African American Exceptionalism

Decent Essays

The abolishment of slavery has never made America Exceptional because the systematic oppression of African Americans occurred for decades after they were freed. American Exceptionalism is the belief that Americans are superior because the United States follows a different set of laws and norms that govern other countries. Supposedly, these differences account for the freedom that Americans have, which other countries lack. However, not all Americans have had been able to practice this freedom, such as African Americans. Even though slavery was abolished, African Americans never received the same rights as other Americans for decades. Even after receiving the same rights, African Americans were still oppressed. A country that can not guarantee the same rights to everyone is not exceptional.
Slavery was abolished in 1865 by President Abraham Lincoln. However, the ending of slavery did not mean that African Americans would be seen as equal. After slavery ended, many southern states instituted laws known as Black Codes and other laws meant to segregate the population. Black codes limited the freedom of former slaves and other African Americans by preventing African Americans from doing certain things, such as serving in juries, the army, testifying against the white population, and attending certain schools. These laws forced African Americans into jobs revolving around manual labor, such as sharecropping. Sharecroppers had to rent land from ex-slave owners and give a

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