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