The African American Struggle For Equality

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The African American struggle for equality began almost 400 years ago when the first black slaves were unloaded from ships in British North America in 1619. Treated as chattel with all the empathy owners would give to cattle or sheep, their lives and the lives of their progeny would drastically change for many generations. A proud and accomplished people, Africans had built vast, culturally rich civilizations complete with monarchies, colleges, and trade routes. What they found in the new world was hard work, harsh treatment, and heartbreak. They would face many struggles on the journey for equality and there is cause for much reflection that the words of the Declaration of Independence would give African Americans the hope for freedom and equality that would define their struggles simply and succinctly. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Since unalienable rights cannot be taken away or denied, the enslaved blacks took the words to heart and pursued these rights for hundreds of years. They struggled for every rung they achieved on the civil rights ladder. They struggled for the right to aspire to a higher echelon in the social strata, for political influence, the pursuit of equality in education and economic success. African Americans began their fight for a place in the
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