Study "African-American / Black Studies" Essays 276-330

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Gang Involvement and Marginalization Research Paper

… Common explanations to these high levels of crime have been attributed to poverty and unemployment, residential segregation, education inequality and the legacy of discrimination and racism (Ulmer et al., 2012).

Indeed, the African-American community has long been subjected to racial discrimination resulting in inadequate access to education and employment opportunities. This has led them into destitute lives that incline them to crime. As such, youths from the African-American community are more likely to join drug cartels or organized criminal gangs to escape from their destitution. I believe that children and youths from these communities should not justify gang involvement with social discrimination. The election Obama as the first African-American president should inspire them to greater heights. Other black Americans such as Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey have also risen beyond the African-American marginalization. I, therefore, beg to differ with this controversial statement.


Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2004). "Crime in the United States 1993 -- 2012 uniform crime reports."Retrieved from

Hannon, L. & DeFina, R. (2005). "Violent Crime in African-American and White Neighborhoods: Is Poverty's Detrimental Effect Race-Specific?" Journal of Poverty 9(3): 49-67.

Ulmer, J.T., Harris, C.T. & Steffensmeier, D. (2012). "Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Structural Disadvantage and Crime: White, Black and Hispanic Comparison," Social Science Quarterly, Volume 93, Southwestern…… [read more]

Malcolm X Essay

… Malcolm X

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether or not Malcolm X deserves the honor of an American stamp. Firstly, the degree of honor implied by such a stamp is a little dubious. It is simply a picture of the man that is good for postage; it does little practical good. However, there are a number of noted Americans for whom the postal people have issued stamps. In this regard, X would be in good company were he issued a stamp as well, since he was certainly one of the more noted Americans of his time. Additionally, X made some significant strides to try to pursue some fairly basic rights for African-Americans that were mostly ignored if not trampled upon during the last several years of his life. For these two reasons and others, X should rightfully get an American stamp (and in fact he has had one for the past 20 years).

It is easy to overlook this fact now that the initial decades of the 21st century are here, but strictly in terms of acclaim, X was one of the most famous Americans of the midway point of the 20th century. This fact is significant because postal stamps are not given to obscure individuals. A read of the Autobiography of Malcolm X certainly supports the notion that if nothing else, X was one of the most famous individuals of his time period, and certainly one of the more notable African-Americans at a time when the only ones who achieved substantial fame were musicians and sports figures (one wonder if the same statement applies to our contemporary times). He became recognizable in initially as a young minister of the Nation of Islam, in which he oftentimes engaged in televised debates with Caucasians and integrationists regarding the state of racism in the U.S. During this tenure in his life he was widely touted as the angriest man in America. His fame increased during the Muhammad Ali's championship title victory over Sonny Liston (in the pair's first fight), and virtually skyrocketed during the final years of X's life when he renounced his separatist views and advocated a human-centered approach to the question of race in America. With great television and print media exposure accompanying each stage of X's life, he certainly had the prerequisite amount of fame which people U.S. stamps typically have.

U.S. stamps are also usually issued for individuals who have made significant accomplishments. In this regard, too, X is deserving of such an honor. X was an outspoken champion for the rights of African-Americans at a time when there were no other such champions. It is easy to overlook this fact now, certainly in the world of today's media in which virtually anyone can say anything at any point in time. But when X first became gaining notoriety with the Nation of Islam (a fact which skyrocketed after the national television…… [read more]

Precarious World of Hypertension (Htn) Article Critique

… Participants were recruited and given initial blood pressure tests, then they participated in the program and then were given blood pressure tests again for comparison against the initial tests. The participants were also asked to fill out a simple questionnaire (20 questions) at both the beginning and the end of the intervention. Results were achieved by comparing the questionnaires and blood pressure tests against a control group.

The sampling method was random in design, although it did have guidelines to which the method adhered. Those guidelines included the fact that the students had to be between 14 -- 17 years of age, African-American heritage, have both a signed parental consent form and a participant consent form, and must be able to read and write English. One potential problem that could be considered in using this type of sampling method is that it might not extrapolate out as the study assumes. The sampling size was small and very concentrated, which can lead to huge problems in extrapolating to the entire African-American society.

