Study "African-American / Black Studies" Essays 111-165

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W.E.B. DuBois Term Paper

… W.E.B Du Bois

W.E.B. Dubois is one of the great precursors of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and other civil right activists from the 20th century. His ideas of Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism. Symbolically, his death came on the eve of the 1963 march on Washington, one of the key moments of civil rights actions in the United States. Born in Massachusetts, Dubois had an early interest about the condition of the Black individual in the U.S., as well as his origins and history. Despite the fact that he lived in a community with few Black inhabitants, he went south at an early age, traveling to Nashville, Tennessee, where he studied at Fisk.

The discrimination seen in Tennessee and the general attitude towards the Black population turned Dubois into a determined activists, aiming to obtain complete, de facto emancipation of the Black population. As a writer and editor, he would begin dedicating his time to encourage emancipation and equal rights. As a teacher at a local county school, he would also use this opportunity to drive down in the conscience of the Black population, to obtain first hand information on the problems they faced and their necessities.

While continuing his education at Harvard and then in Europe, at the prestigious University of Berlin, Dubois had the chance to see and analyze race problems at a global level and different continents and to witness and research such issues in Africa, Asia or the Americas, while at the same time living the European developments. His final doctoral research paper is called the Suppression of the African Slave Trade in America and was presented at Harvard. As we can see from the title, this tends to be an exhaustive (it is considered the authority on this subject even today) study of slave trade and its suppression in America. Dubois contribution to civil rights in this phase is research-based, an approach aimed at understanding the past and its present effects before working on improving these.

Study continued in the following years as well. Benefiting from a position with the University of Pennsylvania, he obtained the opportunity of conducting a research project on Philadelphia's slums, but also of digging more into the Black social system.

He continued to write while working at the Atlanta University and his studies and research began to spread over a wide variety of subjects related to Black culture, morality, urbanization, church and beliefs or crime. His research included research on Africa and African history and culture, as a potential framework of explanations and cultural development.

As a civil rights activist, Dubois proposed the existence of higher education for a small, privileged share of the Black population, thus placing himself on an opposing position than Booker T. Washington, who had believed that an industrial education of the Black population should be approached, which would ensure basic education for most of the population. He formed the Niagara Movement in 1906, with the declared objective to "advocate civil justice and abolish caste discrimination."… [read more]

Invisibility as an Escape From Racial Degradation Term Paper

… Invisibility as an Escape From Racial Degradation

There is no point in blinding yourself to the truth. Don't blind yourself," (Ellison 192); one cannot ignore the racial tensions of the United States for they are much too prevalent in every… [read more]

Harlem Renissance and Negritude Writers the History Term Paper

… Harlem Renissance and Negritude Writers

The history of the African continent has been a long series of tormenting events. Some of the most important aspects that have defined and influenced its evolution however, are in strict connection with the era… [read more]

Martin Luther King Through the Lens Term Paper

… Martin Luther King

Through the Lens of Love and Faith

Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral… [read more]

There Eyes Were Watching God Term Paper

… ¶ … Eyes Were Watching God

Janie Crawford's Emancipation and Path to Self-Realization: A Gender-based analysis of Janie's Characterization in Their Eyes Were Watching God

The African-American heritage in the American society has experienced a long history of bondage to… [read more]

Martin Luther King the Story Term Paper

… Martin Luther King

The story of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is the story of America's most important civil rights leader. He was responsible for significantly raising the nation's awareness over civil rights issues and for working to have… [read more]

Mis-Education of the Negro Carter Term Paper

… Obviously, though, the attitude was a two-edged sword in that a reaction built in which those who saw the moral wrong of slavery and who considered themselves morally superior had to fight against the institution and all it represented.

Attitudes… [read more]

Brown vs. Board of Education Term Paper

… African-American History: Brown v. Board of Education

African-Americans have had a long and painful encounter with subjugation, oppression and brutality. Their history is undeniably plagued with inhumane treatment and violence simply on the basis of their skin color. Man stooped to its lowest possible status when he began discriminating against people on color and race. No single race has had as unfortunate a history as African-Americans who were rudely denied their rights during slavery era and were arrogantly kept away from the same after emancipation. Many blacks were hopeful of a better life when Abraham Lincoln declared emancipation for every black slave in the country. However since he himself died soon after, Blacks faced an uphill task getting their due share of public place during Reconstruction and prior to the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s. Victory in the Civil War of 1860s had assured African-Americans that they would get equal rights in the United States which however was one promise that did not materialize for very long. African-Americans were looked down upon in the South and they did not even have the right to sit next to white people in public buses. In the South black people were required to sit at the back as front seats were reserved for whites. This was a highly unfair law, which caused humiliation to many blacks especially a professor named Jo Ann Robinson. Blacks who were desirous of equal rights started the civil rights movement in 1950s to uphold Thomas Jefferson's democratic ideals, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."[1])

Reconstruction should have been a time to rejoice and celebrate for blacks in the South. But that was not the case. Blacks suffered immensely at the hands of severe racial differences that plagued the country and had sharpened with the proclamation. The administration did little or nothing to ease the transition process. Frederick Douglass expressed his disappointment in these words: "You say you have emancipated us. You have; and I thank you for it. But what is your emancipation? When the Israelites were emancipated they were told to go and borrow of their neighbors -- borrow their coin, borrow their jewels, load themselves down with the means of subsistence; after, they should go free in the land which the Lord God gave them...But when You turned us loose, you gave us no acres. You turned us loose to the sky, to the storm, to the whirlwind, and, worst, of all you turned us loose to the wrath of our infuriated masters." long series of struggles began when reconstruction failed to make the dream of liberty come true. Voting rights were not yet granted to blacks and to make matters worse racial segregation had not been abolished in schools and other departments. Racial segregation in schools was a major sign of discrimination because young generation of… [read more]

Martin vs. Malcolm Term Paper

… Malcolm

Martin Luther King was born to the Reverend Martin Luther King and Mr. Martin Luther King in the year 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was their first-born son and was named after his father. The young Martin Luther King,… [read more]

Caribbean Slavery Black Term Paper

… In Haiti's case, it resulted in the flight and massacre of the white population. In other Caribbean republics, black suffrage brought with it white flight. On one notion there is certainty: once an oppressed population with a vast numeric majority gives birth to leaders capable of mobilizing them to action, little can be done to return them to servitude. European powers lost 70 thousand troops trying to subdue the black slave population of Haiti. To this day, production levels are inferior to those experienced in colonial times and the dictatorships and disease characteristic of African republics continue to plague the island. Jamaica is dependent on a tourist economy and suffers from real incomes inferior to those found in Eastern Europe. Trinidad and Tobago's black population, which constitutes slightly more than 40% of the islands, remains its poorest.

Hilary Beckles & Verene Shepherd. Caribbean Slave Society and Economy. Ian Randle Publishers Limited, Kingston, Jamaica. 1991.

Dale W. Tomich. Slavery in the Circuit of Sugar. The Johns Hopkins Library Press. 1990.

James Stephan. The Slavery of the British West India Colonies. Butterworth and Son; 1824.

B.W. Higman. Slave Populations and Economy in Jamaica, 1807-1834. Cambridge University Press 1976.

Erick Williams "Capitalism & Slavery" #2…… [read more]

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney Book Review

… It is hard for people in the modern period to understand exactly what it must have been life for African-Americans in the south before the end of segregation. Wilkerson explains it through Ida Mae. She writes:

White people were everywhere around her, but they were separate from her, in a separate schoolhouse, on separate land on the other side of a firewall that kept white and colored from occupying the same sidewalk. Colored people had to step off the curb when they passed a white person in town, and if the minutest privilege could be imagined, the ruling class claimed it (Wilkerson 31).

Even in places like the local bank where there were no signs ordered segregation, the people still separated themselves based upon their skin color. The differences between African-Americans and Caucasians was so ingrained within the culture that most places did not need to advertise that black people would be subverted; they just understood inherently that they would be oppressed by whites. By focusing on the individual stories of three very different African-American people, the author allows the reader to understand that each individual of those six million migrants had a story. Although the names and the details and the destination might be different, each person had a similar story of racial prejudices and crimes perpetrated against them in owrd or deed.

Lessons Learned from the Book:

In The Warmth of Other Suns, the reader becomes acquainted with three different African-Americans who fled the south in order to find a level of freedom in the northern states. Some went to Chicago, others to New York or San Francisco. Wherever they went, their story was similar. Life in the American south was intolerable because of the prejudices of the Caucasian people in the region. White people were in the sheriff's office; they owned the businesses and controlled the banks. White people held all the government offices in the southern states and all the federal representatives from the region were also white. No one born with brown skin had a hope of making a place for themselves in a state controlled by white people who were dedicated to keeping them down. By reading this book, the reader can more fully understand what it might have been like to live in such a time and place. The further people get chronologically from the time of segregation and institutional racism, the more difficult it is to understand exactly what it meant to those who experienced it.


