The year is 1660. A shipload of a hundred Negro slaves arrives at Jamestown. They are immigrants, settling in this new country. But their trip has strongly been against their own free will.

They are brought to the US as slaves.See, my ancestor lacked what his fellow white slaves were in title to: A contract in which they could rely on giving them their freedom back. Eventually.The plantations of the South needed vast numbers of cheap laborers to work in their sugar, tobacco and cotton fields.

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Of course, the African slaves had no other choice but to fulfill this demand, even though it meant doing it under inhumane conditions.No doubt his emigration was a forced one. Much of his African culture and identity was lost somewhere in the process. A culture I can`t even begin to grasp the aspects of . Due to this difference, I find it difficult, as anAfro-American, to view myself as other ethnic groups view themselves. Because I am only an American.

But you can still feel free to quote me: I, Debra, am one of the descendants of these early forced immigrants. Together, we make up 11,7 per cent of our population.*After the Civil War, where having to fight for his territory, my ancestor left the South and migrated North in search of work and better living conditions. Was he, along with the many others the source of the so-called American dream? Even though he probably was seeking quite meagre accommodation?Many blacks settled in the new states and territories of the West.

Still, the majority headed for the new industrial centers of the North.Migration to the North was a first step in the climb to improve the lot of rural blacks.But this obviously wasnt enough to ensure successful integration into American society.Blacks quickly learned that even though the North fought to abolish slavery theyblackswere still viewed as being free in a legal sense only. The North had its share of prejudice and exclusionary policies for blacks. However, it was still better then the southfor blacks.*He marched.

He held boycotts. He gave speeches. He symbolized the beginning of a new era:The Civil Rights Movement.

The battle for our rights.He fought to bring justice into our lives. He still remains an icon. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

My dad.Based on my heritage, my will to succeed has surpassed anything. I always feel like I owe someone.A coincidence? I think not.

I figure the next millennium will have to set one goal for itself, and that is to outdo any other millennium.I pray for full integration, but on everyones premises. Anything that slows down interaction between the races should be shot and killed. Not the ones who wish for a better future.

x

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I'm Jack

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