American History 7th Period
To Overcome and Achieve the American Dream.
The Fight for Blacks Rights
Setting: South Carolina. July 13th, 1904. Three poor African American Men who work in Agricultural are drinking in an all black saloon.
Hurner- My future in this country is so utterly depressing and hopeless. We become emancipated only to realize it means nothing to our actual amount freedom in this country. "There is no manhood future in the United States for the Negro" (Turner, 44). The social inferiority of blacks caused by segregation (Jim Crow laws), and the potency of racism in this country "the Negro has nothing to expect without social equality with the whites, and that the whites will never grant it" (Turner 45). Because of various legal devices (the grandfather clause, the poll tax, literacy tests, "good character", and other laws) used by racist and powerful government officials, our ability to vote is gone, our one chance to participate in this democracy and changing it for the better. And we had so much hope in the the fifteenth amendment, but it was no match for overpowering and constant force of white supremacy in this country. The degrading effect this oppression has on blacks will be "ad infitum" (turner 46). And most of all, I need my own land, and I'm willing to leave this country to get it.
Bookington- Blacks are certainly in an unfortunate and difficult situation. African-Ameican societal inequalities can be mostly attributed the economic dependency we are facing due to the immensely detrimental effects of slavery and white fear. I do though have an optimistic belief in future equality in this country, but with that opinion I am the minority.
Idells- Economic dependency is most definitely a serious problem, but something that truly disturbs me is "There is little difference between the Ante-bellum south and the New South" (Well's, 37). With the use of black codes, including vagrancy laws, and labor contracts, also known as debt peonage. slavery has been re-established with a new list of names. The oppressiveness of these laws is matched if not outdone by the "growing disregard for human life" (Wells, 37). In the past fifteen years over 1357 African American have been lynched, the vast majority not even guilty of a crime, only guilty of trying to rise above the oppression of a society governed by white supremacists. The Ku Klux Klan terrorizes African Americans with whippings and murders, and these are common happenings! In many places if blacks do not refer to whites as Master and Mistress they are whipped! The white man "have cheated him [African Americans] out of his ballot, depreived him of civil rights or redress in the Civil Courts thereof, robbed him of the fruits of his labour, and are still murdering, burning and lynching him" (Wells, 37). Let their be no illusion that slavery has ended at all.
-A well dressed lighter skinned black man enters the bar and sits on one of the front stools.
Hurner- Well look at this man with his nice apparel and his light skin. He must think he is so much better then me with my raggedy drab clothes and dark skin. [takes a huge gulp of his alcoholic beverage]. Lets see what he's all about.
-Hurner's friends are wary of letting him confront the man, but are nonetheless curious themselves as to who this man is.
-Men walk over to the man of interest.
Hurner- Hey you. You look like you're not from around these parts. Where are you from, and what brings you to South Carolina?
Wubois- Well I am a professor from New York and have come down south to look at schools in search of students who qualify as the smartest 10% out of all African American students, a job that is the most important in bettering the social equality of African Americans.
Hurner- What are you going to do once you find these students who qualify as the smartest 10% of all African Americans?
Wubois- Well then I am going