The Warmth of Other Suns tells the biographical story of three African-Americans who risked everything to move away from the American south. They traveled by train and car and wagon to a new state and a big city. Each hoped to find employment and to better their lot in life. When they lived in the south, most African-Americans had meager jobs where they would barely earn enough to live on. Indeed some people made far less than was required to survive. Anything they did or… [read more]

Slavery Shaped Eighteenth-Century Colonial and Revolutionary America Essay

… ¶ … slavery shaped eighteenth-century colonial and Revolutionary America and analyze the role played by enslaved men and women in helping to shape the American Revolution and the early American Republic

The issue of slavery and servitude represented an important… [read more]

Sing America Metaphors Essay

… Reference to the "darker brother" is clearly reference to skin color, used as a basis for discrimination. The word "brother" is also a metaphor for the brotherhood of man -- the human family to which all men belong regardless of their differences.

The poem seems to reflect the hope that Hughes has for change to come to the country. It illustrates his desire to see his people gaining fair treatment and be recognized as deserving of basic freedoms and privileges just as other Americans. Hughes writes " Tomorrow/I'll be at the table/When company comes/Nobody'll dare/Say to me/"Eat in the kitchen,"/Then." (545). The reference to "sit at the table," has a literal meaning. However, the table metaphor also has a second, deeper meaning. It refers to the full partaking in the American dream, a luxury not afforded to Blacks in this era due to politics, laws, and bigotry.

The line "they'll see how beautiful I am / And be ashamed" is a metaphor for the eventual desegregation that would come to the country and how the current state of affairs would serve as an embarrassment to future generations and others in the world (Hughes 545). In addition, the racist climate of the day painted African-Americans in an inferior and "ugly" light. This was unfair. Hughes is speaking directly of the natural beauty of his people.

The inhuman treatment, lynching, and denial of basic democratic rights and freedoms to African-Americans based solely on the color of their skin would one day be viewed as a disgrace. For instance, the act of sending the Black worker into the kitchen in the presence of guests works as a metaphor for the country's attempt to hide and bury the problem of racism -- painting one image to the world (i.e. land of the free, all men are created equal, etc.) when the reality is quite the opposite (i.e., segregation and discrimination).

The powerlessness of the African-American would one day come to an end in Hughes' eyes. This is alluded to when he writes of the young men of the day "Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs" and "But I laugh,/And eat well,/And grow strong" (Hughes 545). The later Civil Rights Movement was full of impressive marches, protests, boycotts and movements that mobilized African-American communities and eventually led to social and political change in the country. Hughes believed in the strength of his people and their ability to endure and overcome.

Even the structure of the poem seems to be metaphoric. There is a rhythm in the way the piece reads -- it is irregular and free-form in construction. It seems to follow the uneven treatment of minorities of the day. The form of the poem is just as scattered and nonsensical as discrimination itself. It feels appropriate; a steady rhythm would make the poem sound as if all is well (Davidas 269). The irregularity of the work is itself a metaphor as unsteady as the social relationship between the races that existed back… [read more]

Coming of Age in Mississippi Essay

… The murderers were not properly punished by the justice system but the Mississippi newspaper nevertheless widely stated that the Court had handled the issue appropriately. Moody was distressed with the inaction and hopelessness of African-Americans. When she inquired about the murder of Emmet Till, they remained quiet and urged her to do the same. Her mother was against her involvement with NAACP and other Civil Rights organizations. Although Moody was disappointed with the behavior of other African-Americans, she eventually began to empathize with them because they did not want to lose even the severely limited rights they had.

The inability of African-Americans to challenge the political and social inequality was primarily rooted in grinding poverty they suffered from. African-Americans were so poor that they were afraid that joining Civil Rights Movement would further impoverish them and perhaps lead to starvation. Moody's family was also poor and she offers colorful comparisons between the economic conditions of Whites and Blacks. "It was the first time I had seen the inside of a white family's kitchen," Moody says, talking about the house where her mother worked as a maid. "That kitchen was pretty, all white and shiny. Mama had cooked that food we were eating too. 'If Mama only had a kitchen like this of her own,' I thought, 'she would cook better food for us'" (Moody 29). She began to see this glaring inequality as a child. She was initially angry with many African-Americans for being politically passive but later in her life Moody realized that struggling for civil rights was not their priority. First and foremost, African-Americans of Mississippi wanted bread and butter.

Moody eventually became a Civil Rights activist, joining civil disobedience acts and sit-ins. When she participated in a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Jackson, with another African-American and two White activists, they ended up being severely beaten by a group of White high school students. She was "dragged about thirty feet toward the door by hair" and "smeared with ketchup, mustard, sugar, pies, and everything on the counter," while "about ninety white police offers had been standing outside the sore; they had been watching the whole thing through the winder, but had not come in to stop the mob or do anything." Moody recalls: "After the sit-in, all I could think of was how sick Mississippi whites were. They believed so much in the segregated Southern way of life, they would kill to preserve it. . . . Before the sit-in I had always hated the whites in Mississippi. Now I know it was impossible for me to hate sickness. The whites had a disease, an incurable disease in its final stage. What were our chances against such a disease? (Moody 289-290). Moody herself began to lose hope in Mississippi.

The book ends emphasizing the very limited gains of Civil Rights action in Mississippi. As she is riding a bus with other activists to Washington D.C. And everyone is singing the anthem of the movement "we… [read more]

Oscar Micheaux's 1920 Motion Picture Essay

… ¶ … Oscar Micheaux's 1920 motion picture "Within Our Gates" provides a complex perspective concerning racism in the U.S. during the early twentieth century. The film is successful in emphasizing the importance of thinking objectively and it is meant to influence individuals in taking on a positive attitude regarding other members of the social order. In spite of the fact that the director is obviously well-intended and refrains from discriminating against white people, it appears that he exaggerated conditions in African-American communities with the purpose of uplifting their image. He uses religion as one of the primary tools assisting him in achieving success, as he acknowledged the fact that people in the U.S. were severely influenced by their determination to be religious.

One of the certain things about this film is the fact that it has the ability to trigger intense feelings in its viewers. However, some individuals might consider that it takes the topic too far and that it deliberately tries to influence audiences in getting the feeling that they should criticize society for how it treats African-Americans. All things considered, the film was made in a period when violent racism still existed in the U.S. And it only seems natural for the director to express interest in wanting to persuade audiences to see things from the perspective of African-Americans.

Although some might be inclined to believe that the film fails to provide viewers with sophisticated artistic power, it actually succeeds in doing so and it can be considered to be one of the most advanced motion pictures created during the era. Within Our Gates manages to produce the exact effects that its producers wanted it to put across. Micheaux wanted people to accept that a great deal of wrongdoings was occurring in a society that claimed to be highly developed.

The film educates viewers in regard to the condition of African-American individuals in the U.S. Moreover, Micheux intended to criticize even more aspects of the American society and he did not hesitate to relate to how women were openly discriminated. Many individuals who were discriminated at the time are probable to identify with the film's characters.

In addition to wanting the film to be appealing to individuals interested in white-black relations in the U.S. during the early twentieth century, the director also wants to emphasize the fact that it is especially irresponsible to discriminate individuals. The fact that the characters in his film come across problems experienced by a series of individuals across history makes it possible for viewers to understand that there is nothing different about African-Americans or about women, as everyone is basically the same and people are only differentiated as a result of the fact that other people are inclined to categorize on…… [read more]

Booker T. Washington's View of Reconstruction Essay

… Booker T. Washington's view of Reconstruction and its Impact upon African-Americans in the South.

Booker T. Washington was an American educationalist, novelist, speaker, and political leader. He was the leading person in the Black community in the United States from… [read more]

Booker T. Washington's View of Reconstruction and Its Impact Upon African Americans in the South Term Paper

… Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were the two most influential leaders of the African-American community during the period after Reconstruction and before the Civil Rights Era. However, they held very different ideas about how the African-American community was to advance in society. Washington believed that African-Americans were being held back by their lack of thrift, industry, and property, whereas DuBois believed that they were being held back by their lack of self-respect and culture. Thus, Washington focused on securing the material well-being of African-Americans, whereas DuBois cultivated their spiritual well-being.

Because Washington held the mantle of leadership directly before DuBois, the two approaches complemented each other perfectly. Washington helped the community develop the strength of character and practical means to advance their position and DuBois followed by cultivating their humanity and awareness of the world around them. The result was the subsequent generation of African-American leaders, like Martin Luther King Jr., who possessed the strength of character espoused by Washington and the broad-minded humanity espoused by DuBois.

