Of all 1,515,605 families in the 15 slave states in 1860, nearly 400,000 held slaves (roughly one in four), amounting to 8% of all American families. So at the apex of slavery in the United States only 8% of American families owned slaves and some of those slaves were owned by black Americans.
So why do modern day blacks blame the entire white race for slavery when in fact it was white Americans who stopped slavery? Gee, maybe they have been brainwashed by liberal politicians for political advantage.
Black chieftains sold black slaves to Arabs. Arabs sold those slaves to slave traders. Slavery was a fact of life. Even free black Americans owned black slaves. Black Africans and Arabs made slavery possible. White Americans stopped slavery. Where is the gratitude on the part of blacks toward white abolitionists?
Editors note: I received email challenging the fact that black Americans owned black slaves. Here is a research source:
Some slaveholders were black or had some black ancestry. In 1830 there were 3,775 such slaveholders in the South who owned 12,760 slaves, with 80% of them located in Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. There were economic differences between free blacks of the Upper South and Deep South, with the latter fewer in number, but wealthier and typically of mixed race. Half of the black slaveholders lived in cities rather than the countryside, with most in New Orleans and Charleston. Especially New Orleans had a large, relatively wealthy free black population (gens de couleur) composed of people of mixed race, who had become a third class between whites and enslaved blacks under French and Spanish rule. Relatively few slaveholders were “substantial planters.” Of those who were, most were of mixed race, often endowed by white fathers with some property and social capital. For example, Andrew Durnford of New Orleans was listed as owning seventy-seven slaves. According to Rachel Kranz: “Durnford was known as a stern master who worked his slaves hard and punished them often in his efforts to make his Louisiana sugar plantation a success.” The historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger wrote:
A large majority of profit-oriented free black slaveholders resided in the Lower South. For the most part, they were persons of mixed racial origin, often women who cohabited or were mistresses of white men, or mulatto men … . Provided land and slaves by whites, they owned farms and plantations, worked their hands in the rice, cotton, and sugar fields, and like their white contemporaries were troubled with runaways.
The historian Ira Berlin wrote:
In slave societies, nearly everyone – free and slave – aspired to enter the slaveholding class, and upon occasion some former slaves rose into slaveholders’ ranks. Their acceptance was grudging, as they carried the stigma of bondage in their lineage and, in the case of American slavery, color in their skin.
Free blacks were perceived “as a continual symbolic threat to slaveholders, challenging the idea that ‘black’ and ‘slave’ were synonymous.” Free blacks were seen as potential allies of fugitive slaves and “slaveholders bore witness to their fear and loathing of free blacks in no uncertain terms.” For free blacks, who had only a precarious hold on freedom, “slave ownership was not simply an economic convenience but indispensable evidence of the free blacks’ determination to break with their slave past and their silent acceptance – if not approval – of slavery.”
The historian James Oakes in 1982 notes that, “The evidence is overwhelming that the vast majority of black slaveholders were free men who purchased members of their families or who acted out of benevolence.” After 1810 southern states made it increasingly difficult for any slaveholders to free slaves. Often the purchasers of family members were left with no choice but to maintain, on paper, the owner-slave relationship. In the 1850s “there were increasing efforts to restrict the right to hold bondsmen on the grounds that slaves should be kept ‘as far as possible under the control of white men only.”
In his 1985 statewide study of black slaveholders in South Carolina, Larry Koger challenged the benevolent view. He found that the majority of black slaveholders appeared to hold slaves as a commercial decision. For instance, he noted that in 1850 more than 80% of black slaveholders were of mixed race, but nearly 90% of their slaves were classified as black. He also noted the number of small artisans in Charleston who held slaves to help with their businesses.
White slaves, Black slave owners in America