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How Slavery still affects black people in the U.S. today

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

The legacy of slavery still resonates for many Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year, with 63% believing it affects the position of black people in American society today either a great deal or a fair amount.

Slavery and segregation encouraged African Americans to be disenfranchised, systematically oppressed, and economically disadvantaged. Slavery endures in a legal system that allows black voter suppression and housing restrictions and education policies that continue to make life harder for blacks than whites in America. Slavery endures in an injustice system that continues to jail more black men than white people for the same crimes. Bing Chat

  • While many assume Black Americans now have equal rights, that is not the lived experiences of many Black Americans as they go about their daily lives encountering unequal access to services, racial profiling, and microaggressions. Racism – whether explicit or implicit – remains common, and racist actions occur throughout our country, in our state, and on our campus. When these incidents occur at Berkeley, they reinforce the experience among members of our Black community that they are not respected or valued. Source

  • African family traditions, which varied according to national origin and religion, could not be replicated in the New World after Africans were forced into slavery. The slave trade was responsible for breaking up African families. Husbands, wives and children could be sold separately because U.S. law did not legally recognize their families. Source

  • It still has a tremendous impact on our entire society. Even for a person like me who has never been enslaved, I feel the ramifications in the policies and attitudes of today’s society. It affects us from all walks of life, including the academics where you would like to think is unbiased, but the miseducation and ignorance have become engraved into our systems, leading to a second-class level of citizens. And that hurts all of us to the very top. Source

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