Close this search box.

5 Myths About Slavery

Photo by Pablo Velasquez from Shutterstock

Back in August 1619, the first-ever ship that carried enslaved Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia. But now, 400 years later, we look back to this very moment as the first initiative of slavery that ever took place in America.

The New York Times Magazine even dedicated a project that explored the legacy of slavery. As Nikole Hannah-Jones described, “[the enslaved] and their descendants improved and transformed the lands they were brought on, into the most successful colony in the entire British Empire.

Black Americans have also been, and continue to be, essential to the idea of American freedom.” However, centuries later, it seems that the impact of slavery is still minimized and various myths about the subject keep on flourishing.

For example, why is there no proof of all the slave revolts and rebellions that occurred throughout the nation? Because the false claim that those who were enslaved were also extremely docile or satisfied with their own condition still circulates among people. Here are some of the most important myths we need to clarify:

1 23 ... 8>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

69 Responses

  1. No mention that the democrats were pro slavery? Slavery black white green purple blue whatever has been going on since the beginning of civilization. Today they are merely trying to financially profit off this so called myth social injustice fraud scheme!

    1. Democrats were the conservative party back then. Yes, conservatives embraced slavery. Believe it or not, the Republican party was founded as a progressive, liberal alternative to the Democrats. Those liberals opposed slavery. Democrats in the South remained conservative even into the 1960s. But since the 1960s the Democrats have become the liberal, pro-civil rights (anti-slavery) party. And it’s hard to tell exactly what the Republican Party even stands for anymore.

      1. Perhaps, you don’t know what Republicans stand for, because you only listen to yourself, or to someone who agrees with you.

  2. Isn’t the percentage of African Americans in prisons the same percentage of African Americans in the United States?

    1. The problems with the prison system only continue when one looks at the obvious racial and gender disparities. For example, while black inmates make up nearly 40% of the prison population, they only make up 13.40% of the total US population. Native Americans represent 2.30% of the incarcerated population and only 1.30% of the population. 58.70% of the prison population is white, which includes Hispanic Americans.

    2. Percentage of black americans are 13% in the general population while consist of about 65% in prison. Large difference.

      1. if one goes by income- then its equal… therein lies the rub. but black culture promotes criminalism and anti-authority so much so that they still pretend that the police push racist policies… they try to explain away their deaths at the hands of the police not as resisting arrest nor results of criminal behavior but that theyre always the victim… sad

        1. Yes, it is indeed sad that the white culture still wants to believe in myths that the black culture promotes crimanalism and anti-authority while overlooking the criminal element in their own culture who also defy authority. The Treyvon Martin’s, George Floyd’s, Tony Timpa’s, the man in NYC killed for selling cigarettes on the street, an accountant killed in his own apartment by a police officer and countless unnamed victims killed for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
          It is interesting that certain parts of the white culture still want to focus on the perceived misdoings of a culture who was enslaved, denied the right to vote, certain jobs, segregated in education and certain towns and certain parts of a town, denied access to certain places to eat and worship. As my mother taught me, they do it out as a bully tactic and out of jealousy.

    3. No. But i think the article was pointing out how slavery resulted in personal/generational racism, which resulted in the way persons in charge of the Justice system saw some blacks, which resulted in some with unfair accusations, unfair trials and bias, which results in some unconscious bias that may still linger around today.

  3. The most one sided reading I have ever done, if the blacks are so good, then why is every neighborhood, in Louisville that they have moved into become a war zone blacks killing blacks, the most don’t want to better themselves, they just want a freed ride and blame the whites for everything!

    1. I love being interracial with white and black blood running through my Celtic/Viking veins. Every culture has experienced some form of oppression including whites. I love this article and it effectively explains why some “people in some cultures” in society are shallow and dark thinkers.

    2. Mr. Myers, I’m African American, my father Lee McKnight was born in 1894, served in WWI honorably discharged, worked at Studebaker Car Company for 34 years, and retired. I don’t know of any blacks wanting a free ride, and blaming whites for everything is not how I see a situation. Equality for all.

    3. Well, first of all when slavery was ended the slave owners was compensated not the slave. Second, whenever a black community thrived (Black Wall Street)white folk burned it down. They just couldn’t stand the ex slave doing better that the slaver. Third, there are many accomplished Black people. Final, the reason so many white people are acting like they are nuts is because they are afraid of loosing their privilege. Old white men want power, money, and privilege to remain in the white race by any means necessary. Therefore, when white folk see blacks with positions, power, and money they become fearful. In fact, this is why they are trying desperately to keep control of the narrative. To tell the world how great they are and everybody else is uncivilized. When they have committed some of the most dreadful crimes in the history of the world but consider themselves to be civilized…

      1. I am amazed that slavery is not Covered adequately in history. As a member of Facebook I tried to discuss slavery on my timeline. Very few people responded. Many people blamed the problem on the times. Many blamed it on their ancestors. It’s amazing how people blame their ancestors but can not accept responsibility.

