week 3 assignment Essay

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The Events that changed African American History

Jacovah Ling

HIS 204 American History Since 1865

Jillmarie Murphy


To begin with, the history of African Americans proves to be long, difficult and full of challenges. However, having a closer look at the development of the African Americans' social position, one may notice a dramatic leap. Since 1865, the history of the given ethnicity has acquired a completely new direction and coloring. In other words, due to the strong inner power, commitment and faith, African Americans less than in 200 years managed to win the right to declare their identity. In December, 1865,Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which outlawed slavery. (Painter, 2006, p. 125) The resolution approved by Abraham Lincoln stated that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." ("13th Amendment," 1865) This was the beginning of the Reconstructing era. In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment outlawed the denial of the right of African American men to vote by stating that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied [...] on account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude." ("15th Amendment," 1869) Yet, the given amendment had not been realized for approximately a century. The majority of African Americans was finally registered to vote only in the middle of the XXth century. Nevertheless, the Fifteenth Amendment contributed to the shift in perception of legal rights of African Americans. In 1915, Garter G. Woodson and Morrland founded the ASNLH (the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.) Woodson always believed that "[...] slavery could not be defended." (Woodson, 2010) He deemed that publishing the scientific history about the tough experience of African Americans will reveal the crucial role they played in the development of the civilization. In the long run, a great many of scientists followed a Woodson's initiative. In 1963, April, African Americans began a campaign under the leadership of Martin Luther King against the discrimination. Having delivered a meaningful and emotional speech, Martin Luther King encouraged thousands of his followers to struggle for equality. Stating "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," King was ready to start a fight against outdated racial stereotypes. (King, 1963) In 1969, the unitary school system was introduced. Nixon, the thirty seventh president of the United States, was an eager supporter of the school desegregation. In his speech "Statement About Desegregation of Elementary and Secondary Schools", delivered in 1970, the President claimed that he was intended "to place the question of school desegregation in its larger context, as part of America's historic commitment to the achievement of a free and open society. " (Nixon, 1970) In 2008, Barack Obama was elected the forty-fourth president of the U.S. As a matter of fact, such an American choice has completely swept away all the racial stereotypes in the political life of the country. In addition, according to the survey conducted by The New York Times, the young generation in its majority supported Obama. To be more precise, “seven in 10 voters under 30 backed Mr. Obama.” (Nagourney, 2008) To conclude, African Americans had faced hard times full of struggle, pursuit and a strong desire to be accepted by the society. Indeed, they had to come a long way to manifest their right for self-determination. In the long run, they managed to