Booker T. Washington's Views

Education -- Washington believed that African-Americans themselves were partly to blame for their condition due to their lack of education and character. Washington advocated a practical "industrial education," which would provide African-Americans with the skills and character traits to gain economic power. Washington promoted the building of vocational schools, which would teach African-American students an actual trade that they could make a living with.

Economic rights -- Booker T. Washington recognized that economic power was one of the few paths of advancement not denied to African-Americans. He believed that economic power was the key to further advancement for African-Americans. He reasoned that, if Whites begin to view African-Americans thrifty, industrious owners of property, African-Americans will eventually be granted equal rights.

Political rights -- Booker T. Washington took very conservative political positions on African-American political rights. He chose not to press the White South for civil rights, voting rights, or access to higher education for African-Americans. Instead, he accommodated Segregation as a means of building goodwill with the Whites. However, he did secretly fund legal battles involving the rights of African-Americans.

Leadership in the African-American communities of the United States -- Washington believed that the leaders of the African-American community should build support at the grassroots, community level. He also advocated cooperation with leaders of other powerful groups in order to build goodwill. He even promoted cooperation with the White Southerners who were opposed to the advancement of African-Americans.

Reconstruction -- Washington thought that the Reconstruction era did little to develop African-American capacity for self-reliance. He remembers that African-Americans "…looked to the federal government for everything, very much like a child looks to his mother…." (Slavery, Chapter 5) Because of this, he did not think that African-Americans were ready for the "duties of citizenship."

W.E.B. DuBois's Views

Education -- W.E.B. DuBois advocated a Liberal Arts education, which he described as training DuBois believed that education was crucial to rescue the African-American mind from centuries of psychological abuse and self-hate.… [read more]

Generations of Bondage Essay

… The next issue involves a discussion in which integrated schools in Denver still maintained a level of segregation. After the 1890's when the first Jim Crow laws were passed, the United States phenomenon of segregation became a lasting stain upon this country's history. Though slaves were free, they really were not free. To worsen things, in the late 1800's the Supreme Court actually authorized segregation and found the "separate but equal" law constitutional (Brown v. Board of Education Timeline of School Integration). Public schools are further segregated to whites vs. non-whites throughout the early 20th century until the 1950s when the Court finally remembers its constitution and finds the law unconstitutional. Thus, in 1952 the court finally hears the Brown case, and in a unanimous decision overturns Plessy vs. Ferguson, the case that had established segregation in schools. However, desegregation does not happen as smoothly as one would hope, and many schools remained segregated, or had a violent reaction to the new rules and some even hurt newly attending, Black students. [3: Referenced from < >.]

The Black Church, which is the next topic to be discussed, has a significant impact upon the lives of Kitty, Frank, Huey and Cyrus after the period of emancipation, as it often did in newly freed African-American's lives. The new church not only offered baptisms for newly born Americans, but was a reaction to the horrendous racism that was enveloping the country still. The Black Church thus became a beacon of hope in the face of the troubles which the community had experienced and continued to experience for a hundred more years. The Church also helped Blacks unite in a medium that promoted their culture and accepted their beliefs, which was very important for the community throughout the years. [4: Referenced from < / >.]

Another important element is the difference that African-American saw within their own communities. Even today, there is a clear difference between those who are born in America, and those who are born in Africa. Back then, it was no different. The American born Africans had a link to this country, no matter how painful, and did not know much about Africans. The latter, however, viewed the African continent as the rightful place to be and longed to go back, feeling no ties and only hatred towards their adoptive homeland. Displaced Africans thus undertook major efforts to try and retain their African culture. They kept the oral tradition of storytelling alive, for one, and later in the 20th century underwent important movements, such as the Harlem Renaissance. Even as part of the Black Church, African-Americans were overtly emotional about preaching and being preached to, and this was another characteristic that linked them to the traditions of the homeland. The Harlem Renaissance, on the other hand, spawned ways by which African-American authors and musicians would express their joys and their pains. This is an age of fantastic literature and poetry, and even better, jazz music.

Many African-American today still… [read more]

Zinn's a People's History Essay

… Although the African-American community has experience great hardship and slavery itself was an atrocity, I do not think that the United States should be forced to pay compensation to the descendants. Those alive today did not experience slavery. If the entire world were forced to pay for all the horrors that have occurred in the past, then nearly every group could make a demand for compensation if they were at all oppressed in the past.

3. Why would a European man or woman sign a contract of indenture? Was it a 'choice' or were other factors involved? How does this chapter shatter the myth that America was the land of freedom and opportunity? How are we similar today?

A European man or woman would be likely to sign a contract of indenture if they truly desired to leave for the New World and had no means to do so. Those in dire conditions truly believed that this was a land of opportunity and that the potential hardships would be nothing compared to the unhappiness they experienced in their daily lives. For some, they had no opportunities available to them in the Old World. Some were forced into indentured servitude through debtor's prison or exile. The dream of America as a land of freedom and opportunity has shown itself to be a lie. Many of those who first came to America, did so in chains. In modern America, there is no slavery but there are definite separations of race and class.

Works Cited:

Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States. New York: Harper. 1999. Print.… [read more]

Racism in the Bluest Eye Term Paper

… Bluest Eye

Beauty, Racism, and Identity in Toni Morrison's the Bluest Eye: Constructing a Sense of Self

The nineteenth century was not a great time to be dark skinned and living in America. Slavery was legal in much of the country throughout the majority of the century, and as the institution of slavery became ever more threatened during the century's progress the treatment of slaves and even of free African-Americans grew ever more extreme and negative in many instances. While obviously a major social problem that negatively impacted a large population of individuals, the position of African-Americans during the nineteenth century necessarily caused some deep-seated personal dilemmas and problems as well.

The end of slavery that came as a result of the Union's victory in the Civil War did not exactly fix things for African-Americans, however. Despite their new political and economic opportunities, there were still a great many legal as well as cultural barriers to African-Americans attempting to better their positions in United States' society. In addition, African-American individuals had to content with a world that viewed them in several different and often conflicting ways, leading to problems in attempts to construct personal as well as community identities. The African-American identities that grew out of this period were thus fragmented and indistinct, and individuals had to struggle against many disparate forces in order to carve out their own sense of self that was not dependent on others' constructs, beliefs, and prejudices. This problem persists in the African-American community to this day.

Much of the literature of the twentieth century actually deals with similar issues of the fragmentation and the ultimately constructed nature of identity, and African-American literature of the period reflected this larger trend from a very different perspective. Toni Morrison's novel the Bluest Eye deals with issues of racism and identity through the eyes of a young African-American girl watching her friend, Pecola, grow into a woman and attempt to find beauty and a sense of self. This is made incredibly difficult for the young African-American woman as she has very little in the way of positive guidance and reinforcement in any area of her life. Her mother's continued insistence on white and Anglo features as definitive of beauty are especially prominent throughout the book, making it difficult for Pecola to achieve a sense of self. Through systematic and institutionalized racism, beauty is very selectively defined in a manner that leaves it out of reach for many, just as many opportunities were closed to African-Americans during the time of the book's setting and arguably today.

Race, Beauty, and Identity

The relationship between racism and definitions of beauty and possibility that are so prevalent throughout the book represent a wider dichotomy between the definitions of the white world and the potentials and actualities of African-American existence. The entire social and cultural system, as well as the official avenues of power, are closed to African-Americans precisely because they do not meet specified standards of the dominant culture. This can be… [read more]

1920s to the 1950's and Civil Rights Movement Essay

… 1920s to the 1950's & Civil Rights Movement

The First and Second Civil Rights Reconstructions in American history were focused on restructuring the system with the purpose of bringing equality for every individual in the United States. In spite of the fact that people had high hopes for both of these movements, it rapidly became obvious that matters were critical and that the American society was not willing to experience change. Whereas the First Reconstruction was to a certain degree expected to experience failure, the Second Reconstruction appeared to have more chances to thrive, particularly given that the general public in the U.S. was presumed to learn from its mistakes. Even though there were a series of factors impeding the reform strategy taken on in the early 1950s such as insufficient support from the masses, strong discrimination put across by racist whites, and lack of power expressed by African-Americans, the Second Reconstruction experienced success in reforming the American system and eventually managed to put an end to the set of discriminatory laws that previously prevented people in the country from living in a bona fide democracy.

