Segregation played a major role throughout the lives of the African Americans. They were viewed as unequal, and were set apart from the norms of society. In the South, the African Americans were forced to use water fountains for blacks only. They were refused service at many local restaurants, and forced to give up their seat on the bus to a white individual. African Americans wanted and needed to take action to gain equality. Throughout the years, they tried all they could to obtain equality and enjoy the same freedoms as the white population.
The role of African American has changed over the centuries. They were treated differently because of their skin color. They were treated like property for others uses however change happened. It was not a easy matter to change but one of the main reason it did change was because Martin Luther King and his speech “I have a Dream”.
The first African Americans that were put to work in Jamestown were not treated in the way that people traditionally think of early slavery. In fact they were treated just as the indentured servants that had come from England were treated. This does not mean that they were treated with any sympathy or given easy work, but that they just were not discriminated by the color of their skin. In the beginning of the 1600s all servants had the same dream, to one day be free. In 1641, a black slave by the name of Anthony Johnson, was freed and given his own land to start his new life as an American (Johnson et al, Africans, 39). At this point in time the only things that separated people were if you were an owner or a servant and if you were a Christian or not. At some point in the mid 1700s something changed the way that the colonists saw things. All of a sudden there was no longer equal treatment of white and black slaves, the darker the color of ones skin was the worse off their life became. In 1640, three slaves tried escaping to Maryland but were unsuccessful, when they were brought upon the court two of the
Once free they had a realization that they could do anything. This appeared in the stories, essays and poems they wrote. They were opened up to a world that held so many possibilities. The world was theirs and because they didn’t have it for so long. African Americans lived oppressed and without any rights. When they were freed it opened up so many possibilities. Emily Dickinson talked about how we can’t understand something until it is no longer with us. African Americans were trapped for all their lives and once released they had ambition. Their ambition sent them to work and continue to advance in the world. The problem for the white people is they didn’t have this ambition. They had never had been without rights, so they couldn’t understand. African Americans worked until they surpassed the white’s so no white could ever put them in captivity again. They were humans and were equal and nothing could change that.
Segregation took a huge toll on African Americans emotionally and ecumenically. Schools where segregated, and black schools where known for being hugely underfunded. So they started off with a bad education, which makes getting jobs harder. This was true even in colleges, which were also segregated. Not only that but because of racism an employer would always hire a white person over a black person. Black people where also generally paid less. Even if a black person got money they where not allowed to live in the same neighborhoods as white people or even go to the same shops. So there was never the possibility of moving up the social later. “He has been a beggar economically, a beggar politically a beggar socially a beggar even when it comes to trying to get some education” (Malcom
African Americans were deprived of many rights that they should have possessed as citizens, such as voting and having an equal education. The Jim Crow Laws made the African Americans an inferior race in society because these
During these years of radical reconstruction, the African Americans were going through some very tough times. The laws that were put on them were harsh and unreasonable. All they wanted to do was becomes socially and economically apart of the United States. Groups like the KKK were unfair towards the blacks and made their lives miserable by holding rallies and killing them. As a result of reconstruction, the blacks were not given social or economic equality because of laws like the black codes and Jim Crow laws, and the rebellious whites in the south. These African Americans struggled just to support themselves, but whites eventually accepted them at the end of the
Knowledge and understanding is key to success and that’s what African Americans developed over the previous battle with black codes. Blacks saw opportunity in adverse situation, such as overcoming black codes which led to overcoming sharecropping. Through that adverse situation, blacks created a way to go around the sharecropping system by eventually forming the “Colored Farmers National Alliance.” African Americans saw the opportunity to sponsor their own cooperative stores where members could obtain necessary goods and equipment at a reduced price, published newspapers to help educate
Religion gave the African American hope, for they selected stories from the bible that applied to their lives of oppression, and it helped them to see freedom. Religion was extremely important to the freed people because it gave them a place to all be together as a community (Doc D).
