Multiple choice slavery test

Historical research on African-American families during slavery shows that:

A) Family ties weren’t important in African cultures where the slaves ancestors’ originated; consequently, family bonds were never strong among slaves.

B) Two-parent families were extremely rare during the slave period.

C) Black family bonds were destroyed by the abuses of slave owners, who regularly sold off family members to other slave owners.

D) Most slave families were headed by two parents.

Check the answer:

American Enterprise Institute: Further reading

A couple things to notice – the question is not about marriage, and it is not safe to assume that both parents in a slave family were slaves.

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4 Responses to Multiple choice slavery test

  1. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Thanks for the interesting question and two interesting articles. What stuck me most about the first one was the two people talking past each other rather than understanding each other’s perspective. The reader comments were the most interesting, and it was easy to guess the perspective of the person commenting by looking at the skin color of the photo of the person commenting.

    That talking past each other reminds me of another story in the news recently regarding President Trump and the NFL. To President Trump, the issue was about the national anthem and the national flag. To the initial protesters, it was about black people having interaction rate with the criminal justice system then white people. To the new protesters, it was about Trump interjecting racism into protests against racism…. all of the above could have been expected and anticipated and in fact, I did anticipate them.

    What I did not anticipate and what surprised me was something that got little coverage. Many black women and some of the black protesters were most upset that the President brought the player’s mother’s into the discussion: “the words cut deep into America’s most popular sports league, where the majority of players are black and many grew up in tough neighborhoods, raised by strong women.”

  2. TheChairman says:

    Both the student and the ‘disinformation specialist’ (professor) are wrong. The best -single- answer is: A. Though A, B, and C are plausible as a combo choice (answer E). ‘Assault’ aside, the professor should have been fired merely for making D the answer.

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    The reason that C is the wrong answer (keeping in mind this is about the United States and not the other parts of the Western Hemisphere) is the assertion that slave owners traded slaves as if they were NFL players.

    Per what was written in the Constitution, after 1807, it was illegal to import new slaves. The demand for new slaves was met by having the existing slaves have lots of childre. Around 400,000 (~10%) were mixed race – in most cases the biological father was the slave owner or his sons. Children of slaves were “property” and usually only sold off when the owner died without heirs.

    The other non-obvious thing is that while the slave children might live in a two parent house, the father may not have been their biological father. PBS explains

    • TheChairman says:

      The AEI article indicated plantation size was an influential factor, with smaller farms more likely to separate a ‘family’ (i.e. kin) than a larger plantation. Some researchers claim “2/3 headed by two parents”, but those articles fail to clarify what is meant by ‘parent’ within the context of the African ‘kinship’ construct.

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