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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Preparing for the Test

Why is it “Which group of people was brought to the US and sold into slavery?” Shouldn’t it be the other way round? Sold into slavery and then brought to the US?

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8 thoughts on “Preparing for the Test

  1. Dreidel on said:

    Hey. it’s a government test — do you really expect the questions to be well-written? 🙂

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  2. I think wording the question in your way is more problematic ideologically since, instead of concentrating on the evil of past America, it would draw attention to Africa and raise uncomfortable questions of who was selling slaves to American traders.

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    • Why is it uncomfortable? It’s common knowledge. Although one should never underestimate the depths of popular ignorance.

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      • \ Why is it uncomfortable? It’s common knowledge.

        Because some racist Americans use “other countries had slavery too” and “Africans were unslaving other black people before WASP Americans came” as a way to may be not justify but at least partly whiten the image of antebellum America (pun intended).

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        • Slavery, of course, wasn’t an American invention. But the American exceptionalism makes many people want to believe it was.

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          • The US wasn’t even a major player in the Atlantic Slave Trade (since only 6% or less were taken to what is now the US). But American exceptionalism means that if we did something bad then were the most terrible and guilty.

            It’s also maybe why the question is worded so badly, off the top of my head I think the ships and European slavers were British so from the US point of view the slaves didn’t exist until sold to Americans….

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  3. The Dark Avenger on said:

    Rutledge:
    Molasses to rum to slaves, oh what a beautiful waltz
    You dance with us, we dance with you
    Molasses and rum and slaves
    Who sails the ships out of Boston
    Ladened with bibles and rum?
    Who drinks a toast to the Ivory Coast?
    Hail Africa, the slavers have come
    New England with bibles and rum
    And its off with the rum and the bibles
    Take on the slaves, clink, clink
    Hail and farewell to the smell
    Of the African coast
    Molasses to rum to slaves
    ‘Tisn’t morals, ’tis money that saves
    Shall we dance to the sound of the profitable pound
    In molasses and rum and slaves
    Who sails the ships out of Guinea
    Ladened with bibles and slaves?
    ‘Tis Boston can boast to the West Indies coast
    Jamaica, we brung what ye craves
    Antigua, Barbados, we brung bibles and slaves!
    Molasses to rum to slaves
    Who sail the ships back to Boston
    Ladened with gold, see it gleam
    Whose fortunes are made in the triangle trade
    Hail slavery, the New England dream!
    Mr. Adams, I give you a toast:
    Hail Boston! Hail Charleston!
    Who stinketh the most?

    https://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/1776originalcastrecording/molassestorum.htm

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  4. Sail Away (Randy Newman)

    In America you’ll get food to eat
    Won’t have to run through the jungle
    And scuff up your feet
    You’ll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
    It’s great to be an American

    Ain’t no lions or tigers, ain’t no mamba snake
    Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake
    Ev’rybody is as happy as a man can be
    Climb aboard, little wog, sail away with me

    (Chorus) Sail away, sail away
    We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay
    Sail away, sail away
    We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay

    In America every man is free
    To take care of his home and his family
    You’ll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree
    You’re all gonna be an American (chorus)

    Best version for me is the incomparable Etta James

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