The First Reconstruction was mainly meant to assist African-Americans in gaining equality in the U.S. society through having access to politics, economy, and to virtually everything that white people had access to. The Second Reconstruction was to a certain degree similar to the first, only that it was concentrated on liberal convictions, with the American public apparently being determined to put an end to discrimination against minorities. African-Americans were initially provided with equal rights during the beginning of the First Reconstruction, only for the government to later limit and even take away some of these rights toward the end of the reform period. Matters once again appeared to be promising for the African-American public in the United States in the 1950s, as the general public held diverging convictions regarding the situation and were influenced by the slavery period to a much lesser degree. One can however consider that it was not necessarily because of the way white people saw the problem during the first and second reconstruction periods that the government decided to grant equal rights to African-Americans. Instead, this could have probably happened because matters were different in 1950 from how they were in 1865 and people in the U.S. lived in accordance to different values, acknowledging the fact that in order for their society to thrive they had to employ a liberal approach to the situation.

One of the main reasons for which the First Reconstruction experienced notable failure in reforming the system was that Republicans were unable to put into effect their authority in the South, considering that the Republican Party had not previously been present in the territory. In contrast, the biracial coalition during the Second Reconstruction managed to impose its power in Southern States because it simply took power from the hands of the Southern Democratic Party, with the apparent reason of continuing the institution's dealings in the area.… [read more]

African-American Folklore Essay

… Malcolm X Grassroots

Malcolm X's "Message to the Grassroots"

Maloclm X was known for the strength of his speeches and words and the absolutely unequivocal nature of his stance against white people as the oppressors of African-Americans, whom he referred to as Negroes in what appeared to be a constant reminder of the degradation that colored people suffered (and arguably still suffer in some areas and instance) at the hands of whites. The way in which he says "so-called Negores" and other similar things when referring to the crowd before him and other people of color reinforces this interpretation, and it also speaks to the overall message Malcolm X is delivering in this speech specifically. His attempting to solidify the community of colored people, especially within the United States but also internationally, and one of the ways to do that is to remind his listeners that they have a "common enemy" and a "common oppressor." Few things are able to bring people together more quickly and surely, if only temporarily, than a common dislike or mistrust of someone else. This can be seen in the gossip and ever-changing alliances that take place in junior highs across the country, but it is no less true of adults facing very real social problems with deep historic roots.

Malcolm X's repeated invocation of white people as the collective enemy (collective both as a group themselves, and in the sense that they draw the various oppressed groups and individuals closer together by dint of their common oppression) is not an end in and of itself, though it is certainly a true belief that Malcolm X held. Instead, it is a means to the larger end of unifying people of color in their struggle for equal rights and respect. This is the overall message of Malcolm X's speech; it requires unity of purpose to accomplish anything, and this does not just mean unity of the powerful figures at the front of…… [read more]

Bechtel Power Corporations Use of Objective Welding Tests Term Paper

… ¶ … Welding Test

Bechtel Power Corporation's Use of Objective Welding Tests

Did the company attempt to help Ligons maintain and upgrade his welding competence?

Charles Ligons, an African-American, was a welder for Bechtell Power Corporation at the Iowa Electric Light and Power Duane Arnold Energy Center construction site for one week before he was required to report to the test shop for training and testing. The reason he was asked to do so was because he had been observed by a welding engineer as having improperly prepared a weld. Even though he had passed a test qualifying him under at-LH to perform heliarc welding before coming to Bechtel, Ligon failed the same test after training for a week. He therefore was not qualified to work in the position for which he was hired, that of welding at an at-LH level. Obviously, the position for which he was hired was then left unfilled for 18 months, the amount of time he worked for them as a simple welder.

When Ligon was laid off, 58 other welders, all white, were also laid off. This does not show discrimination, as Ligon represented the proper percentage, according…… [read more]

Malcolm X And Martin Luther King, Jr Term Paper

… Malcolm X Martin Luther King Jr.

Civil Rights -- an International Movement for Justice

Both Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcolm X were assassinated at a time when they began to develop a more international perspective on the condition of African-Americans. What are the implications of each leader's changing perspective?

Although Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcolm X are associated with different factions of the American Civil Rights movement, both leaders brought an international perspective to the persecution of African-Americans. Martin Luther King Jr., even though he was largely identified as a speaker mainly concerned about the fate of African-Americans within the U.S. borders, initially adopted the Indian nationalist Gandhi's strategy of nonviolence to claim the rights of African-Americans to equal treatment under the law. King was a Christian minister, yet he was able to see the parallels between the oppression of his people within the borders of America with that of the oppressed Hindu and Muslim nationals of India in their colonized context.

Malcolm X began his life as Malcolm Little, an admitted drug addict and criminal, who was redeemed through Islam, a non-American religion, and framed his own redemption in the context of a conversion narrative, and a narrative of nationalism that ultimately allied armed colonial struggle with the fight for African-American rights: "The same thing happened in Algeria, in Africa. They didn't have anything but a rifle," he said in one of his addresses making an analogy between the violent (as opposed to non-violent) colonial resistance of the successful Islamic resistance against the French in Algiers with the struggle of his people at home.

Malcolm X famously refused to foreswear all violence unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. The title of his 1964 speech "The Ballot or the Bullet," still suggested that the ballot, or voting and participating in American civic institutions were not enough to win justice for African-Americans. "Whether you are -- whether you are a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem. They don't hang you because you're a Baptist; they hang you 'cause you're black. They don't attack me because I'm a Muslim; they attack me 'cause I'm black. They attack all of us for the same reason; all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We're all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation -- all of them from the same enemy. The government has failed us; you can't deny that. Anytime you live in the twentieth century, 1964, and you walkin' around here singing 'We Shall Overcome,' the government has failed us," Malcolm X preached (427). In short, greater participation with the American system would be like the oppressed individuals in French-controlled Algiers demanding to be given full French citizenship rather than independence. Colonialism was unjust, and the extrication of Blacks from African had been unwilling, and thus Blacks had more in common with Africans than White Americans. As Malcolm X was later to say… [read more]

Job Market Family Rearing and Environmental Influence Term Paper

… ¶ … Familial and Environmental Influences on Job Market Prospects and Quality of Work Life Reported by African-Americans

Previous studies suggest that African-Americans spend much of their time engaged at work and that the quality of work life reported among… [read more]

Slavery, the Civil War Term Paper

… The abolitionist movement was also gaining strength throughout the country through the activism of people such as John Brown. Lincoln's victory in the 1860 election as the candidate for the new Republican Party borne from the Free-Soil and Liberty parties… [read more]

Frederick Douglass' "Narrative Term Paper

… Sophia Auld provides Douglass with his first bit of knowledge, and with the foundation, he builds his learning upon it. Sophia, however, illustrates the effects that slavery has on the slave owner. White Americans without slaves sometimes had pity for the slaves, but never understood how slave holding, and the power that is entailed, would turn someone sweet-natured, and God-fearing into what Sophia Auld transforms into - a mean, power-hungry, bitter woman. Douglass not only wrote his narrative to expose the cruelty that slaves are subjected to, but to also let Americans bear witness to the negative effects that slavery caused on the slave holders as well. Slave owners were usually Christians, and used their corrupt interpretations to justify their cause - Douglass hopes to cause concern among Christians who didn't support slavery - their religious beliefs were being wrongfully used. It wasn't enough for masters to be kind to their slaves - slaveholding itself was wrong.

Douglass provides excruciatingly detailed accounts of violence throughout the novel. Douglass didn't exaggerate - he wanted to paint a truthful portrait of the senseless violence of slavery - a portrait that was played down in the media (or ignored all together) and certainly justified by many through their own distorted beliefs. Again, those who were not around slavery were sheltered to the true events that happened on a daily basis on a plantation - children who had to go naked because their clothes wore out, slaves receiving one blanket but no bed, masters producing illegitimate children who were then treated cruelly by the masters' wives, slaves being severely beaten - even children slaves - just to prove a point to the other slaves. And slaves that tell on other slaves are rewarded, again stripping slaves of any sense of brotherhood or family. White slave holders, on the other hand, stick together no matter what.

Douglass reaffirms his Christianity in the appendix to his autobiography in an attempt to not alienate Christian readers. He wants all Americans to read his book, and he doesn't want to condemn Christianity as the source of slavery. He again wants to unite all Americans against the evils of slavery, and maybe if they can see the threat that slavery is imposing upon their religious integrity, they might begin to see the truth instead of the lies.

Douglass believed that because the Northern Americans didn't own slaves, they weren't economically prosperous. When he arrived in Massachusetts, he was astonished at the economic boom he saw. Douglass uses this incident as another example as to the myths that people have believed are true about slavery - that rich people MUST own slaves - that one cannot be rich without slaves. With each myth he is able to prove wrong, Douglass is again showing how slavery isn't needed, or justified, and how slavery is wrong.