The blood pressure data was obtained through the use of a DINAMAP Compact Monitor Model S, which is an automated oscillometric blood pressure device. Additional data was obtained through the questionnaires filled out by the students and/or the student's parents. The instruments used to gather the data seem to be both proficient and reliable. Although there was a lot of necessarily important self-reporting, due to circumstances, it was the most effective manner for gathering the data. The questionnaires and sampling survey were checked by other non-participants for validity and reliability, and were…… [read more]

Slavery Essay

… Slavery

Over the years, there have been a variety of interpretations about slavery and its lasting effects. To fully understand these impacts requires carefully examining five primary sources. During this process, there will be a focus on: the main ideas, values, feelings and worldviews. Together, these elements will offer specific insights as to how this shaped society.

The source that was written by Inkori (1998), is discussing the way slavery affected a variety of stakeholders. Evidence of this can be seen with him saying, "The issues from slavery falls into three broad groups: 1) the social costs in Africa of forced migration, 2) the Atlantic slave trade / the rise of the Western World and 3) the slaves themselves / their enduring legacy." The primary concepts are that slavery had a negative impact on Africa by taking away people who were innovative and could create something different. This hurt social development with it continually occurring over the course of hundreds of years. (Inkori)

However, these practices helped to build Western civilization and played a vital part in the development of the new world. At the same time, slaves were treated as nothing more than property and their decedents continue to face discrimination from these practices. These ideas are showing, the different feelings and worldviews that were uncovered. The words shaped our interpretations, by providing an overview of these effects on various stakeholders. As these insights are illustrating the lasting effects of slavery from contrasting perspectives. This is accomplished by showing how it changed society and the various problems it created. (Inkori)

Stowe (1852) takes a different perspective on slavery. This occurs with her showing its brutality on those who are forced to endure it. At the same time, she demonstrates how their faith in God and each other is creating major transformations. Evidence of this can be seen with Stowe writing, "The incorruptible fidelity, piety and honesty of Uncle Tom had more than one development. Some of the most deeply tragic, romantic and terrible incidents have their parallel in reality." (Stowe)

These ideas are showing the brutality of slavery and the lasting effects it is having on everyone. This shapes the readers feelings and worldviews by offering them with hope about the human spirit's ability to overcome great adversity. While at the same time, it creates sadness by witnessing the brutality and unfairness that is occurring. Specific images that helped to interpret the document were the way Uncle Tom was treated, as he was sold from one slave master to the next. This is illustrating the conflicts and their lasting impacts on everyone who is involved from contrasting perspectives. The information is providing insights about the challenges associated with slavery and the how it was an inhumane / brutal practice. Yet, it is also illustrating the way faith and a belief in something more, helps someone to overcome the critical challenges they endured. (Stowe)

Manning (1990) focused more on the reasons why slavery occurred and how come Africans were chosen.… [read more]

Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others Essay

… Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois

There are, perhaps, few leaders of the early push for African-American advancement that are at once more respected and more controversial than Booker T. Washington. Often identified as the last great leader of African-Americans who was born into slavery, Washington's contributions to the black community are unaparalleled. As one who pushed for the self-directed educational and economic improvement of his people, Washington would be responsible for an adoption of pride and self-determination amongst early equal rights advocates. However, he also pushed for this strategy in contrast to the more militant actions of desegregationists, a position which would also make him the subject of hostility for more militants strands of the movement. Of these more militant strands, W.E.B. Dubois was certainly a leading figure. It is thus that his text, "Of Booker T. Washington and Others," offers a pragmatic view on what he perceived as both the admirable and objectionable traits of Washington.

It is with this balance of respect and disagreement that drives the Dubois text and helps us to understand the shifting winds in what would ultimately become the civil rights movement. To this point, Dubois notes that "One hesitates, therefore, to criticise a life which, beginning with so little, has done so much. And yet the time is come when one may speak in all sincerity and utter courtesy of the mistakes and shortcomings of Mr. Washington's career, as well as of his triumphs, without being thought captious or envious, and without forgetting that it is easier to do ill than well in the world." (Dubois, p. 1)

This is an explicit recognition of the absolutely critical self-directed advancement sought for his people by Washington but it is also tempered by concern over some of the practical measures taken by the leader of men. For Dubois, Washington's influence is a powerful and positive force, not just because of the content of his actions but also because he emerged from slavery to achieve them. However, the author also expresses a great deal of concern over the…… [read more]

Dubois Each Struggle Has Its Own Unique Essay

… Dubois

Each struggle has its own unique voices and influences, that, when looked upon in a certain way, may seem to be held in opposition to each other. This is the case in dealing with two civil rights pioneers WEB Dubois and Booker T. Washington. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate how Dubois' essay entitled " Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others" was successful at evolving the civil rights movement to a new prominent and powerful point. This division of philosophy within the black community was most likely necessary in order to fulfill the black race's destiny here in the United States.

