Essay about civil right

Submitted By yung-wolff
Words: 376
Pages: 2

The enslavement of African Americans beginning in the earliest days of our founding as a colony of England, and ending in 1865, represents the most fundamental denial of rights. Slaves had no rights whatsoever, and were even beaten, raped, and killed by their white owners and overseers. During this time, even freedmen risked re-enslavement if they were suspected of being a runaway slave. Slavery was officially banned in the United States with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment at the end of the Civil War. After being freed, African Americans were also provided with the same rights afforded to all Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship and equal protection, and the Fifteenth Amendment provided all males with the right to vote. However, shortly after Reconstruction ended, African Americans once again were denied basic civil rights.

Jim Crow laws were passed and Black Codes were designed to keep African Americans in conditions very close to the previous servitude. Eventually, racial segregation took hold, and in 1896 the landmark Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson established the Separate But Equal Doctrine. This stated that so long as the facilities provided for each race were equal, they were legal. Thus, legal segregation would be the norm for at least the next fifty years. Plessy v. Ferguson was eventually overturned in 1954 in the Brown v. Board case in which the Supreme Court decided that all public schools were to integrate as quickly as possible. Then, Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus to