According to the article, why do blacks fail to realize the tremendous economic contributions they (collectively as a people) have made to the development of the United States?
Blacks fail to realize their tremendous contribution to the U.S. economic development due to the national shame associated with slavery coupled with its affiliated national denial, a weak defense mechanism (Giles par. 1). Slavery ignites negative images for the African American people. According to the Blacks, the United States has a “debt” to settle that it incurred through the African American’s sweat, tears, and blood.
Why, as a nation, have we failed to discuss or address the psychological and economic “debt” that is owed to African Americans?
As a nation, the United States has failed to address or discuss the economic and psychological “debt” owed to the Blacks because of national denial to accept responsibility (Giles par. 1). The whites and by larger, the country holds that the discussions amount to racial manipulation and should therefore be avoided (Par. 2). Furthermore, the country fears reparations due to the high value associated with the slavery (par. 12).
What were some of the contributions made by African slaves from 1619 to 1860?
Between 1619 and 1860 African slaves made tremendous contribution to the growth and development of the United States. According to (Giles par. 4), over the 246 years, the slaves contributed over 605 billion free labor hours thereby funding the Industrial Revolution, financing most of the U.S fortune 500 firms, and helping fund two World Wars.
Obviously, slaves born through “forced” breeding was more profitable than the importation of slaves, but how much profit could a single ship expect to make?
Truly, slaves born through the “forced” breeding were more profitable than slave importation. However, as Giles reports, a single ship passing through the golden triangle could amass $175, 000 in profits (Par. 5). The author explains that a slave could be bought in Africa for $40 or less and then sold in the United States for a price ranging between $500 and $1000.
Transcribed into 2006 dollars, what is the economic value of the slaves who worked as “free” laborers from 1700 – 1865?
Giles states that inflating the free labor at 3% to the 2006 dollars shows that the economic value of the slaves was $20.3 trillion between 1700 and 1865 (Par. 7). In a different perspective, this value is $563, 450 per every Black living in the United States.
What is the estimated amount of money from slave contributions still operating within the US economy?
Giles asserts that even to date, slave money is circulating in the U.S economy. According to the excerpt, a whopping $19.7 trillion slave contribution is still in the country’s economy (Par. 8).
Identify how some Fortune 500 companies and Brown University (an Ivy League School) benefited from slavery and how they continue to profit, i.e., make a return on their original investments today, more than a hundred years after the end of slavery.
Brown University and fortune 500 companies such as J.P Morgan, E.I Dupont, and Aetna Insurance among others benefited substantially from slave trade. For instance, Pierre Bauduy bought four out of the sixteen “shares issued for the E.I. Dupont Company for $8,000” (Giles par. 9). On the other hand, Brown University was financed by the cotton merchants and slave ship manufacturers (par. 10). On the same note, Aetna Insurance Co. issued insurance policies against slaves to protect their masters from losses. Giles continues that J.P Morgan derived its original capital from its South-based cotton trading firm.
How much in terms of capital gains from slavery has been made either directly or indirectly in 2006 dollars?
Assuming a 5% value for the slave labor invested in the stock market between 1700 and 1830, the yields stood at $6.42 trillion with an additional U.S$ 1.44 trillion; combining both capital gains lead to $7.86 quadrillion as per the 2006 dollar value (Giles par. 11-12).
How many major US corporations have benefitted from the $7,860 trillions in profit accrued from slavery?
Giles mentions four major corporations and institutions that benefited from the $7, 860 trillion slavery profits. These include J.P Morgan, E.I Dupont, Aetna Insurance Co., and Brown University among many others (par. 9-13).
How does the continued demand for a return on investment affect African nations today? What is the irony of African debt?
The continued demand for returns on the slave free labor investment affects African nations today. The effects range from human capital deficit and the impact of colonialism financed from the proceeds of slavery (Giles par. 15). Africa continues to be economic exploited today (par. 16). It would plunge African nations into more debt leading to political instability, exploitation of natural resources, poverty, and deprivation (par. 18). The irony of the African debt is that although African nations are the original investors in slavery, they seek debt relief from the slave masters rather than compensation for the slavery-associated egregious crimes (Par. 19).
Giles, Waldron H. “Slavery and the American Economy.”