Africans Treatment in Colonial Virginia

Africans Treatment in Colonial Virginia

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Africans Treatment in Colonial Virginia

Africans were taken to slavery In Virginia early seventeenth century. Africans were separated from the whites by race, culture, and the laws, the ultimate laws. In the early days, getting a servant was not as hard, and the Africans and whites were allowed to mingle and even stay together when both were servants, which helped some black earn their freedom and own property in the land. The relationship changed, and the affected people were the poor blacks due to demand for labor, primarily in tobacco fields. This led to an increase in slaves’ shipment and life ownership of slaves over time; laws were passed that separated the whites from the blacks despite them being slaves. The Africans treatment during colonial Virginia and the statutes relating to slavery were the ultimate results of the change.

The work given to a Black woman was distinguished from the work given to White in October 1629. The rule did not exempt the white women from working in the tobacco fields; their duties were distinguished from the duties of the Black people. The Black was meant to pay tithes to the ministers. This differentiated and lowered the standards of the Blacks in front of the whites because of their race. Later, a law to distinguish between the Black and White people was initiated in 1639/40. It declared that all people should be given arms and ammunition except the Negroes or be fined at the pleasure of the council and governor. This was an indication of the Whites’ life being more important than that of the Blacks; hence they would need protection which wouldn’t be necessary to the Blacks. It also indicated that exploitation of the Negroes was for pleasure.

Later in 1662, a law was served that explained that a Black servant’s child was automatically a servant for life. The law was against the culture of the Whites, where the father gave the child status. To reduce the traditional drama, a fine was imposed on any white man who would get a child with a Negro woman, and more so, if the man were a Christian, the fine would be doubled. A sexual act between a black and white is termed fornication even in a legal relationship. The law distanced the Blacks more from the whites because of their race to neglect their tradition to bring out the difference.

The leaders tried to suppress the free blacks by coming up with a law in 1691 that contained the restriction of manumission of slaves. Partners with an interactive marriage were not allowed to stay in Virginia more than three months after the wedding. The white women were not also allowed to bear Mullato children. The white woman could be subjected to servitude for thirty years than they did to illegitimate white children. The law separated the whites and the blacks. The casual killing of slaves was also introduced as a law in 1669 by the colonial leaders where master, mistress, or overseer was allowed to give corporal punishment to the slaves as a way of correction as service time could not be extended for slaves. The law lost the legal protection for a slave’s life. It reduced the personal rights to life of black men and women.

The treatment of the Africans in Virginia was a clear indication of racism among the leaders. Whites’ life was considered more important than the blacks. This made them come up with laws that would suppress them to life slavery and regulate their increase and freedom as described in the statutes for slavery acts. Despite the acts, intermarriages were evident which. This showed that race and culture should not describe humanity, and race does not make a black person less of a human being.


Becker, Stuart David. “Imperialism and the Emerging White State in the Early Colony of Virginia.” Ph.D. diss., 2014.Hudson, Winthrop. Religion in America. Routledge, 2015.

“Virtual Jamestown.” 2019. 2019.‌