In the new proactive book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander dives into the not so complicated racial issues that plague this country that we tend to ignore. In all of history, African Americans have had to constantly fight for their freedoms and the right to be considered a human being in this society. It’s very troubling looking back and seeing where we have failed people in this country. At the turn of the century, when people began to think that we had left our old ways behind, this book reminds us that we are wrong. Racism is still alive today in every way, just in different forms.
African Americans have come a very long way from 1865; they have fought many battles to earn their place in America’s Society. From the ending of slavery African Americans have had various achievements from their suffering. Some fought, some spoke, some marched, some sat, some cried, some died, some even dreamed, but all of these things left a footprint in history. In this paper I will discuss some very important events in African American history beginning with the ending of slavery which has brought us to the America we all enjoy today.
America in 1857 was a “Nation on the Brink.” Relationships between the Northern and Southern states had been strained for decades. During the 1850 's, the situation exploded. The Compromise of 1850 served as a clear warning that the slavery issue—relatively dormant since the Missouri Compromise of 1820—had returned. African Americans existence in America has been a disaster ever since they have been here. Every avenue of their cultural, economic, literary, political, religious, and social values has been violated to no avail, and then only until the
The memory of incidents such as O. J. Simpson’s high profile criminal trial, the assault of Rodney King in Los Angeles in 1992, and the 2009 arrest and charging of Harvard Professor Henry Gates for racial profiling still freshly linger in the minds of many Americans. The people’s perceptions of justice in these situations continue to represent how the criminal justice system is viewed in present times, and continue defining racial disparity in America (Mauer, 2011).
In Kevin Boyle’s Arc of Justice: A saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age, the author creates a way to describe the discrimination and horrible racial treatment inflicted on the African American community following the civil war and continuing into the 1900’s by following a black doctor’s life and his controversy in equality. The author sets the scene in the booming city of Detroit, a place many blacks ventured to when trying to escape the cruelty Jim Crow Laws forced upon many African Americans. The great migration of blacks fleeing to Detroit in search of a new life brought an increase of over seventy thousand people in just the short span of fifteen years. This sudden unwanted abundance of people, still disliked even in the North, lead to a city full of racial prejudices and unjust discrimination.
The OJ Simpson murder case was an event that transfixed the nation over 20 years ago, with everyone who was around back then having some recollection of the whole ordeal. Today, that same case in entering back into the public consciousness, as a new television series dramatizing the events, entitled “The People vs. OJ Simpson”, just premiered. In an op-ed for the New York Times, John McWhorter pens an argument that the case was symbolic of race relations between the police and the African-American community. McWhorter, an African-American, goes into detail about how he did not understand why his community was cheering back in 1995 about Simpson being acquitted. McWhorter even believed that Simpson was guilty. However, he does now
When individuals think of the criminal justice system, the first images that come to their minds are a judge, jury full of people, the prosecution, and the defense. These images are what make up the courtroom environment, however, no one realizes how skin color affects what happens in the courtroom. Although race should not be a factor in determining said person’s sentencing, it is and sadly results in wrongful convictions as well as riots and protests as of recently. In the Independent.co.uk article and the Corrections.com article both entitled “Is the Criminal Justice System Fair,” deliberate on the capability of the criminal justice system and question why individuals might view the system as unfair. In the article “What Happened in Ferguson,” produced by The New York Times, explains the events that took place from the death of Michael Brown to the trial of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed him, to the aftermath after the trial. Although the criminal justice system has a negative connotation associated with its name, the fact-based website, Snopes.com, determines whether the negative reputation against the criminal justice system is true or something that has been exploited by the media.
a generation African Americans to question the doctrine of separate but equal and help pave for
The first episode of “Eyes on the Prizes” continues our study of American culture and politics by revisiting the plight of the African Americans in the United States. Their struggle to claim the freedoms and equalities outlined in the constitution was a daunting task. The period of Reconstruction following the Civil War was scrapped and labelled a failure by Northerners and Southerners alike. Both parties clung to myths that African Americans had been irresponsible with the freedoms provided to them by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Amendments to the Constitutional.