      2. theres no white privilege thats the myth blacks use to deny their failures… while precivil rights there were abuses… in over 50yrs blacks have only pushed themselves backwards- its not the whites fault per se its the blacks… they cling to extreme left politics and its has hurt them.

    4. Excellent response to the misunderstanding of how the two parties flipped philosophies after FDR ‘s terms. Truman, a Democrat integrated the military, the Civil Rights legislation was enacted under LBJ, a Democrat. All modern social legislation has been started by Democrats and usually opposed by Republicans. Watch the two parties’ national conventions, Democrats, a mixed bunch, Republican, mostly white men.

    5. Who should be blamed for enslaving a culture, denying them their rights to vote, receive a proper education, denying them a job or giving them a job but at less wages earned by a white person? It appears we are damned if we did it and damned if we don’t. But of course the white culture is not to blame for mistreating people.

  4. That same year, April, I believe, 30 indentured Irish women and children were sent to that colonies as slave labor by the British. What say you?

    1. Interesting that you called them indentured and later in your message called them slaves. Is indentured a fancy three syllable word for slave?

  5. Why don’t they talk about the fact that their Black brothers had wars with other native tribes and captured them and then sold them to white slave traders. So their own brothers sold them into slavery. The other issue is Muslims still practice slavery because the Quran allows slavery.

  6. Some things never change. The self professed over masters know education is the way to freedom and indoctrination is the means of control. Since the 1960s a gradual shift to an indoctrinated society has taken place and the loss of freedoms can be measured.

  7. Great article! Didn’t realize the North also had some issues. It’s usually portrayed as ‘open-armed’. But their contribution helped with slavery abolishment. Thanks for pointing out these myths!

  8. Nice pointing out that blacks were sold into slavery by other blacks in Africa. Neglecting to mention that there were black slave holders. That the majority of southern people did not own slaves. To begin to name a few things.

  9. 13% of prison population being african americans is essentially the same as the percentage of african americans in the US population. So why is this remarkable?

  10. HISTORICAL FILES: Be Accurate! Start with THE FACT That Black tribe people CAPTURED other
    Black tribe people in Africa. Then proceeded to SELL the Captured Black People to
    White traders on the Coastlands. (White people did NOT go hunting for Black Pople to
    Enslave!) Black People have ALWAYS Been the WORST at Doing BAD things to other
    Black People! Note every Civil war among nations in Africa. Note in America Today, how many
    Black people are killed by White People VS how many Black People are killed by other
    Black People! Until this changes – GET OFF White People’s Back! Get On Your OWN Kind’s
    Misdeeds to One Another!

    1. I have read several comments and the ones mostly that I read on Simply were racist white people now white people think that they are superior and think any other nationality is inferior. It is a white man’s world so they think however blacks are just as educated as white, and then the other Nationality people need to wake up and realize first and foremost when the white people back in the slavery days with Keelon a black woman’s baby just to go alligator hunting hence the term gator baby now who’s babies that they killed could have been children to go out with families Having them to become doctors lawyers and judges police officers so the first one that I hear say well that was back then I said you can go somewhere in a hide because they took a life that could have been productive in society. Why people think that they are the best and everything most of the ventures in America pretty much in this world was that of African African Americans furthermore, if you’re going to comment leave your racism out your comment leave your prejudices out comment ones and your Caucasian life speak truth but I know because there is no truth in you

  11. you want to talk about Slavery. you missed the part where the black people made Slaves of black people in Africa more then 2000 years ago. so lets go right to the start of this mess or is it to much to deal with

    1. True, but African enslaving other Africans wasn’t based on race. If you were a Watusi coming into a band of Pigmies you were probably in trouble. The European slave trade was racial in nature.

      1. oh it most certainly was ethnic based… which is little different… and religion played a huge role as muslims controlled the slave trade

  12. Historical Files: Accuracy is important. The story of slavery in America STARTS with African Tribes
    capturing members of other African tribes. Taking them to their coastlines and Selling them
    to traders. These traders (who did not go hunting people to enslave) then sold them as slave labor
    in the New World. It started with their own kind WRONGLY treating others of their own.
    up through today, still the same. Black people make up around 13% of the population.
    YET, Black on Black Crime Dwarfs other races crime rate on Black people.

