Slavery Became Even More Profitable Because Of This Invention

black man working at a cotton gin
Via flickr
Tremain Prioleau II
May 8, 2023

There's a myth that the creator of the Cotton Gin was Black. That’s almost believable since its purpose was to make cotton picking easier and more efficient. However, the inventor was white and that invention would change things for the worse for our people.

While the cotton gin helped to produce more cotton for the American economy, it would come at the cost of sacrificing some fiber quality. Of course, that did not matter to southern plantation owners as the value was there for them. Enslaved people and the machines working the fields meant even more profits.

By 1850, cotton production was a multi-billion dollar industry, outpacing even the manufacturing and railroad industries. And in that same time, the enslaved population increased dramatically from about 900,000 in 1800 to over four million in 1860. The economy’s expansion was a direct threat to our people’s freedom.

However, all hope was not lost. While the U.S. was busy innovating on the means of our enslavement, our ancestors were busy fighting for change. Our tradition of resistance and abolition helped bring us through.

The American economy saw the need for our labor to fund its greedy expansion. It will always prioritize more. More free labor, more predatory businesses, and more profits. It is up to us to resist just like our ancestors did.