Douglass' "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" makes astounding progress in the fight to abolish slavery. Douglass uses his own life, with no embellishment, to… [read more]

Seemed to Happen Around Me Term Paper

… "My goodness, can you believe that 50, 60 years ago we actually lived in a segregated society? I admire the people, both white and black, who fought for Civil Rights in the 60s. It was a bit of a struggle but we made it!" She smiled. "I was around, and I remember my sister marching in one of the rallies, but I was too young to really grasp the importance of the movement. Now I can't imagine where we would be without Mr. King. Although I guess it would just have had to be someone else to carry the message. It was inevitable. You can only oppress a people for so long before the bough breaks. I think we're still suffering the results of slavery today, so the Civil Rights movement is still alive!" nodded in agreement. The remnants of slavery are evident in the inner cities and the ghettos. The 1960s was a culmination of years of pain and struggle and African-Americans still do have to fight for their rights and freedoms. The law may prevent schools from being segregated, but blacks are still beaten by white cops, and profiled when they drive. Prejudice is alive and well, even though many people deny it. Sure the situation is better than it was before the Civil Rights movement,…… [read more]

Race the Problems Essay

… Of course, even the most media illiterate audience member is aware of African-American superstars such as Beyonce or Kanye West, yet the audience thinks these kinds of African-Americans are the rare case, and likely, these rare cases came from backgrounds depicted in the show. It is no secret that many famous African-American stars boast of their impoverish backgrounds as a way to commemorate their current achievements, such as Jay Z (former heroin dealer), Notorious B.I.G. (former marijuana and crack dealer), or 50 Cent (former drug dealer and gun shot victim).

It is also difficult to contend and battle urban mythos of poverty in regards to race when one can see the urban myth playing in front of one's eyes. The example of "Kyesha's Dilemma" (Newman, 2001) is a stark reality for many African-Americans. How can people of color or people of other marginalized groups fight against myths of urban poverty when for her, it is not a myth, it is a reality. It is a reality for many of the people in Kyesha's life. The myths of urban poverty are fairly static. African-Americans are born poor and they remain poor for their lifetimes. There is little mention of how various institutions are problematic when interacting and servicing people of color. Or if there is mention, those outside of the myth argue that people of color are "lazy," "doomed," or blame others instead of taking responsibility.

It is the opinion of the author that the creators and producers of The Wire did not intend to perpetuate urban myths of race and poverty. It is the opinion of the paper that shows such as The Wire intend to display a reality unknown to the average American citizen and that that reality needs our attention whether the viewer is the subject of the myths, or an outsider of the myths. Shows such as these intend to expose audiences to sociological phenomena that should be resolved and eventually eradicated. The primary goal of the show is show this reality, so that we as a culture can figure out how to eradicate it because it is eating away at our culture and creating deeper divisions between the races and classes, as if enough did not already exist.


Dreier, P. And J. Atlas. 2009. The Wire - Bush-Era Fable About America's Urban Poor. City & Community, 8: 329-340.

Edin, K. And K. Harris. 1998. Getting Off and Staying Off: Racial Differences in the Work Route off Welfare. Pages 270-301: Latinas and African-American Women at Work: Race, Gender, and Economic Inequality, New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.

Newman, K. 2001. Hard Times on 125th Street: Harlem's Poor Confront Welfare Reform.…… [read more]

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Prsident Thesis

… Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Prsident Franklin Delano Roosevelt's relationship to the African-American community and civil rights is somewhat complex. His wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, is an undisputed champion of racial equality in the United States, and her sentiments found their way into his politics at least to a small degree, but his record is very much a mixed bag when it comes to the issue of race. There are some ways in which Roosevelt could be considered a "friend" to African-Americans, and many ways in which this is simply not the case.

One of the most important things Roosevelt did in terms of establishing greater racial equality was issuing an executive order making racial consideration in hiring by the federal government an unsanctioned practice. Not only did this drastically change official and unofficial hiring practices in the government, but it also sent a signal to the business world. This type of move, however, was more the exception during Roosevelt's presidency than the rule, and in reality its effects were not nearly as strong or as widespread as might be hoped.

Some more direct and telling examples of Roosevelt's race relations come from his continued buckling to pressure from Southern white Democrats, who formed the majority of Roosevelt's party, on issues of segregation and anti-lynching laws. In these areas, Roosevelt showed himself to be a man of political expediency rather than someone committed to principles of racial equality. Though the Great Depression and World War II certainly demanded attention and action, Roosevelt also used them as an excuse to appease his party members in the area of racial disparity.

March on Washington

Despite…… [read more]

Culture and Society Term Paper

… One of the foremost organizations that have significantly influenced the development of the Hispanic community in the past and present is the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). Founded in 1973, the LCLAA is a national Latino trade union association. Their continuing goal is to unite Hispanic workers and promote economic advancement in the Hispanic community. Just as the NAACP, the LCLLA will continue to benefit future generations.

In terms of responding to needs, someone in the counseling field would have to respond differently based on what services and programs exist for African-Americans and Hispanics at the time.


Economic development" 2003. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. February 11, 2003.

What is LCLAA?" 2003. Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.…… [read more]

Martin Luther King Term Paper

… As one of the most celebrated African-American civil rights leaders of all time Martin Luther King holds a very special place in our history. Still today, African-Americans along with other groups against which have been discriminated are trying to follow his words and peacefully fight for their natural civil rights. King spoke to African-Americans by speaking of the exact situations and troubles that plagued them then and now and has, in doing that left an ever-lasting impression. Standing at our nation's capitol Martin Luther King told African-Americans and persecuted people everywhere that "one day… the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood," this statement symbolically says so much more to African-Americans than it does on face value. He is saying that some day people will be able to join together in peace without the persecution that existed then and still exists today; that some day freedom will ring in every village, town, city, and suburb without regards to religion, skin color, gender, political views or any other difference among human beings. Such strong comments were given high praise then and still today in everyone's hearts are embraced.

Through his famous "I Have A Dream" speech Doctor Martin Luther King Junior gave a call to all African-Americans and other persecuted groups to be free and to stand up for themselves and what they believe. Of all the African-American civil rights leaders the most famous of all is Martin Luther King Jr., a peaceful man who wanted nothing more than peace on earth, however that is easier to say that to actually put into action. For centuries upon centuries there have been certain groups of people or single people who are discriminated against for different reasons, but what it comes down to is that they are different. Unfortunately, for many years to come there will be discrimination but our hope as a nation and united world is that with each year and generation the discrimination will lessen until finally it is gone and we can live in peace.… [read more]

C.O.R.E. and Its Role Case Study

… The old value-system - a grudging acceptance of their lot as second-class citizens - would have to be replaced by a new understanding of the role of Blacks in American society. As Miss Jane Pittman, the centenarian former slave and… [read more]

Reparations Are Americans of African Term Paper

… 1%). In other large cities such as Detroit, New York and Cleveland, roughly the same numbers were recorded. It has also been noted, (Levin, Itzkoff), that in Harlem between 1905 and 1925, only 3% of all families were headed by… [read more]

History African Diaspora (Subject)- Fredrick Thesis

… One of the important aspects about Douglass' interest in being an American ambassador in Haiti was the fact that he believed the country to be "the Black Republic; the only self-made Black Republic in the world" (Douglass 1893). Douglass considered… [read more]

American Slavery Research Paper

… The three most notable African-American abolitionists were: David Walker, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth.

Walker was noted for his promotion of violent resistance among slaves and his commitment to helping individual slaves escape from slavery; in fact, a bounty was placed on his head and he died under mysterious circumstances. Douglass and Truth took a more conventional approach to abolition; they did not incite violence by the slaves, but they traveled extensively, speaking out about the evils of slavery, based up on their personal experience as former slaves.

Finally, the 1800s the relationship between race and slavery became solidified. During colonial times it was not unusual for whites to come to the colonies as indentured servants. These servants would basically have sold themselves into slavery for a certain period of time, in order to pay for their passage to the New World. Likewise, even kidnapped slaves could initially save up and purchase their own freedom. Therefore, in the early days of the country, there was a much more fluid border between freeman and slave, and there were not as many racial overtones to slavery. However, as America became more dependent upon slave labor, it became increasingly less advantageous for slave-owners to allow their slaves to buy their freedom. In addition, it became more important, financially, not only for slave-owners to be able to own slaves, but also to exercise total dominion over them. This type of treatment of a human being was seemingly irreconcilable with a country built upon the principle of personal liberty. Therefore, it became important to dehumanize slaves. "False sciences and religious zealotry were the primary fervent justifications for how black slaves were treated…Social and political illusionists who purveyed racial inferiority, genetic deficiencies, primal instinct and infantile proclivities successfully convinced a nation that it was in fact acceptable to treat blacks as property because it was scientifically and religiously sanctioned and preordained."

