Opinion: Could Reparations for African Americans Uncover White Slavery In America?

Rev. Curtis O. Robinson, Sr.

One of the shrouded notions that we may have about slavery could be the concept of Indentured Servitude. In 1607, Britain began to unleash it’s first cargo of white slaves to the American Colonies. This was spurred by the opportunity of supply and demand; there was more land than people to work the land. The reputation of Oliver Cromwell created a history of his genocidal reign in Ireland that supplied the colonial work force with so called indentured servants for decades. So, if the descendants of African American’s are due reparations, what about the descendants of white slaves that were a part of the British social system of the 17th century?

In the book, “White Cargo: The Forgotten History Of Britain’s White Slaves In America,” I read where author’s Don Jordan, and Michael Walsh, said, “In the summer of 2003, archaeologist excavated a seventeenth century site outside Annapolis, Maryland, and discovered the skeleton of a teenage boy. Examination showed the boy to have died sometime in the 1660’s… The youth was neither African of Native American. He was Northern European, probably English.” It goes on to identify the results of the autopsy and discovered that the boy had been severely beaten and lived a life of toil. Is this evidence of white slavery’? While the Spanish were digging for gold m the west, it was tobacco that was gold in the colonies, however, this required vast amounts of human labor.

In the colonies, to be an indentured servant was not a highly regarded profession, and in the early days of America. findings suggest that the first form of slavery came by way of European women and children as early as 1607, winch was immediately followed by the enslavement of African’s. The problem with White America is that a display of success only whiteness, is what we are lead to believe. The first slaves in America may not have been African, but they were very likely European Whites.

Are the descendants of these enslaved whites’ due reparations also? Many may think that there is a difference between and indentured servant and a slave. There is no difference. If an indentured servant is considered chattel, then that makes that person no greater than a slave. In the book, “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” I read where J.D. Vance said, “As a 2011 Brookings Institution study found, “compared to 2000, residents of extreme-poverty neighborhoods in 2005-09 were more likely to be white, native-born, high school or college graduates, homeowners, and not receiving public assistance.” We need reparations to not only restore African Americans, but to also make White America well.


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