Essay about Lasting African Conributions to American Society

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This country, especially the southern United States, was built using African slave labor. Africa slaves were not allowed to be educated. All most every African slave could not read or write because it was against the law to educate slaves for over 200 years. The master/slave relationship caused assimilation to be very difficult. Values and convictions were formed during those years and are still evident to this day (Parrillo, 2009). Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner at his Monticello property. At that time, about 20% of the new United States were African slaves. Even though he owned approximately 600 slaves, he was a consistent opponent against slavery. Jefferson’s slaves worked in the fields, in the home and as skilled craftsman. …show more content…
The Scott v. Sanford case helped solidify both sides that slavery could not coexist in the United States (Cozzens, 1999). In early civil rights arguments, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the 1896 case of Plessy v. Ferguson. Plessy was only 1/8th black and arrested for sitting in the “White” car of the East Louisiana Railroad. The decision was six to one upholding the Separate Car Act. The Plessy decision was the deciding factor that as long as the amenities were equal for blacks and whites, “separate but equal” was constitutional (Cozzens, 1999). Because of the master/slave relationship, African Americans were seen as an inferior race. They had to put up with racism and segregation, among other things. In order to be treated as equal citizens of this country, they had to fight for their civil rights. From 1955 through 1968, African Americans faced an up hill battle. It all really started on May 17, 1954 with the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that it was harmful to colored children to be segregated from white children in school. Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” was deemed unconstitutional. The court said that by separating the races, it signifies that the Negro group was inferior. Then Rosa Parks refusal in giving up her seat on a Montgomery, AL bus in 1955, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. With the help of Dr. Martin Luther King, the 382-day boycott succeeded in a
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