How were African Americans (slaves) treated by other races centuries ago(in the early or late 1600's)?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When we look at how African American slaves were treated by “other races,” we should realize that there were really only two races to interact with these slaves.  There were whites, who did most of the interacting, and Native Americans.

In North America, at least, the system of slavery was not firmly entrenched in the early 1600s.  There were no slaves in British North America until the 1620s.  When slaves started to arrive, the system of slavery did not take off immediately.  The colonists still used many white indentured servants at that time.  It was not at all clear that black slaves would be treated very differently than the indentured servants.

Over the course of the century, whites came to treat African Americans more clearly as slaves.  The laws started to become clearer on this point.  Africans came more and more to be seen as slaves for life who would pass their condition on to their children.

Native Americans tended to be relatively cordial in their dealings with African Americans.  This is, perhaps, because they saw that the African Americans were oppressed just as they (the Native Americans) were.  Native Americans often accepted African Americans who escaped from slavery into their societies.