African American history plays an important role in American history not only because the Civil Rights Movement, but because of the strength and courage of African Americans struggling to live a good life in America. African Americans have been present in this country since the early 1600’s, and have been making history since. We as Americans have studied American history all throughout school, and took one Month out of the year to studied African American history. Of course we learn some things about the important people and events in African American history, but some of the most important things remain untold which will take more than a month to learn about. Did African Americans have the same rights as white people during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s? This is the argument the author is trying to prove here by blacks not offered the same rights as whites and with the lynching of African Americans.
The 1890s witnessed the imposition of a new racial system in south that locked African Americans into the statue of second class citizenship, denying them many of the freedoms white Americans took for granted. In some southern states, the Populists made remarkable efforts to unite black and white small farmers on a common political and economic program. The obstacles to such an alliance were immense, not merely the heritage of racism and the political legacy of the Civil War, but the fact that many white Populists were landowning farmers while most blacks were tenants and agricultural laborers. Unwelcome the southern branches of Farmers’ Alliance, black farmers formed their own organization, the Colored Farmers’ Alliance. In 1891, they tried to organize a strike of cotton pickers on plantations in South Carolina, Arkansas, and Texas. The action was violently suppressed by local authorities and landowners, some of them sympathetic to the white Alliance but unwilling to pay higher wages to their own laborers. In general, southern white Populists’ racial attitudes did not differ significantly from those of their non Populists neighbors. Soon the failure of Populism hits the South.
As the most disadvantaged rural southerners, black farmers suffered the most from the region’s condition. In the Upper South, economic development offered some opportunities including mines, iron furnaces, and tobacco factories employed black laborers, and a good number of black farmers manage to acquire land. By the turn of the century, most of the great plantations had fallen to pieces, and many blacks acquired land and took up self sufficient farming. In most deep South however, African Americans owned a smaller percentage of the land in 1900 than they had at the end of Reconstruction. Neither Black voting nor Black office holding came to an abrupt end in 1877. Blacks continued to cast ballots in large numbers, although Democrats solidified their control of state and local affairs by redrawing district lines and substituting appointive for elective officials in countries with black majorities. A few blacks even served in Congress in the 1880s and 1890s. Nonetheless, political opportunities became more and more restricted for African Americans.
The Southern States between 1890 and 1906, enacted laws or constitutional provisions meant to eliminate the black vote. Since the fifteenth amendment prohibited the use of race as a qualification for the suffrage.