African Americans in American Society 1920s

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African Americans in the 1920s


“Cast down your bucket where you are. Cast it down among the eight millions of Negroes…” – Booker T. Washington, 1895 Atlanta Compromise

Throughout US history, there is an abundance of racism, segregation and discrimination towards the African American people. In 1619, the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown to produce tobacco, tea, cotton, coffee and other precious commodities. In this time period, 12 million Africans were forcibly transported to the Americas, where they worked as slaves until 1865, where the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. Although suppressed by whites and organisations such as the Ku Klux Klan, African Americans in the 1920s began to work towards social,
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Despite the cultural developments in Harlem and the formation of the African American identity, white culture found it extremely difficult to accept their black neighbours, leading to racial tensions, and often as a result, lynchings. One such example of racial tension leading to horrific consequences was the Tulsa Race Riots. In 1921, Tulsa Oklahoma was experiencing an economic boom thanks to the discovery of oil. Due to this African Americans also prospered, although confined to the Greenwood section of the city, also referred to as the Black Wall Street, due to a number of wealthy black entrepreneurs residing there. At this time, membership in the Ku Klux Klan was rising and there was an active chapter in Tulsa. On Memorial Day, a riot was triggered by a report in several white newspapers that a white, female elevator operator had been allegedly raped by black youths. In response to this, rumours circulated around the city that a mob was going to attempt to lynch the youths, then a group of armed African Americans bolted to the local police station in order to stop the lynching mob, that did not exist. A
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