This overt racism increased dramatically during the 1800s, which resulted in slave codes that allowed greater latitude in the negative treatment of slaves as well as offered punishment for behaviors aimed at treating slaves like humans, such as bans on teaching slaves to read or write. All of these elements contributed to a racial atmosphere that justified slavery, not because it was an economic necessity, but because of racist attitudes that pointed to Africans and African-Americans as inferior to whites.

While slavery had always been a difficult issue in historical America, it became the defining social, political, and economic issue of the 1800s. Three main factors contributed to the importance of slavery in those three arenas: the Louisiana Purchase and the related expansion of slavery into new American territories, an abolitionist movement that considered slavery to be immoral, and the development of racist stereotypes that justified the existence of a slave-labor-based economic system. Understanding these three factors not only helps one understand American history during the 1800s, but also provides startling insight into many social and cultural issues in modern America.


American Anthropological Association.… [read more]

Slavery and the Slave Economy Thesis

… Slavery in Colonial America

Slavery and the Slave Economy

Modern observers likely know in general terms that many Africans were enslaved through the 17th to 19th Centuries, but few probably know the extent of suffering that newly enslaved Africans endured… [read more]

Struggle for Black Equality Book Review

… ¶ … Black Equality

When Harvard Sitkoff published his book (The Struggle for Black Equality, in 1981) Barack Obama was 20 years old. Today of course Obama has ascended to the White House in part because of the struggles that Sitkoff describes so well in his book. Sitkoff's succinctly written chapters are chronological beginning in the year of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) but he includes appropriate flashbacks to the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. He sets the stage for the anger among Black Americans that would spill over and help drive the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. "Over a thousand [African-Americans] were lynched between 1900 and 1915" (Sitkoff, 1981, p. 5) the author writes, getting the reader's full attention. He is very convincing because he uses some narrative emotion along with historical dates and facts.

He carefully goes through the various phases of Civil Rights Movement, including Rosa Parks' refusal to move to the back of the bus as well as the militant side of the movement -- the Black Panthers, Malcolm X -- and points to the institutional racism promoted by the U.S. Government under the executive office of President Richard Nixon. Nixon "took every opportunity to exploit the emotions of race," Sitkoff asserts (p. 224). Nixon "emasculated the Offices for Civil Rights"; he "vetoed bills and impounded funds designed to assist blacks"; he urged Congress to "impose a moratorium on court-ordered bussing"; and he sent vice president Agnew out to "play on the anxieties of Americans" (p. 224).

What is Sitkoff's thesis? Is he biased or objective? In his Preface he makes clear that his book is not "scholarly" nor is it absolutely thorough. And he admits he is biased on the side of those Black Americans who struggled for so many years for justice: "I want the reader to encounter the anguish and hope, the violence and passion, the joy and sorrow that the fighters for freedom experienced" (p. viii). The thesis of this book is that his value judgments and the drama he captures in his narrative "will certainly provoke disagreement," he admits. "Good," he states, going on the insist that writing history "ought to stimulate…… [read more]

Afro Caribbean Research Proposal

… ¶ … Afro-Caribbeans to be successful rather than native Black Americans? Or is that a fallacy? Are Black Americans paving the way only to be cut out at the collegiate/corporate level? Or are White Americans more accepting of Afro-Caribbeans? Is it because of guilt (slavery) or something else? Are Afro-Caribbean values/beliefs/experiences different from Black Americans or just perceived as such? Do Afro-Caribbeans have more in common with their Black or White American counterparts or do they successfully straddle both worlds?

The recent election of Barak Obama to the presidency brought forth cheers from almost every quarter of the African-American community. Here was an African-American man who had assumed the highest office in a nation that had once denied Africans the right to liberty, justice, and basic human rights. Yet in some quarters, there were quiet, questioning voices: after all, Obama was not the child of slaves, but the child of an African man. This seemed to confirm the popular perception of Afro-Caribbean immigrants as having a greater ability to assimilate into the American social and political firmament than African-Americans.

The reason why such an assumption might be correct seems obvious. Afro-Caribbean immigrants do not have the same sort of complex relationship with America that Black African-Americans possess. Like most Americans, Afro-Caribbeans are immigrants rather than forced migrants. Often they have enjoyed living in societies where they are the majority, rather than the minority population, before their migration. Even individuals of Afro-Caribbean decent born on American soil like President Obama often have traveled back to their homeland, and been able to experience a world where 'blackness' is not an inherent marker of discrimination. Black Americans, however, have suffered the historical ravages of slavery, a legacy that still impacts Black psychology and the Black family. Young Black men are more likely to find themselves racially profiled by police -- and convicted of crimes. They receive more severe sentences than their White counterparts. "Nationwide, Black men are sent to prison on drug charges at 13 times the rate of White men.

" All Black men and women confront a society that tells them they are inferior, but unlike Afro-Caribbean immigrants they have no secure cultural touchstone to contextualize that racism and to remind themselves that merely because Americans may treat individuals of apparently African appearance like second-class citizens, this is not a reflection of their inherent human worth.

Black families are often subject to discrimination in housing, employment, and education, despite the presence of affirmative action. Even educated Black men and women suffer perceived and real discrimination. A December 2009 New York Times article by Michael Luo entitled "In job hunt, college degree can't close racial gap" found that African-American graduates from prestigious schools felt forced to conceal their racial identity on their resumes, by deleting references to participation in Black-related extracurricular activities and achievements. When interviewed, job-seekers entered rooms of shocked and uncomfortable silence, as their racial identity was inevitably revealed.

Might not Afro-Caribbeans face the same sort of barriers or prejudice?… [read more]

Enslaved Africans. A Discussion of Mercantilism Essay

… ¶ … enslaved Africans. A discussion of mercantilism and triangular trade.

Africa would never be the same after the early sixteenth century, with Europeans poring in and kidnapping large numbers of people. White people intended to use the slaves as a working force on the newly found continent. At the time, black people had been considered to be inferior to whites, unholy and thus undeserving equal treatment.

The passage from the African Continent to the New World had been a living hell for the black people fortunate enough to get there alive. Their torment would not stop at their arrival and, once having landed on the American continent, black people had to go through a series of dehumanizing events.

Europeans had accidentally stumbled on the American continent with Columbus wanting to find an easier route to the Indies. After having explored the new continent, the Europeans had begun to enslave and to exploit the natives. In need for a stronger slave working force, Europeans turned to bringing Africans across the Atlantic into the American territory. One source of African slaves came from the captures they made, another one, richer than the first was supplied by the slave traders in Africa. African leaders had also made profits from the slave trade as they constantly assaulted inland tribes from where they took prisoners. The concept of slavery had changed for the whole world during the period, as slavery had started to be envisioned on a racial concept.

Portugal and Spain had been the first countries to specialize in slave transporting from Africa to America. Observing that the business had been highly profitable, other major European countries had gotten involved. The slaves taken to America had been mainly used to cultivate sugar, which was later taken and sold in Europe. The English had emerged as the main slave traders from Europe after having led several wars against the competing countries.

Europeans only intended to make profits from the sale of black people as slaves. They didn't care much for the well-being of their prisoners and so they decided to fill the boats with as many blacks as they could in order for the operation to be more cost-effective. To the end of the slave trade business, in the early 18th century, sailors called the journey from Africa to America the "Middle Passage." The voyage had been called like this because it had been the middle part of a bigger three-stage journey: from England to Africa, from Africa to America, and then back to England again.

Traders firstly went to Africa to trade in European goods for African slaves. Subsequent to that, the traders transported the slaves to America where they would sell them in exchange for various products such as sugar or tobacco. Later, they would sell or trade the respective products to Europeans. Finally the process would be taken all over again with the traders going back…… [read more]

Speech Black Women in America Term Paper

… Black Women in America Speech

The objective of this speed is to examine the historical involvement of black women in American institutions as well as education, religious, political and social reconstruction. This work will also examine the linkages of black women in Africa, the Caribbean and North America.

