sure these people get their right because everybody is important to this nation. I think that everybody is important for this nation. Everybody means the diversity that we all have in this nation. There are different types of people in this nation and everybody is helping it someway or somehow. Everyone is doing a job that is boosting the economy and helping this nation grow each and every day. Back then those African Americans helped shaped America because they worked hard on the plantations but when it was time they also fought and stood up for their rights. Adapting to the environment is everything. They have suffered tough times in my opinion. From my history class I’ve learned that, slaves would get married but their wife have to be from a different plantation. What would you do if you were away from your family and kids the whole week and only get to see them once a week? That is how immigrants are here nowadays. They leave their wife and kids behind in their country to come to the United States or any other country to make money to feed their family. We saw this in the book “Drown” by Junot Diaz, where the father of the main character came to the United States to earn money. Junior’s father was struggling to bring his family to the United States from the Dominican Republic. This is why I say that the immigrants helped this nation become the nation it is today.
After reading Hannah jones’s views and ideas about slavery on her article on “The 1619 Project”, I can now understand the views of slavery and how it relates to Hannah Jones. I was able to see and understand the main points of this article. It was inevitable that slavery would be abolished. His points was clear where he explained how the conflict between slavery and the abolitionists were. He explains the struggles and hard time that all the people went through to make America. During the moral Revolution people were managing to have full power over society. That was the beginning of slavery. He explained how slavery ended in a crazy situation between the abolitionist and anti-abolitionist. Since the beginning of slavery white Americans treated not just African Americans poorly it was also Hispanics and other races that was treated poorly. Also explained in the text that a lot of people were against slavery and how they had a huge fight to make things calm down. The main difference between Hannah Jones story and Wilentz is that Hannah Jones wrote about what African Americans went through when they were mistreated and how they deserve equality like everyone else. Wilentz, the author “Relentless Slavery and the Relentless Unforeseen,” believes that abolishing slavery was inevitable due to the western revolution that was taking place. Essentially, the fight for education and social status as well as human rights became America’s top priority. Wilentz may point was that no one expected it to come as bad as it did when the idea was first brought up. Even though during those hard times people were still being mistreated. Abolishing slavery was really important because at that there was still free labor going on, so, slavery needed to be abolished. There are cheap labor nowadays, but at least people are getting paid some money instead of being a slave. Slavery needed to be abolished. The fight to end slavery was not planned. It just came as a need to the people and it had to be done at that point because African Americans were being mistreated. At that point people thought that it is time that their voice needs to be heard. In the text Wilentz states that, ““Because the ideals that propelled the American Revolution shared crucial origins with the ideals that propelled antislavery, it can be tempting to treat slavery as a terrible appendage to American history, an important but also doomed institution at the nation’s founding”. In my perspective it was really impossible to imagine myself in those days where people were slaves and being mistreated by their owners. It’s like people are working for nothing. Nowadays, we work because we want to make money to take care of our family. But in my opinion, during the slavery days people were following orders to stay alive because if not they would face death. For example: Once the Belgian Congo was the main colony for rubber production. King Leopold II was the leader of Belgium at that time. When someone failed to finish their task or refused to do their task, they would face death. The Belgian Congo had more deaths than the Holocaust. 15 million people died in Congo. Imagining myself in a slavery type environment is just impossible.
In the article titled “The 1619 Project” Nikole Hannah jones discusses her views on slavery in the United States. She talks about how United States was the place that created slavery. She discusses how it is important to learn about slavery and the history of the United States. She mostly discusses the 1619 project because that’s when most of the slaves arrived to the United States. She talks about the reasons why the American Civil War was fought in her essay. In response to a question, “was the civil war fought in response to slavery?” she says that it was just to get to get their independence from British for American colonists to keep slavery alive. In the article from American Institute for Economic research it states that, “One of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” Meaning that the colonists just didn’t declare slavery because they wanted to end slavery but they did that to keep slavery. Even though Thomas Jefferson wrote and revised the constitution, it was known that he also owned slaves. In comparison to today we can make a claim that everything depends on profit. Even today, as of now. Most of the people are still going to work even though the corona virus breakout throughout the world. It is all because of profit. Back then, during the slavery days those slave owners didn’t want to end slavery because they were making a lot of profit with slaves. Today, when we go on the train and we see a homeless person on the train, we tend to ignore them or not care about them. It’s not that we don’t care about them it’s that we are trying to protect ourselves from getting sick because nobody knows what kind of sickness those people have. In my opinion, I personally discriminate those type of people because I know everyone goes through hardships and life is not easy. But I don’t think those people are slaves because they are just people that doesn’t have any resources to live a happy life like everybody else. But we do ignore or stay away from them because we are trying to protect ourselves from getting sick.
I belong to a lot of discourse communities. Some of the discourse communities I am apart of are: basketball team, my family, class, social media etc. Discourse community is a group of people that share a common goal or who interact with each other. For my basketball team, our goal is to score a basket. During my High School years, when I was on the team. Me and my teammates practiced every day after school to get our plays right. So, in the game we are ready and we are not tired. Our goal during practice is to get in shape and make sure we are performing at a high level in the game. During the game we have a different goal. During the game our goal is to score more points than the other team and make sure to play defense and stop the other team from scoring. But at the end of the day, all of those tasks combined our main goal is to win games and stay on top of the league. Another form of discourse community would be my religious community. I am Muslim. Every Friday we go to the mosque to pray something called “Jummah” or the Friday prayer. Friday is an important day to Muslims. The goal for everyone on Friday is to go to prayer but if they have a really big emergency then they don’t have to attend. We all share the goal of making it to prayer on Friday.
The book we are discussing in class is called “Drown” by Junot Diaz. This book is mostly about a discourse community because this book has different parts that shows different sides of discourse community. Junior’s family is a discourse community. Their family’s goal is to all be cool with each other and make it to the United States to make money. Another example can be, when junior become a drug dealer in NJ, him and his friend share the common goal of selling drugs to other to make money. Other topics that can be discussed from this book is bullying, male vs female, victim vs victimizer etc. For Example: when we talk about bullying. We know that junior’s older brother Rafa always bullied and beat junior because he was weak and small. The author argues that Rafa might have acquired such behavior from his father because his father is really violent. This could be another type of discourse community. Rafa and his father share the same type of goal. Let’s move to their family relationship. Their family relationship wasn’t so good because his father was really violent and at that time his father was cheating on his mother with another woman. His father cheated on his mother and asked his grandfather for money to move to the United States to make money. How messed up is that? Even after moving to the United States his father sent letters to his mother saying that he will return but several times he didn’t actually come back to visit. Out of a few times sending the letters, he only came once to visit.
From reading this book I learned about how discourse communities work. I have never learned about discourse communities before. But learning about it the first time was fun and exciting. From my point of view, I would say that most of junior’s family from problem came from money. Because when there is no money and the father is trying to make money, they always act violent. If his dad wasn’t so violent then Rafa wouldn’t have learned that from him and use it against Junior to bully him. If there was money I would say most of their problems would’ve went away and they would be a happy family.