Reconstruction did not help African Americans move closer to the American Dream. Even though there were positives, there were also negatives. Due to Reconstruction, hate groups started, there was not any safety for African Americans, and the Black Codes or Jim Crow laws. One of the most infamous hate groups to rise was the Klu Klux Klan. KKK for short. African Americans were terrorized by this group. They are responsible for many hangings, burnings, and other horrors that were inflicted upon African Americans. Also, there was not any safety from the groups. It was not like being in the center of a city was going to help. There are unfortunately many pictures of African Americans being hanged in very populated areas. Also, there was the rise of Black Codes(Jim Crow laws). It is like how the saying goes, out of the frying pan and into the fire. Some of the codes, but not limited to, was the Grandfather clause, which basically said that if your grandfather could not vote, you cannot vote. There were also many other ways that African Americans were restricted from voting. There was poll tax, and unfair evaluations of voting tests. This also included segregation of schools (separate but equal). There was even a law forbidding a white person from marrying a black person. However, even though all of these horrific things came because the end of slavery,
In this time period, life was extremely hard for African Americans simply because they were slaves and even though they were emaciated in 1863 by the Emancipation Proclamation. They were still treated with such disrespect...to the point where they were considered not to be humans. They were instilled with so much fear that the thought
In the aftermath of the Civil War African Americans had gained a lot of rights politically but due to the little progress gained in the social and economic spheres their situation did not change much. So despite small gains socially, economically, and politically the lives of African Americans were not enhanced.
Whites have always considered themselves superior to blacks, no matter if they were slave owners or not. Blacks were considered lower than humans, making them a main target of oppression of whites. So even when a small group of blacks were given their freedom, they weren’t truly liberated from the chains of slavery and oppression. Blacks were freed in the early 1800s, giving a limited amount of blacks the freedom they deserved. These blacks were usually rural, uneducated, and unskilled domestic servants who had to work hard to survive in the society that shunned them. Free blacks were still given restrictions and laws because of their status in society. In the early 1830s, a law in Virginia was made to prohibit all blacks from getting their education. They even took it to the level where free blacks who went out of state to educate themselves were not able to come back and return to their own state. The worst restriction was that blacks could not testify in court. When a slave owner claimed that a free black was their slave, they could not defend themselves, and would have to conform back to their slavery. Despite the terrible treatment given to blacks, some rose above the oppression and became successful, therefore achieving their goals and potentials of being a free black man, leaving a huge impact on society in the 1800s.
Throughout history, African Americans both free and enslaved were not treated equally nor permitted with the same rights as white men. African Americans were enslaved and not allowed to vote or hold public office. Since the 15th century, African Americans have been treated less than human, some even experienced brutal punished for justifiable mistakes. The use of African American slave labor was an enormous contribution to agriculture and labor. It became a part of southern state’s economy within America. Additionally, African Americans were forced or born into slavery where they endured harsh working conditions with zero pay and often times were punished by their masters. Even slaves that became emancipated or paid for their freedom were also treated differently than whites. Notably, blacks did not have the same privileges as whites and were forced to carry a “freedom card” wherever they went. Failing to do so would lead to severe consequences, such as being forced back into slavery. Once African Americans were considered free, they faced additional discriminations such as not being able to vote or serve as a figure in public office. Due to this and additional factors, African Americans were almost entirely incapable of defending themselves against whites. Since the start of the 17th century, African Americans, free and enslaved were punished for their skin color and were considered the lowest scale by not being allowed to the same opportunities and rights and white men.
The African American experience is one that is quite different from other racial/ ethnic groups. The majority of the first African American came over, unwillingly, on ships from various African countries. They were brought to America by white, European settlers to be used as slaves in an order to plant and harvest their crops and make money for the white man. This racial group was treated as if they were property and not people. However, with the ending of the American Civil War, African Americans gained freedom, freedom that not all white American were quite ready to handle. After gaining their freedom came the need for education, jobs and suffrage rights. Now in America this racial group has come a long way, having elected its first African American present for two terms, yet still there are many issues that are very prevalent. This racial group has been fighting their way to equality since the birth of this nation. African Americans have experienced an array of conflict, violence, stereotypes, prejudice acts, and discrimination against them throughout their history in America.