The work of Jean-Marie (2006) entitled: "Welcoming the Unwelcomed: A Social Justice Imperative of African-American Female Leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities" relates that "the social movements during the last 50 years of the 20th century were among the most tumultuous years for people of color." African-American women are stated to have "confronted and disrupted institutions thought to be responsible for their oppression." (Jean-Marie, 2005) Jean-Marie's work shows how the "coming of age" of African-American women "...was inextricably linked to the larger changing consciousness of African-Americans who challenged the existing social order in new ways." (p. 86) in fact, it was these African-American women were "among the freedom fighter who integrated public schools, and later pursued higher education and professional careers. (Jean-Marie, 2005, p. 86)


The 'Historically Black College Universities' (HBCUs) helped in opening doors through "...outreach programs and educational resources to make higher learning obtaining to African-Americans." (Jean-Marie, 2005, p. 87) the work of Verharen (1996) stated that the HBCUs "must use their institutional power to make it possible for the powerless to seize the freedom that comes from being chosen..." HBCU's continue in the present "to serve as educational citadels and cultural repositories for African-American community, as well as centers for social and political development of students, faculty, and communities, and the regions and states in which they are located." (Sims, 1994)


The work of Robnett (2007) entitled: "Gendered Resource Returns: African-American Institutions and Political Engagement" reports a study that focused on the gendered nature of engagement of African-Americans in organization and institutions and states findings that: (1) African-American women participate less than African-American men; (2) in spite of black institutional participation the gender gap remains; (3) a liberal political orientation or households with union members mediates the gendered black institution effect; and (4) black institutional involvement enhances male more than female political participation. (Robnett, 2007, p. 2) However, African-American women have been found in the work of other researchers to be "more likely to participate in campaign and group related political activities than Black men, while Black men are more likely to contact a public official than are Black women." (p. 2)


The work of Zeleza (2003) entitled: "The Academic…… [read more]

Black Picket Fences Sharlene Looked Term Paper

… Well, now, I went to a community college. I didn't go to no Harvard or nothing," he says. As he speaks faster and louder, Hank's speech resembles a specific brand of Black English. "I knew a few kids who did… [read more]

Black Women on Early Television Term Paper

… She worked for the Quaker Oats company from 1948 to 1966. Wilson conceded that although her family was supportive of her role as Aunt Jemima the commercials were met with much criticism and many felt that the role was demeaning… [read more]

Nomothetic Study in Psychology Term Paper

… When & Where observations were made

The Southern states of the United States of America from 1880-1930.

Operational Definition:

The number of black males killed in illegal mob violence resulting in death, known as, lynchings exceed that of any other group during this period.

How was this definition used to include/exclude potential subjects?

Lynching is defined as mob justice, as opposed to legal forms of execution and those individuals, black or white executed by the state.


The number of African-American males lynched exceeded that of white males. The number of African-American women killed exceeded that of white women. African-American males lynched exceeded all numbers of other individuals lynched more than any other group. The smallest categorical numbers of victims lynched were white women. The category of "unknown" refers to lynched victims whose race could not be determined.

Visual display of data -- Table and Graph





RACE Males Females Unknown Total

Black 2,364 74 24 2,462

White 283 5-0 288

Total 2,701 79 25 2,805



This trend towards lynching of Black men specifically, as opposed to even Black women both indicates the predominance of the accusation of rape as a crime that was the focus for lynchings. The predominance of Black men shows that this was a method of victimization of which Black men were the primary targets, as opposed to mere mob enthusiasm for violence. It highlights the social dimension of lynching as well as its cruel and illegal aspects.


Its historical nature means that many victims race remains unknown, and the nature of the specific circumstances of the victims remains murky.


However, the study still provides valuable data regarding lynching as a method of social, informal, legal control in the Southern states before the civil rights movement had any hold upon the region.

Works Cited

Ideographic vs. Nomothetic Explanations." Retrieved on April 25, 2004 at

Tolnay and E.M. Beck. 1995. A Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynchings.…… [read more]

African Centered Education Term Paper

… An additional reason for the importance of the African centered curriculum is the fact that all cultures, particularly suppressed ones, needs its own tools for its restoration, maintenance and development (Carruthers, 1995). Western culture has succeeded in its dominance because… [read more]

Afro American Education Black Americans Term Paper

… No high schools were furnished for Black students in Atlanta until the 1920s (Forsyth, 1991). Black teachers struggled against colossal hardship to operate schools for Black children (Forsyth, 1991). The struggle culminated into the Civil Rights Movement in the decades of the 1950s and 60s where blacks resorted to mass movement such as protests, sit-ins, marches, and strikes in order to accomplish their goals (Forsyth, 1991). The vision of black education has yet to reach its ultimate aim. Many predominantly black schools are still over crowded and lack funding.

Works Cited

African-American Education. 1996. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from The Atlantic Monthly Page. Web site:

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology. 1996. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from The University of Virginia Page. Web site:

Cozzens, L. 1998. Brown v. Board of Education. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from Lisa Watson's Black History

Page. Web site:

Forsyth, S. 1991. Black Americans' Historical Struggle for Right to Education. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from The Socialist Action newspaper online. Web site:

Sandy, S. 2001. African-American Internet Resources. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from Prima Community

College Page. Web site:

The African-American Journey. 2002. Retrieved November 3, 2002, from The World Book Online. Web site:… [read more]

Outstanding Black Americans Change Racial Term Paper

… This was a group of black writers who read and critiqued their writing. (Angelou 67) "At the same time, Maya was becoming famous in her own right. In 1969 she published the first and best known of the books about her life, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings." (King 36)

It is not unusual to see people of all ethnicity cheering on their favorite men and women of color, whether it be at the Olympics, a sports game, a movie, a talk show, a news program, or concert. It isn't that prejudice no longer exists, but the achievements of Black Americans are so numerous, so common, that no one can deny their well earned fame. Golf, for instance, gained millions of new viewers thanks to Tiger Woods. Michael Jordan thrilled basketball fans. When his father was killed condolences were sent from across the United States. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also won the hearts of fans for his outstanding athletic powers, and his humanitarian efforts. On the literary scene there is best selling author Maya Angelou. Oprah's acting ability was first evident in The Color Purple, a Steven Spielberg movie. (Mair 85) She continued doing her talk show, and acting in movies. She even started her own production company so she had more control over her. In 1986 she was syndicated to 180 stations. (Mair 97)

Her phenomenal success can be summed up in her own words. "The reason I communicate with all these people is because I think I'm every woman and I've had every malady and I've been on every diet and I've had men who have done me wrong, honey. So I related to all of that. And I'm not afraid or ashamed to say it. So whatever is happening, if I can relate to it personally, I always do." (Mair 100) In 1993 three friends made it to the top of the Forbes list as the richest people in America. They were Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Cosby. (Mair 276)

Comedians like Whoopie Goldberg and Bill Cosby make us laugh. Cosby's shows were always in the top ten Neilson ratings and viewed by people of all different races. He is a comedian, a philanthropist, and an author. In fact, many of the outstanding Black Americans have extended themselves to give to others less fortunate. In the political arena we have General Colin Powell who made a name for himself during the Gulf War, and even was considered as a Presidential candidate. His political power was shown most recently on his trip to Israel to try to negotiate a ceasefire between the Israelis and Palestinians. Even though it wasn't completely successful, it offered the world a measure of hope.

Denzel Washington won the most prestigious award for an actor when he took away the Academy Award for best male actor. It was the second time a black American won this award, with Sydney Poitier being the first. The achievements of these and other black Americans are an example… [read more]

Enslaved and Free Africans in the First World War Research Paper

… ¶ … Contact to the Civil War

Explain the background of how slavery developed in the New World from less-severe forms of servitude into a permanent slave class based on race

The Origins of American Slavery

Slavery had already been… [read more]

Slavery Term Paper

… As Civil war began, the population of slave trade had increased by 4 million. Even though the basis of the slavery was racism, white owners and black women were widely engaged in sexual relations, basing their argument from the simple… [read more]

Women of the Progressive Era Term Paper

… Ida B. Wells

A Biography of Ida B. Wells

Within the framework of American history, Ida B. Wells may be called a child of the Emancipation. Born in 1862 just prior to President Lincoln's Civil War decree that forever changed the order of the South, Ida B. Wells grew up in a society as new to the world as she was. However, her experience with prejudice and segregation as it continued to be manifested (despite the end of slavery) compelled her to become a leading light in the Progressive Era politics that challenged the hypocrisy of her nation. Her contribution to American history was to form part of the militant line that advocated social reform, social justice, and social equality for blacks in Post-Reconstruction America. This paper will examine the life of Ida B. Wells and show how she helped shape and urge new ideals for her nation during her lifetime.

The Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) coincided with the Republican government that followed the defeat of William Jennings Bryan and the gold standard (and which culminated in the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the Great Depression). The Progressive Era saw such diverse initiatives take place ranging from women's suffrage to Prohibition to the ground work for the Civil Rights campaign. Not everything in the Progressive Era centered on progress in an egalitarian sense. For example, various elitist foundations like the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations sponsored programs that transformed the face of society for the next century: Their "philanthropic" enterprises instigated the rise of the American Birth Control Movement, designed expressly to limit the population of blacks in America (Jones, 2000, p. 279), as well as the end of the local family doctor in what had been his traditional role in the past. (the new doctors would be churned out like Henry Ford's automobiles, products of the "best schools" in the nation, and subjects to the pharmaceutical industry, their feudal overlords) (Friedman, McGarvie, 2003, p. 232). Into this world, Ida B. Wells sought to unite blacks (along with W.E.B. DuBois and the NAACP) in an anti-lynching campaign that sought to re-assert the rights of Negro citizens in the new America that had such conflicting interests embedded deep in the establishment.

