Historical Report on Race Essay

Submitted By mommacarla
Words: 917
Pages: 4

African Americans have faced many hardships throughout U.S. history. Though they still face discrimination today, they have made many significant contributions to every aspect of the American society. Within this chapter, we will discuss some of the many hardships they were forced to endure at the White man’s hand. African Americans were brought to America from Africa for the sole purpose of slavery. It was not a new concept to Europe or Africa, but the forced migration of African Americans was new to the American history (http://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/an-overview-of-the-african-american-experience). Slavery started in the mid-1500’s, with African Americans forced to migrate to America on slave vessels. While they were on the vessel, African Americans were chained below deck in coffin sized racks and an estimated one-third of Blacks died at sea. Once in America, they were sold to White men as plantation workers. Some families were separated and all slave owners were allowed to punish their slaves harshly.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, some African Americans gained their freedoms. While some acquired property, many moved to the North. Those that were in the North fought during the Civil War, alongside the White men, to liberate their people. In the 1800’s, the slaves were finally freed. The African Americans were able to start their own churches and schools, purchase land, and vote themselves into office. By 1870, there had been 22 African American representatives sent to Congress.
Though African Americans had accomplished this achievement, their hardships were far from over. The Ku Klux Klan organized terrorist raids and lynchings, along with burning their churches, homes and schools in protest to the Blacks emancipation (http://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/an-overview-of-the-african-american-experience). The African Americans lived under the constant threat of violence. In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed. This organization was formed to abolish segregation and discrimination in housing, education, employment, voting, and transportation and for securing their constitutional rights (www.britannica.com/blackhistory). The African Americans were forced to abide by the Jim Crow Laws. These laws were any laws that required the segregation of Blacks and Whites in the South between the Reconstruction of 1877 and the beginning of the strong Civil Rights movement of 1950’s (www.britannica.com). The state legislatures passed laws requiring the separation of white people from that of “person of color” in schools and transportation. It eventually included all aspects of life, such as parks and restaurants. The law was codified into state and local laws by the “separate but equal” decision of the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896 (www.britannica.com). The decision was reversed in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, where it was declared unconstitutional. The most famous boycott against the Jim Crow Laws was when an African American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up on the bus to a White person in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 (http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/2470). The boycott did not end there; many more African Americans took a stand against the segregation with some of the people being injured during the boycotts. There were several legislations meant to alleviate prejudicial boundaries. The Emancipation Proclamation, and later the 13th Amendment, freed the African Americans from slavery. These legislations did not make the African Americans equal but they allowed them to no longer be treated as possessions…