This essay will highlight certain points within Dubois' criticism of Washington in his article that attempts to direct a new understanding of how racial equality should play out within an un-segregated society.

Dubois' article was blunt, direct and extremely critical of Washington's viewpoints towards the black race during the time of the publication of this article in 1903. His criticisms suggested that Washington was more concerned about the material gains that come with civil rights as opposed to the principles behind the movement of which Dubois found essential and preliminary. His scathing commentary began in the first paragraph of the article when he noted " Mr. Washington's programme naturally takes an economic cast, becoming a gospel of Work and Money to such an extent as apparently almost completely to overshadow the higher aims of life." Dubois made it clear he wanted to push for something better than what Washington was after.

The distinction behind these two leaders could be made due to their own personal histories. Booker T. Washington emerged in the midst of worsening social, political, and economic conditions for American blacks. His racial program set the terms for the debate on Negro programs for the decades between 1895 and 1915. Born a slave in a Virginia log cabin…… [read more]

Notes on a Native Son by James Baldwin Term Paper

… ¶ … Rage in "Notes from a Native Son"

It is true that rage is central to the piece written by Baldwin, though in his rage, there are many other emotions and even poetry. Baldwin, in some ways, has rage at everything, meaning the world. The piece begins with the day that his father has died. There are several events that happening locally and nationally that in a way, reinforce the rage he feels about his father's death. His father's death comes at a moment in history when the United States, specifically African-Americans, are expressing rage at the conditions of their existence as second class citizens under the mainstream, White America way or society.

There is a lot of Baldwin's rage directed at his father for dying and for not being proud of being black. (87) Baldwin expresses a wish and a regret that his father would have had pride and self-esteem in himself that stemmed from his blackness (literally, as his father had very dark skin, and culturally, as in having pride in his black culture and heritage). He additionally expresses rage at how poor a father he perceived him to be during his life. He wishes that his father would have been more a father that he and his siblings needed; he wishes that his father would have been more like him, or that he could have known his father well enough to tell if they were similar to each other. Thus, he has rage toward his father for dying and toward his father because of the type (or lack thereof) of father that he was.

Baldwin also has rage toward white America and the perceptions of blacks as well as the treatment of black people. He recounts how his father was humiliated and limited because…… [read more]

MLK Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Essay


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a catalyst for change during the Civil Rights movement. His leadership style, skills of negotiation and rhetoric, and organizational strategies helped King to become a cultural, social, and political leader who championed the ideals embedded in the American constitution. One of the ways King managed to have an extensive and indelible influence on American society was his ability to become a political figurehead in the tradition of Gandhi's nonviolent political protesting to evoke policy change. King's unique, singular approach to solving the problem of social injustice allowed for coordinated and comprehensive collective action such as what took place in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which King delivered his rousing speech, "I Have a Dream."

The March on Washington involved two hundred thousand Americans marching for social and economic justice. The march revealed the close connection between race, class, and political power. It was not just about achieving racial parity, but about achieving political parity. "High levels of black unemployment…minimal wages and poor job mobility, systematic disenfranchisement of many African-Americans, and the persistence of racial segregation in the South" were the prevailing motivating factors in the march and why so many Americans participated regardless of their ethnic backgrounds ("March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" 1).

