om the United Nations of America, but it was only after the Civil Rights movement a century later that African Americans were given an equal status with other citizens. The long-standing prejudices against those of African origin date back to before the abolishing of slavery; and still exist in milder forms. Increasing interaction between communities and heightening awareness of similarities instead of differences are ways of reducing these long-standing prejudices.
The notion of “Slavery” seems to have been around from the earliest civilizations; and there are mentions of the use of slaves for labor in ancient texts from different parts of the world (Carey, 2009). Often, the slaves would be prisoners of war, or members of a less strong group. Drescher (2009; pp 4-5) claims that the characteristic that distinguishes slaves is that some individual or group has the right to “possess, buy, sell, discipline, transport, liberate, or otherwise dispose of the bodies and behavior of other individuals.” After the fall of the Roman Empire, the instances of Slavery reduced from many European nations, and were sometimes replaced by instances of other forms of bonded servitude; but around the mid 15th century the Portuguese started using slaves to work on sugar plantations, and this led to resurgence in slave-trade (Carey, 2009). At the same time, the Catholic Church allowed them to acquire any individuals of non – Christian faith as slaves (Carey, 2009). Over the next century, slaves of African origin were acquired for hard labor, and often illegally.
In 1528, the first slave arrived on what was to become the United States of America (Carey, 2011). As new colonies were settled, more European countries brought slaves with them. In Europe, the signs of racial stigmatism had become visible, by restricting the entry of African slaves because of the growing number of individuals with African origin (Carey, 2011). As the occupation of the New World grew, the number of