Learning Curve

After the first lecture, I was excited about the class and impressed with the professor’s approach to teaching. His attitude toward the subject was enthusiastic and intellectual. His enthusiasm for the subject and for scrutinizing facts gave the course credibility.

Photo collage of Danielle Kayembe and Ian Morris

Slavery has been so widespread that it is almost impossible to find a separation between progress and some kind of slavery in most societies. Over the centuries, enslavement has been justified for many different reasons ­ religion, ethnicity, heritage and class. But all of these justifications point to the real motive behind every form of enslavement: economic advantage. Slavery is usually a deliberate attempt by a wealthy group of people to get access to a cheap labor supply.

Slavery is significant for American history because it highlights the beginning of the racial and economic tensions our society still struggles with today.

Maybe because I am not completely American and not completely black American, there are important issues I can’t discern. But I don’t really think that is the case. To live in a society, but not really belong to it, is the ultimate contradiction. But it is also the most lucid form of reality.

Coming to this country as a person of African heritage, I am endowed with all kinds of characteristics, history and traits that no more belong to me than they belong to any immigrant of any other ethnicity from any other country.

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NOV/DEC 1996

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 WWII Internment
 Gordon Chang


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