It might have been the largest and most historic demonstration during the Civil Rights movement, but the March on Washington was not the first or last. Smaller demonstrations shook the American public consciousness awake, helping many citizens and politicians to become cognizant of the deep hypocrisy eating away at America's cultural soul. In 1960, for example, students in North Carolina formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, using sit-ins as their method of non-violent protest against systematic discrimination and political oppression ("SNCC" 1). The SNCC revealed the diversity within the Civil Rights Movement, as Black Power was the guiding philosophy of SNCC in its later years ("SNCC"…… [read more]

Slavery in the Caribbean: Effects Research Paper

… These movement mobilised groups to resist the slavery rule by boycotting duties and calling for better treatment by their masters. They acted as an inspiration to the people who followed their example to fight for their rights and bring to… [read more]

Community Population Health Issues Discussion Chapter

… Community Population Health Issues

Breast cancer among the African-American community is a serious health problem because African-American women are disproportionately likely to die of breast cancer, despite having a lower overall risk of developing breast cancer than white women (American Cancer Society, 2013). This is an interesting issue because it highlights a community population health issue. Some community populations are more likely to develop a health problem than other populations, so that genetic factors or environmental factors may be linked to that illness. In the case of African-American women and their risk of breast cancer, it does not appear that genetics or environment place them at higher risk of developing the disease. Instead, it seems that something in the community intervenes to make breast cancer more deadly in the African-American community. In fact, "Black women still have a disproportionately higher breast cancer death rate - 41% higher than white women. This finding is based on 2005 to 2009 data, showing that even though African-American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer, they are more likely to die of this disease than women in any other racial or ethnic group" (Landau, 2012). Understanding what is responsible for this increased death risk is a critical factor if one wants to improve overall community health.

The reasons that breast cancer is more deadly in the African-American community are complex. One of the major reasons is because African-American women are less likely to be diagnosed in early stage than women in other ethnic groups. It is well-established that the earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the survival rates. Therefore, the fact that African-American women are not as likely to…… [read more]

Tar Baby: Son's Perspective Essay

… There is, Morrison suggests, comfort for white society in role models like Jadine, who reject their African heritage and prefer "Ave Maria better than gospel music" and says that "Picasso is better than an Itumba mask. The fact that he was intrigued by them is proof of his genius, not the mask-makers' (Morrison 74). When given a 'choice,' an intelligent African-American woman like Jadine appears to prefer European culture to black culture, thus validating the superiority of white society. But Morrison suggests that society has 'stacked the deck' in favor of the colonial ideology of whiteness. People like Son make whites feel very uncomfortable because Son denies he needs whites at all, despite his poverty. He breaks down both metaphorical and literal ideological walls.

The novel presents Jadine with a dilemma: either she can accept Son, who is largely uneducated but represents the blackness she has lost, or she can embody a white ideal. However, neither seems to fully embody Jadine's self. Furthermore, there is a patriarchal aspect to both available forms of romance. Margaret Child, Jardine's white female patron, must obey the dictates of her husband and fantasizes about Son's sexuality; also, being beholden to whites means having to be like Sydney and Ondine, who are described as being good at their jobs because they are so sublimely unobtrusive: "one hardly knew if he left the room" (Morrison 74). But being 'schooled' by Son means being 'schooled' by a man and accepting an inferior feminine position. Although Son genuinely desires Jadine, his method of desire has a quality of subjugation -- not sexual subjugation, but a desire to show her that his way of seeing the world is 'right.'

Son and Jadine have a Pygmalion-style relationship in which both of them try to play the role of the teacher: she tries to rehabilitate him from what she regards as his ignorance while he tries to make her 'more black.' This effort is not ultimately satisfying or successful for either character. Morrison's novel suggests that black women have little real cultural or ideological space to build a positive identity that is free of patriarchal and colonial ways of being in the world. Jadine must create a new persona for herself that is her ultimate artistic creation and does not involve 'modeling' the expectations of others.

Work Cited

Morrison, Toni. Tar Baby. New York: Vintage, 2004.… [read more]

How Slaves Created Their Own Society and Culture Thesis

… ¶ … Slaves Created their Own Society and Culture:

Slavery began in Africa even before the Europeans came into colonization of the African countries. This was evidently seen especially when the whites wanted people to work for them in their firms. The Portuguese brought a few people to work on their sugar plantation and on realizing that this crop, which later spread to other countries, looked for more people to work on their firms. This is the time when the Portuguese came to Africa and specifically West Africa where they took people to work for them in their firms and pay them in turn. While Africa has been ranked poor for a long period of time, the whites knew that Africans could not resist their offers and so they decided to look for them to work as laborers.

