THE FREE BLACK PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA...

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by Isaiah, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THE FREE COLORED PEOPLE OF NORTH CAROLINA
    By Charles W. Chesnutt
    The Southern Workman 1902


    In our generalizations upon American history -- and the American people are prone to loose generalization, especially where the Negro is concerned -- it is ordinarily assumed that the entire colored race was set free as the result of the Civil War. While this is true in a broad, moral sense, there was, nevertheless, a very considerable technical exception in the case of several hundred thousand free people of color, a great many of whom were residents of the Southern States. Although the emancipation of their race brought to these a larger measure of liberty than they had previously enjoyed, it did not confer upon them personal freedom, which they possessed already. These free colored people were variously distributed, being most numerous, perhaps, in Maryland, where, in the year 1850, for example, in a state with 87,189 slaves, there were 83,942 free colored people, the white population of the State being 515,918; and perhaps least numerous in Georgia, of all the slave states, where, to a slave population of 462,198, there were only 351 free people of color, or less than three-fourths of one per cent., as against the about fifty per cent. in Maryland. Next to Maryland came Virginia, with 58,042 free colored people, North Carolina with 30,463, Louisiana with 18,647, (of whom 10,939 were in the parish of New Orleans alone), and South Carolina with 9,914. For these statistics, I have of course referred to the census reports for the years mentioned. In the year 1850, according to the same authority, there were in the state of North Carolina 553,028 white people, 288,548 slaves, and 27,463 free colored people. In 1860, the white population of the state was 631,100, slaves 331,059, free colored people, 30,463.

    These figures for 1850 and 1860 show that between nine and ten per cent. of the colored population, and about three per cent. of the total population in each of those years, were free colored people, the ratio of increase during the intervening period being inconsiderable. In the decade preceding 1850 the ratio of increase had been somewhat different. From 1840 to 1850 the white population of the state had increased 14.05 per cent., the slave population 17.38 per cent., the free colored population 20.81 per cent. In the long period from 1790 to 1860, during which the total percentage of increase for the whole population of the state was 700.16, that of the whites was 750.30 per cent., that of the free colored people 720.65 per cent., and that of the slave population but 450 per cent., the total increase in free population being 747.56 per cent.


    FOR MORE ON THIS STORY, CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW...


    http://www.toptags.com/aama/docs/cwcnc.htm
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for this historical perspective brother Isaiah. Until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. The majority of Black Middle Class came from the roughly 10% of Free Blacks during slavery. As is almost always the case, people inherit the social-economic status of their ancestors.
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you, good brother! This history gives us all a different perspective about African people in the United States at that time... I think the conventional belief is that we were all enslaved from east to west, to north and south... The numbers of free Black folks in the south at that time is actually quite a stunning revelation...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. oceolo

    oceolo Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think some people would be surprised by the fact that the first black people to come over here to start a life in what would become the U.S.werent slaves. Some were indentured servants and some were completely free . Black people didnt become slaves until racist attitudes and legal actions against black people took our rights away over a period of time but up until then black people where just as prosperous as a lot of white people.
     
  5. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You are correct Oceolo. A black man (Pedro Alonzo Nina) was the navigator on one of Columbus ships. Although the first recorded slaves were brought to the US in 1609 (by James Rolf), slavery as an official institution didn't begin until the 1640s. There were some Blacks in the US who were never enslaved.
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    True, true, true, Big O! As a matter of fact, Ivan Van Sertima and Leo Weiner, and others plainly state that Africans were here LOOOOOOONG before the Europeans, and provided the route here across the Atlantic from the historical journeys to the Europeans... If you look at those Omec heads, then we've got an entirely different discussion going on, don't we???(smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  7. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    If you wanna go back before Columbus, then yes we do have a completely different discussion!
     
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