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Word Count: 1,995
African Americans have suffered and struggled throughout their history due to a variation of factors One main factor involved in causing this is due to the racial prejudice and hate crimes perpetrated against them In the United States there have been movements and laws to protect these individuals from such acts of hatred but injustice continues today as it has in past years Although hate crimes are against the law individuals continue to commit hate crimes against African Americans Hate crimes are crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race religion sexual orientation or ethnicity including where appropriate the crimes of murder non-negligent manslaughter forcible rape aggravated assault simple assault intimidation arson and destruction damage or vandalism of property Meadows 1998 p 2 At present there are groups of people that hate African Americans and commit such acts to remove them from American society Laws may control behavior to a degree but education and support programs are the instruments for changes in peoples racial attitudes Racial hatred began in the United States with the slavery of African-origin individuals The first African slaves were aboard a Dutch ship in the year 1619 and arrived at the English colony of Virginia Initially the negroes appear to have had the same status as indentured servants but the laws reflect a fairly rapid distinction as early as 1640 Massachusetts legally recognized slavery in 1641 Virginia passed a law making negroes slaves for life in 1661 Meadow 1998 p 7 The English had large plantations where tobacco sugar and cotton were grown As the need for an increased number of slaves grew the slave trade became more profitable than the export of crops A trade network between North America West Indies and West African emerged Matsuda 1993 p 3 In many incidents people were taken against their own free will from their society to another society of enslaved conditions Regardless of the slaves origin the slave was usually
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