  13. Why is there no mention of the source of the slaves. When the Slavers went to Africa to get slaves the indigene people there, other blacks were the ones who did the gathering and selling of those to be enslaved.

    1. So it’s the Blacks fault for slavery? The whites just wanted to vacation on the Ivory Coast but couldn’t resist the Negro offerings. Really? Seriously?

  14. This has been very educational. As a older black woman this was not taught in school.
    I believe education of our pass can be good for ALL people

  15. In 1619 a captain of a slave ship bound for the Indies landed in Jamestown. He traded the Black people for supplies. The black people were treated as indentured servants. After the 3-5 period they were free. Many of these original black free people bought and owned other black people.

  16. Yes; as long as the ruling class and those w/authority want our country to continue to spread its own myths about how “…great it is…” w/more opportunity for everyone and etc. when it was set up for only a relative few better-off and/or wealthy to have the majority of riches and power, nothing will ever change. America is an authoritarian, fascist unequal state in another gilded age of extreme inequality like from the late 1800s until around the 30s. The movements for more equality by the civil rights activists were quashed because the state of inequality w/a few having most of everything; even an oligharchy, and any effort on the parts of the oppressed will continue to be put down. Nothing will ever change but historically empires fall.

  17. The war was caused by Lincoln”s refusal to acknowledge that the southern states had legally seceded and wanted to protect the “Union”. Later in the war slavery was used as a political/propaganda excuse to justify the war. Proof is that the emancipation proclamation only purported to free the slaves in the unoccupied parts of the Confederacy not those in the north or occupied parts of the South. You never hear about the slaves in the northern factories or the black women who once owned the most slaves in Louisiana. You also don’t hear about all the Indian tribes that enslaved other tribes. Slavery has been a fact through out history and is still practiced in many parts of the world. That does not make it right. There is only one race, THE HUMAN RACE.

    1. wrong… the south attacked the north! but the cause was the north first driving down the price of cotton then trying to eliminate slavery- which due to the low price of cotton was (until sharecropping was invented) the only way to make a profit. the north provoked the south- but the south invaded the north repeatedly starting the actual war

  18. Thank you for the informative article. Judging from the responses it is very much needed. I can’t believe all the negative comments here in the responses, blaming the victim. It was the English and American institution of slavery that created the Africans cooperation with both countries and monetarily paid off the people that rounded up the future enslaved people. Without restitution, how can the experiment called democracy go on. My ancestry is from Europe and didn’t involve any type slaves or indentured servitude, that I know of. But I do know that the Law of Karma is a spiritual law that balances out the inequity no matter how long it takes. It seems like speeding up the process by starting now with financial restitution would get the wheels moving faster.
    Changes in the Justice system are also needed. I vote blue always because it is the party of compassion and empathy. We also need to take responsibility for these horrible injustices by acknowledging them and to officially apologize for them.

    1. wrong… the slavery institution predated the english- later american involvement… one knows nothing of history thats clear

  19. Yes, Africans sold slaves to America. Slavery was a common practice thought the history of the world. Romans, Germanic, Norse, and Asian civilizations very commonly held slaves as spoils of war. But unlike America, they ended the practice, embracing more civilized governments, as America, in need of a FREE labor force to build a new country that was already inhabited, did the opposite. Democrats were pro-slavery argument is just more whitewashing of slavery. Oh, it wasn’t us. It was them. Yes, Democrats were the originating party of the heinous practice on this soil. And instead of outlawing its existence, or evening loosening the bonds of it, the confederate, traitor of the South picked up the poisonous stick and ran with it, thus continuing the cycle. Black Codes, Jim Crow, restrictive and harsh laws imposed by the Confederacy to control even the smallest movement of slaves’ personal movements. Stop placing blame for the murder, starvation, beating, rape, torture, vilification, chattel-ownership, and breeding of human beings in one another’s lap. It squarely belongs on the lap of White America. Your children should be required to learn of its horrors. Not to make them feel guilty. But to ensure that it will NEVER happen on this soil again. Please stop getting angry and blaming the victim. Please stop telling descendants it was long ago, stop whining, get over it, and move on. If you really held this sentiment you would take down the statues of your traitorous, slave-owning generals, admit the South will NEVER rise again, get rid of your organized hate groups, and MOVE ON. Please do not respond to this message. All of will do it cause folks to try and decent, deflect, and blame.