The website Remembering Jim Crow gave useful information on the harsh lives endured by the African Americans in the South during the late 1800’s and mid 1900’s. This information expanded my knowledge of how the racist whites treated blacks unfairly and unjust. Places I visited on this site included “Bitter Times”, “Danger Violence and Exploitation”, and audios such as “Wrongly Accused” and “Mob Attack”. With this information, I was able to understand the cruelty that the African Americans felt. Listening to audios of peoples’ stories made me feel what they were going through, as I heard the fear in their own voices. In addition, I learned how the whites disgraced the blacks, and the blacks were put under the constant fear of the white man, even in their own communities. This material enhanced my understanding of Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird by helping me understand the circumstances of the Finches town and the biased judgement of the Tom Robinson trial due to the color of his skin.
In March 1906, Tennessee native Ed Johnson was sentenced to death for the rape of eighteen-year-old Nevada Taylor. Mr. Johnson supposedly choked the victim with a leather strap and subsequently sexually assaulted her. When testifying, the woman only had one adjective to describe the perpetrator, a word that damned the twenty-six-year-old to a guilty verdict; black. Although he had never been in possession of a leather strap, had a sound alibi verified by countless testimonies, and the rape victim never definitively identified Mr. Johnson during the trial, the all-white jury came to the conclusion that the African-American man was undeniably responsible for the cold-blooded atrocity. A day later, while sitting in his cell, a mob of white men dragged Ed Johnson out of the jailhouse, paraded him around the streets, and ultimately hanged the guiltless man at Walnut Street Bridge. The men then began to fire round after round at his lifeless body for the amusement of townsfolk who had gathered to watch the lynching, until, “one stray bullet severed the rope,” (Yellin 1). As the bloody corpse fell to the ground to the delight of the white children, “ one of the men put the barrel of his gun to Mr. Johnson 's head and fired five times,” (Yellin 1). The men faced no charges and nearly one hundred years later the Supreme Court found the viciously murdered man innocent. Unfortunately, when it comes to promoting justice for non-white Americans, the United States’ criminal justice system
From the 1830’s all the way to current times, African Americans have suffered at the hands of imbecilic Americans with the banning of blacks in education and states, Alabama beginning statewide convict leasing which constructed the state’s first state-run prison system in 1839, the passing of “black codes” in 1865, the Plessy v. Ferguson case which legally sanctioned racial segregation by establishing the “separate but equal” doctrine as national law, the many lynching throughout the years, to the “Little Rock Nine”, and the many cases of racism that plagues our nation. We have for surely been two steps behind while our nation as gone ahead of us. Leading me to believe that W.E.B. DuBois had truth in his saying, “a system cannot fail those
Back in the deep South, it was a silent agreement for most of society that black lives did not matter, and if they were accused of a crime, the results almost always proved them guilty. In the article, “The Scottsboro Boys”, author Douglas O. Linder explains what the audience watching the trial of the Scottsboro boys were thinking, and how they presumed the Negro boys
The United States of America is known to the rest of the world as the country where people are treated as equals and have the same rights despite race, gender, or religion. Yet, life in America during the 1950s and 1960s told a different story, one of hostility and segregation against those who were Black. Life for Blacks could be best explained by understanding that “Nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in Southern states still inhabited a starkly unequal world of disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence” (History.com). African Americans were constantly attacked, killed, and discriminated against purely because of the color of their skin. Additionally,
Almost every member of the black community in Maycomb County is admirable in their personalities and innocent in their nature, and this generalisation makes the crimes against the black community all the worse. Tom Robinson, a man discriminated and accused of a crime that he didn’t commit has come forth to the justice system. The color of his skin determines everything from his background too if he’s guilty or not. A black man’s life is unable to prove innocence because of his race. Poverty has affected many people back in the 1960’s but, if a black man or women were to experience this they would be put on the white