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The Importance of Proper Documentation of History

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The documentation of hidden history is important because it allows us to understand our past, which in turn allows us to understand our present. When we want to know how and why our world is like it is. Proper documentation of history allows us to learn from past failures and avoid repeating history. The study of hidden history gives a voice to those that have been wronged and allows them to seek justice and ensure that their history is not forgotten.

History becomes difficult to uncover because some people find difficult to speak about the controversial past of America. America has an ugly and violent past and some people believe that speaking about the past justifies the past and will enable people to attempt to repeat the past.

I learned a lot about America’s ugly past. I learned that slavery did not end in 1865. The 13th Amendment was passed after the Civil War and gave slaves their freedom, but southern states did not want black Americans to be free so they passed Black Codes or laws that made it easier to arrest black people and criminalize their way of life and keep them in legal slavery. In an attempt to earn money, freed black Americans would enter a sharecropping agreement where they agreed to help with the crops of white landowners for a certain period of time, but if they attempted to leave they were arrested. I also learned about peonage or debt slavery, a system where white southerners made freed African Americans work for a certain amount of time until their debts were paid off but the debts were impossible to pay off and escape attempts were punishable by death.

I think that America’s legacy of mass incarceration needs to become documented. During the Reconstruction Era, Black Codes were passed and as a result, African-Americans were prohibited from voting, denied civil rights, placed into indentured servitude and if they complained or protested, they would be lynched. America would like to believe that Black codes ended in the past but there is reason to believe that Black Codes continue today under different names.

Today, our legal system allows African Americans and minorities to be locked up for long amounts of time and forced to work for free. The federal government has passed many laws that punish minorities more severely than the majority. One law created imposed mandatory minimum sentences and took away the judge’s ability to consider personal background during sentencing. Mandatory minimum drug sentences punish crack cocaine dealers and users more severely than powder cocaine dealers and users although both drugs pose the same danger, crack cocaine is used by people of color and people living in poverty and powder cocaine is used by people that are more middle class and suburban environment. The dealers and users are sentenced to unfair prison terms and become exploited for their free labor by private prisons and corporations. This needs to be exposed so that people are made aware that America’s laws and policies turn American citizens into criminals.

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The Importance Of Proper Documentation Of History. (2020, May 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from
“The Importance Of Proper Documentation Of History.” GradesFixer, 19 May 2020,
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The Importance Of Proper Documentation Of History [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 May 19 [cited 2022 May 27]. Available from:
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