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Journal Entry - Culture Class

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Sunday, August 28, 1968

Dear Diary,

I know it's been a while, but I knew I needed to get some of the stuff out of my head. And I won't mention that I might be in trouble with Momma, so I decided to come to my room to get out of her way. This has been quite a busy and hot day Sunday afternoon here in South Carolina. My family and I attended church services this morning and had a great time. The church was crowded and the music and sermon were quite uplifting. The minister preached for nearly forty-five minutes about how we must be faithful to Christ as we walk our Christian journey. He spent a great deal of time preaching about our ancestors and how their faith in God and close family relationships kept them strong. He talked about how our ancestors came on slave ships from all over the continent of Africa and survived slavery. I know my ancestors were brave and strong. After church services, I decided to read a little more about my history and talk with my family members who stopped by the house after Sunday church service.

I knew from my teacher and from family conversations that African Americans started to arrive to the United States in 1619 as slaves. By 1860, there were 3.5 million enslaved Africans in the Southeast working in manual labor type jobs (Wikipedia, 2008). History tells us that many African-Americans were sold as prisoners of war by African states or kidnapped by Europeans and Africans. The former was more common than the latter as white plantation owners were in desperate need of laborers. Researchers have determined key regions from which many Africans were sold as part of the Atlantic slave trade. They include the Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, and Ghana (Wikipedia, 2008). Many of these places I have seen on a map, but have never visited. I have also heard my grandparents and other family members talk about stories from these parts of Africa. Some have even said that their parents or grandparents were from the Congo and the Gold Coast. I hear the Africa is beautiful and is a land with many sought after natural resources such as ivory, gold, and diamonds.

I know there was many African-Americans were enslaved during the 1800's sometimes referred to as The Antebellum Period. However, I read that many free Blacks in the United States. In 1830, there were 319,000 (Wikipedia, 2008). I realize that conditions in the Southern states like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi were horrible. Times were tough and as a Black it would seem that you didn't have much choice or chance. Living in those conditions is a test of the human spirit and body. Thank the Lord that there were some smart people in the United States who believed the slavery and segregation was not right nor the moral thing to do. In 1863 during the Civil War, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This historical document and movement freed slaves in the southern states. I studied in school the 13th Amendment, which outlaws slavery. The 14th Amendment grants full citizenship to African-Americans. And the 15th Amendment extends the right to vote to all Black males. I had all of these on a test once and of course I passed. This reminds me that I need to study for a math test that I have later this week.

Based on stories that



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