Ida B. Wells received her education from various institutions as she migrated from Mississippi to Tennessee tending to her siblings (as both her parents had died from fever). Nearly three-quarters of a century before Rosa Parks became famous for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus, Ida B. Wells in 1864 (and at just 22 years of age) refused to give up her seat to a white man on a train. When she was forced off the train, she sued the railroad and thus began an active and passionate career in standing up for civil rights (Fridan, 2000, p. 21). During the Civil War, Lincoln had freed the slaves of the South to help turn the tide against the Confederates. However, Emancipation did not mean… [read more]

Psychodynamic: President Barack Research Paper

… His nickname is 'No Drama Obama' and although he is a charismatic speaker as well as erudite, it is said his campaign aides must often prod him to show passion. Many have cited his Harvard Law Review background (he was the editor while a student at Harvard) and his experience teaching constitutional law as the source of his scholarly demeanor. "He was grounded, comfortable in his own skin, knew who he was, where he came from, why he believed things,' Kenneth Mack, a friend of Obama's from Harvard and now a professor there, says. 'When I read the book [Dreams From My Father], I was surprised -- the confusion and the anger that he described, maybe they were there below the surface, but they were not manifest at all [on the surface]'" (MacFarquhar: 2007: 3).

In his politics, Obama has also been criticized for compromising traditional liberal values, such as his willingness to 'bail out' both banks and big business in the form of the American automotive industry -- decisions that recent history has vindicated him for, many believe. Moreover, he did use his political clout to pass a historic act of healthcare legislation, using profound political capital to do so. Some of his critics believed this was a mistake, and that he should have focused more on the economy instead. Regardless it is a testimony to the fact that in terms of his actions, Obama is willing to 'put himself on the line' -- but often quietly, in a non-demonstrative fashion, Obama is fundamentally a pragmatist, not an ideologue in a manner that seems to reject both the chaos of the lives of his parents, children of the 1960s. He has embraced and embodied some of their values -- his father's minority status, for example, and his mother's passion for both justice and academia, yet translated these values into his own, highly developed and regimented way of governing his life. Obama's resolution of the Freudian 'family romance' has been to create a strong superego to deal with his conflicted upbringing, in parents that offered role models he could not perfectly emulate or desire.


Barak Obama. (2012). Biography. Retrieved:

MacFarquhar, Larissa. (2007). The conciliator. The New Yorker. Retrieved:… [read more]

Psychology of the Black Experience Connect to the Art Exhibition Reaction Paper

… Psychology of the Black Experience: Connect to the Art Exhibition

On the surface, the unique 'blackness' of the experiences chronicled by Whitfield Lovell in his art seems to merely exist on the surface, in terms of their subject matter. As detailed in Kevin Quashie's essay entitled: "More than you know: The quiet art of Whitfield Lovell," there is a quietude and interiority to Lovell's works that is not associated with black art and the black artistic experience in America. Quashie, in his analysis of Lovell's works, makes an appeal for the rights of African-Americans to create a private, interior space for the soul, outside of the realm of public discourse. By focusing on individuality and humanity, he stresses the need for African-American artists to transcend the dichotomies created by politics.

Yet the need to claim 'I am' and to engage in soul-searching about one's identity is a critical aspect of the psychology of the American black experience, given that one's right to say 'I am a man' or 'I am a woman' is so often denied. The history of the black experience is subtly implied Lovell's works such as "Run like the wind" which portrays a black woman and barbed wire that symbolically suggests a fence, a manacle and a crown of thorns all at once. Lovell calls this work "Kin XXXII. Even though the woman in the picture is not his blood kin, he feels he shares a kinship with all African-Americans who were subjected to slavery and resisted the institution. The woman's 19th century garb confirms this association. Other images of "Kin" include pictures of a woman's face near an overseer's whip, and a man's face near small images of the American flag, suggesting an ironic juxtaposition of patriotism with the face of someone denied his rights. All of the faces are highly individualized, yet the commonness of the experiences of slavery unites them, not simply their race.

Q2. The strength of Lovell's works lies in his…… [read more]

Human Agency Assessment

… Human Agency

Kate Chopin's protagonist Edna Pontellier shares a surprising amount in common with both Malcolm X and W.E.B. DuBois. Pontellier, like Malcolm X and W.E.B. DuBois, forges her own path and develops an identity distinct from and in some ways, in opposition to, the dominant culture. Edna Pontellier's identity is formed via a sexual awakening and a redefinition of gender roles and norms of behavior. Human agency in Kate Chopin's the Awakening is that power which enables Edna Pontellier to assert her identity and subvert traditional gender roles. In "W.E.B. DuBois on Woman Suffrage," Garth E. Pauley delves deeper into the intersection between gender and racial politics. Like Edna Pontellier, W.E.B. DuBois was conscious of the ways women are subjugated and oppressed in American society. Yet W.E.B. DuBois takes the analysis one step further to show that one type of oppression is akin to the other: the disenfranchisement of women is the self-same issue as the disenfranchisement of African-Americans. Therefore, woman suffrage was a natural extension of black suffrage for W.E.B.DuBois. In Malcolm X's Autobiography, the author does not dwell overly much on gender. However, several passages in Malcolm X's autobiography do show how race, gender, and power do share points of political intersection. Ultimately these three texts present self-assertion and political empowerment as a function of human agency. Moreover, Chopin, Pauley, and Malcolm X show that conflict is a catalyst for human agency.

Malcolm X notes that he was raised in an environment of institutionalized racism, one in which racism was so entrenched that even his anti-white father seemed to favor his children with lighter skin. After his father's death, the white-controlled state legislature takes over the family and imposes what Malcolm X correctly observes to be a surrogate form of slavery. Malcolm X, his family torn apart, flees to New York where he becomes involved in the Harlem Renaissance as a street punk. His deviant behavior can be easily re-framed as a reaction to institutionalized racism. Lacking legitimate means to achieve upward social mobility, Blacks in America had three choices. They could sell out and conform to white social norms by participating in the white economy and social structure. They could maintain community ties with African-Americans but accept that poverty goes hand-in-hand with that choice. or, African-Americans can forge new means of acquiring wealth and power. If those means included criminal activities, then that was simply the way by which Malcolm X and others like him asserted themselves -- used their human agency to create personal and communal change.

Human agency is expressed in Malcolm X's Autobiography as deliberate subversion, just as human agency is expressed in Kate Chopin's Awakening as a blatant undermining of proscribed gender roles. Edna Pontellier acts promiscuously, following her heart rather than submitting to domestic slavery. Likewise, Malcolm X avoids symbolic and actual slavery by creating his own community. Influenced by the teachings of Marcus Garvey and later the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X understood that crisis…… [read more]

American Apartheid Modern Racial Segregation Term Paper

… American Apartheid

Modern Racial Segregation according to Massey & Denton

The inequality which has long been inherent to the experience of the African-American is at the center of the text by Massey and Denton (1993). The various facets of America's sociocultural makeup that have conspired to relegate certain ethnic and racial groups to a lesser status is considered in Chapters 6 through 8 in particular, where the authors provide explanation for the significant imbalance as it persists today.

Massey and Denton avoid blaming the victims, as it were, by focusing not on the tendencies of individuals living in negative cultural and economic circumstances to perpetuate negative habits and tendencies but on the larger social barriers preventing ascendance. The argument that pervades Chapter 6 seems ultimately to resolve that there are distinct geographical and residential patterns that have foretold and sustained the inequality which is generally experienced by African-Americans. As the text tells, "the high degree of residential segregation imposed on blacks ensures their social and economic isolation from the rest of American society. As we have seen, in 1980 ten large U.S. cities had black isolation indices in excess of 80 (Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Gary, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.)." (Massey & Denton, 160)

This figures significantly into such works as that by Shaw (2008), which argues that the outcome of such a condition can be observed quite clearly in our public schools. According to Shaw, public schools are a pointed example of the repercussions of geographical segregation. Though the late 1970s and 1980s had seen an active integration of schools promoting greater diversity, Shaw, using Seattle as an example, reports that this trend has essentially been reversed. The conditions in our neighborhoods are also evident in our schools, where, "today, a total of 30 schools -- close to a third of the district's buildings…… [read more]

Blacks in Colonial America by Oscar Reiss Research Proposal

… Blacks in Colonial America by Oscar Reiss

In the book Blacks in Colonial America, Oscar Reiss (1997) paints a clear picture of the problems that these people faced and the struggles that they went through, which was the purpose of… [read more]

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