Wednesday, March 13, 2013

African American History As Interpreted By Germans

Image: Drawing: Jan Reiser (12th February 2013, ©

Slavery was part of America from the beginning. 1619, only twelve years after their arrival, to white settlers brought the first slaves from Africa into their little colony of Jamestown, Virginia. By 1860 there were more than four million slaves in the land: about 600 000 African Americans who had been taken against her will to the New World, and their descendants. After independence from Britain allowed the new U.S. Constitution, slavery explicitly. The blacks worked from sunrise to sunset. Those who did not obey, was flogged.[Christian Wernicke (texts), Jan Reiser (drawings)]

Süddeutsche Zeitung für Kinder Bürgerkrieg
Image: Drawing: Jan Reiser (12th February 2013)

The civil war between the northern and southern states ended slavery. The north, where many people worked in factories, urged an end to the injustice - but the South, which produced cotton mainly wanted to not release his black slave labor. So the south split in 1861 from the United States - which is why President Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Army "on the rebels' sent to war. 1863 Lincoln declared the emancipation of all slaves in the South. At least one million Americans were killed in this war.
Süddeutsche Zeitung for children "segregation"
Image: SZ for children / Jan Reiser (12th February 2013)

Free, but still not equal to the African Americans were now. Many whites were to continue for "something better". America's Supreme Court ruled in 1892 that one must separate the races, as long as they offer in approximately equal benefits. "Separate but equal" was the theme, and that was a lousy trick: Blacks were forced to squat in other railway wagons and always back in the bus, they had to drink from different taps, go to other schools - and always were the deals for whites better , the chances of the poor blacks.

Süddeutsche Zeitung für Kinder Bürgerrechtsbewegung
Image: Drawing: Jan Reiser (12th February 2013)

Blacks fought back. During World War II many African-Americans who fought for the United States - now they demanded respect. Blacks in the South refused to ride in buses, where they had to sit in the back. Or they went, despite the ban, in a restaurant that served only whites, and often then the police came and beat them or threw them into prison. The blacks never retaliated, their resistance was nonviolent. Millions of Americans watched on TV, how mean the blacks were treated, and the politicians in Washington finally changed many unjust laws.

Süddeutsche Zeitung for children, the first black president
Image: Drawing: Jan Reiser (12th February 2013)

Today, one in nine U.S. residents is an African American. Still it is with most of them worse than the whites: for example has an average white family twenty times as much as a black family. Thanks to lots of several programs has improved. But still grows every three black children in America live in poverty. African Americans are the most famous pop stars like Michael Jackson and Beyoncé and actor Will Smith. Or super-athletes, such as Le Bron James, the basketball player. And, of course, Barack Obama, the president. texts: Christian Wernicke


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