Book Review – From Slave to Separate but Equal: The Constitution, Slave Capitalism, Human Rights & Civil War Reckoning by Paul Kalra

From Slave to Separate but Equal: The Constitution, Slave Capitalism, Human Rights & Civil War Reckoning by Paul Kalra presents objective reporting of slavery that existed over 200 years in the USA. The book brings forward the immeasurable ugly and bad phases of slavery that existed in the USA, mainly in Southern and Northern states for over two centuries.

I couldn’t understand the title at first, however, as I read a few topics from the first chapter, I came back to grasp it. I got it. It means that black slaves were separate but never equal to white race of North America. As you read the book and cogitate on the notes and commentaries of notable figures, you may feel a tinge of sympathy for blacks. They were not only used for exploitative works by estate owners and slave holders but were also denied the basic human and civil rights that people crave to see in their lives.

Slavery was a big issue in the United States. Way bigger than race and caste and religion. Do you know why? Because it was directly linked to money making. The slavery practice was mainly prevalent in Northern and Southern States of America. The Southern States grew cotton that was getting exported to other countries and in other parts of the country. The people working on cotton and other fields were none other than slaves. Keeping slaves was easy for slaveholders. They had no liability. The system, law, king, and church had no interference in the lives of blacks. When blacks die due to work or by a white man, there was no law for punishment.

More or so, blacks were true slaves in a sense, their women were used by whites for fun. Their children were not legally theirs, blacks were only allowed to breathe, in fact, nothing existed for them.

They were forbidden for education, marriage, and child grooming, there were no schools and hospitals for them. If they die, no one cares. Ironically, if a black commits any felony against a white man, even if he had enough proofs or alibi, it was not considered. A black will be hanged or burnt alive to set as an example for others.

Atrocities and cruelties done to them are beyond repair, even today the USA remains divided between black and white. The history of the country is full of sins. 

Among all social evils that worked against blacks, Protestant Slavery Code was the most wretched thing ever had happened to slaves. It didn’t consider church or bible…it clearly defined that slaves are different, they cannot be included in constitution and religious chores. However, Catholic Slavery code was somewhat based on humanity for all. It favoured the lives of blacks but to no avail. The majority of the slaveholders were the followers of Protestant Slavery Code.

“The Protestant Slavery Codes defined all blacks as slaves, with the color of their skin providing the necessary evidence. A Maryland law of 1663 said, All Negroes or other slaves within the provinces, and all Negroes and other slaves to be hereafter imported into the province, shall serve durante vita; and all children born of any Negro or other slave, shall be slaves as their fathers were, for the term of their lives.”

The black slavery had cost fortune to the country. It’s funny to note that during America’s revolt to its colonizer British, the slaves were persuaded to side with Americans in one incident, and on the other hand, many blacks joined the British…but in both cases their freedom was denied. A lot of drama ensues at the time of civil war…the Northern military was in favour of Unions denied to enlist blacks in the army. Even then they oscillated between two choices: Unions or Confederacy.

Paul has done a superb job by assembling such a work of history to blend into one historical book. He states right at the beginning that books by whites on slavery negligibly included the true cause of blacks. Those books supported whites, slaveholders, yeomen, Yankees and much more. But truly this book is a tribute to all those who were suppressed and killed during the dark slavery epochs of the country.

Before I finish this review, I would like to highlight something (the scorecard) from the book that cannot be ignored, no matter what side you patronize with, or even if you are a neutral watcher.

In tallying the cost of the Civil War, it was estimated that over 620,000 soldiers lost their lives in four years: 360,000 Yankees and at least 260,000 rebels,

Get it from Amazon/Kindle.

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