    1. wrong… america ended it before the others.. in fact UK only ended the atlantic slave trade.. it wasnt until much later that they formally ended slavery- only to use other legal methods to accomplish what they needed. And that doesnt include the pogroms etc they continued to inflict on Jews right up to the holocaust…. and to this day in most of the third world there is a 2 class society – where the poor are still slaves in most respects and yes racial and ethnic lines are enforced…. the civil wars in africa are just a continuation of what those tribes have always done to each other…learn real history!

  20. Why don’t they talk about the fact that their Black brothers had wars with other native tribes and captured them and then sold them to white slave traders. So their own brothers sold them into slavery. The other issue is Muslims still practice slavery because the Quran allows slavery.

    1. What does that have to do with the treatment of African descendants of slavery in the United States in the 21st century?

  21. The single most important fact of slavery in the western hemisphere is NEVER mentioned. Of all the enslaved people forced to make the crossing in the North Atlantic Slave Trade, only 3-5% were sent to NORTH America. The vast majority were enslaved in Central and South America and worked on sugar cane plantations. Any historian worth their degree knows this is true, yet it’s rarely mentioned. What happened to that 95%? Who freed them? Was a war fought to liberate them? What is THEIR story? Why is this never emphasized? And when will Brazil, Argentina, and other Central and South American countries be pressure for reparations?

  22. Can we talk about the Irish and Scottish that we’re actually the 1st slaves brought to this country long before black slaves?

  23. Let’s add on two more facts: (1) Not all southern slaves were African; they were also Hispanic, Native American, people of mixed ancestry, and even captured pirates sold by the Laffite brothers in New Orleans. (2) Not all plantation owners/slave owners Caucasian; there were “people of color” or “free blacks” who owned plantations and slaves.

  24. Very interesting article. I learned from this. I do not believe in slavery or racism. In fact, the word ‘racism’ should be taken out of the English language. It only causes discord. We CAN all get along if we just try. The only thing I believe missing from this article was the mention of the white slaves. It matters not to me but if you are trying to enlighten people regarding slavery, it should have had at least a small mention.

    1. When I was in school we were taught that there were people from the British Isles brought here as slaves but they were called indentured. I was also taught that many ran away. Could not find many who looked like most of the people around them. Then Africans were brought here for one reason that their skin color could be used as a mark to their position as being a slave in this country.

  25. Why do we only mention? black slavery when they are not the only race ever enslaved. How about the Irish? and all the others in history, including America History. How about the coal miner? I ask that because I have worked land and mined coal, and there are jobs in the mining industry that is far more physical that working the land. In addition, mining families experienced mistreatment that included more white people than black. How come we distort out real history to the point that we are experiencing more racism today in the U.S. than ever, even though the blacks have made monumental gains in this great land of ours. I say that unity is what we need most of all to secure our future going forward giving out children God’s wonderful blessings of kindness and brotherly love.

    1. the blacks believe they own victimhood…and that all whites are rich and have privilege… its bullshot and they know it… just racist hypocrites looking for a hand out nothing more

  26. As for mass incarceration, did it ever occur to you idiots that they are in prison because they did something heinous and reprehensible. These dirtbags are no-good useless piles of living shit that deserve to be there.

  27. Myth # 6…that slavery began in 1619 in “America “….slavery was practiced in a cruel form by Columbus and the conquistadores by enslaving the indigent people . Queen Isabella of Spain was sickened by the practice when she learned of it.

  28. did not, Africans, start the original slave trading business? Freedom from oppression is within humans and wholesale exploitation helps to keep black people under the boot heal of those that utilize this method of control!!

  29. “ Over 2.2 million Americans are in prison, and 4.5 million are either on probation or parole. Do you know how many of them are African Americans? No less than 13 percent.
    Even more, black men, women, and children, have outsize representation when it comes to our criminal justice system, as they make up no less than 34 percent of the 6.8 million people who are under it. Their labor is now used to produce goods and services for various businesses that would profit from prison labor.”

    Could it be that those in the criminal justice system initiated more “criminal acts”? ….or would that the anti white narrative of this article?
    Also, why the focus on the tired “white supremacy” issue when most everyone agrees that the US is not proud of it’s slavery past and has initiated many laws and programs in an effort to atone for those affected.
    The article also ignores the ongoing slavery today in many Muslim countries and instead focuses on historical injustices in the US…must be concerned with upsetting the Muslim community!!

  30. I don’t know where you are getting your information but you were obviously poorly educated. I am a born (1942)and raised Southerner who spent 12 years in a military prep school in the segregated Deep South where we were told the absolute horrible reality re slavery. The first face I saw after birth was that of my black nanny who was born into slavery. I am a direct descendant of General N.B. Forest CSA who was a millionaire slave trader prior to the War of Northern Aggression. I never met a peer who believed your so called myths.

Related Posts