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The 1619 Project Podcast on American History

Since the arrival of the first Africans in America, the blacks have fought for democracy and recognition as equal Americans. The government recruited and forced black Americans to join the military for the defense of the country. According to the New York Times, the first Africans arrived through a ship known as the White Lion, where 20 to 30 Africans were traded for other valuables. The Black Americans deserve equal rights as Whites, since they were born, and fought for their country’s independence. According to Hannah, her dad used to hang the U.S. flag as a symbol of loyalty and patriotism, to the country he dearly contributed to its foundation. This essay highlights my new understanding of American society, concerning democracy, economic enslavement, American music, healthcare, and land ownership.

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I used to think that technology built the American economy, but farming was the first economic activity. Cotton products opened the economy, where Blacks were forced to work in plantations. Mississippi led cotton farming, with evidence showing that Hannah’s father was among the farmers working in Greenwood plantations. The cotton gin invention increased slavery as more laborers were required resulting in the death of many Blacks. At around 1834, product prices hiked and then dropped leading to a recession known as the Panic of 1837 (New York Times). After the decrease in economic activities, the slaves faced severe punishments and that was the start of American capitalism.

The yacht music is used to express the victory of the blacks in attaining their freedom. According to the podcast, the voices of yacht artists sound like a person on top of a building, with the roof as the only hindrance to victory. The majority of the top singers were blacks which is a symbol of the American community. I came to realize that both the Whites and Blacks painted themselves black as they performed to attract the audience and to facilitate the acceptance of the music. It seemed normal to me that the blacks were able to produce music, little did I know that it was after civilization and freedom granting that contributed to the expansion of blacks’ privileges.

Healthcare became a major concern after the release of the blacks from slave life. The Blacks thought they had finally achieved a happy and peaceful life after the campaign to end slavery, but it was the start of another journey. The migration of blacks to the south led to the division of communities which contributed to the death of many Blacks. The government constructed hospitals to serve the black communities, but they did not supply the resources needed to operate the facilities (Hammonds and Reverby 2). Qualified doctors such as Crumpler were not enough to serve the black community which consisted of approximately 4 million people. Lack of medical attention resulted in outbreaks of other diseases causing death to many black Americans.

In conclusion, land ownership was not an easy achievement for the Blacks since the Whites grabbed their lands for extra space to farm products such as sugarcanes. I used to think that the Blacks enjoyed democracy although it was a thing said but not exercised. The formulation of policies and a new constitution was total blackmail since the artists of these policies knew they would not act according to their words. The Black community should feel proud of their achievements as the founding fathers of the current superpower country in the world. I used to think that they do not deserve equal privileges as true Americans, but now I agree that they are the true soldiers of American soil.

Works Cited

Hammonds and Reverby. “Toward a historically informed analysis of racial health disparities since 1619.” AJPH, Vol 109, no. 10, 2019, pp. 1348-1349.

“Listen to ‘1619,’ a Podcast From The New York Times.” The New York Times, uploaded by The New York Times, 2020, Web.

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