The news about laborers spread very fast that Africans turn in large numbers to work in order to get a living and later settled in the Atlantic. It is also here that they decided that there was need to have people who could head them and whom they could tell their grievances. Since the Europeans also wanted people who could work for them, they decided that instead of going all the way to Africa, they use the local headsmen and chiefs to get them laborers. As these efforts succeeded, there was an increasing demand for more slaves by the European countries. The rising demand of slaves by the whites forced the African headsmen to move to the interiors in search of this people and thereby taking even the prisoners ("Chapter Four -- Slavery and Empire," n.d.). These people could walk for long distances even without food and poor hygiene leading to death along the way and since there was no proper method of communication, families that were left behind had a problem of the whereabouts of their kins.

Slave trade was mostly seen upon the arrival of the slaves into America as Africans were forced to face the humiliation of being sold to whites in exchange of whatever things they agree on and this act devastated the African kingdom that depended on the European trade. It was during this period that creation of slavery culture and society started to emerge. Generally, slaves created their own society and culture through various factors including & #8230;.

Intermarriage with Americans:

As the number of Africans getting into America grew, intermarriage also started and an African-American society and culture emerged, which later lead to stable families. In the African culture there are several customs to be followed in marriage therefore the African slaves still followed some of their cultures in marriage. For instance, when these people gave birth to children, they named them in accordance with the African culture. In this case, the naming was carried out in order to create sensitization to retain the African kinship.

As per the African culture, ceremonies like burials included a tendency of singing and dancing, which was a reflection… [read more]

Race and the Web: Jack Essay

… The subtly of attitudes expressed by a nonwhite subculture using irony and jest is lost in translation.

Instead of hiding one's race while posting, which can cause confusion, the more positive and radical thing to do may be to be quite explicit about one's racial identity, ensuring that no one is mistaken about the poster's racial status. This is the attitude adopted by Jack and Jill Politics, a political portal that encompasses the blog posts of a wide variety of political views of the online African-American community. The website Jack and Jill Politics proudly proclaims its black nature with humor and irony. The website's subtitle is "A black bourgeois perspective on U.S. politics." This affirms both the website's African-American identity and also the existence of a black bourgeois within America (which was once considered a radical notion in and of itself). One of the website creators, Baratunde Thurston, actually authored a book with the title How to be Black. The website background 'skin' is a slice of watermelon, ironically mocking the fruit long used to parody African-Americans in racist iconography. This suggests that the black bourgeois is now empowered enough to use such an image while speaking about its own interests.

Using Nakamura's analysis, one might ask: what would be the reader's very different opinion of this image, if the racial nature of Jack and Jill politics was not proclaimed front and center? The acceptable use of the watermelon image might initially be devoid of irony in the mind of the reader, and used to confirm African-American stereotypes rather than to deflate them. Rather than hiding behind the web's ability to conceal one's physical appearance, the physical aspects of race are thrust front and center on Jack and Jill Politics. Although the images of the website authors are not prominently displayed, their blackness is explicitly referenced, albeit couched in the irony that is typical of 21st century postmodern expression.

And yet while very explicitly black, Jack and Jill Politics is also quite diverse in its presentation of what constitutes 'black issues.' Various topics blogged about currently include the "Consequences of GOP obstructionism" regarding the fiscal cliff, the legacy of James Baldwin, and a political cartoon featuring the recent meeting of President Obama and Mitt Romney. Issues far beyond narrow concerns of race are referred to, even if all of the bloggers are black and present the issues from their unique editorial perspective. In fact, part of the radical challenge the website offers is showcasing how black authors have an interest in issues not explicitly dealing with race and have perspectives that do not narrowly confine to stereotypes of what black people are 'supposed' to think. In its openness about its racial identity, Jack and Jill Politics challenges racism as a website.

Works Cited

Jack and Jill Politics. [3 Dec 2012]

Manjoo, Farhad. "How black people use Twitter." Slate. 10 Aug 2012. [3 Dec 2012]

Nakamura, Lisa. "Menu-driven identities." Cybertypes.… [read more]

Bloodlines and Race Responding Essay

… (Stewart & Locke, Page 45)

Issues of class and race on all fronts are analogies and nearly one in the same. Locke further more finds that problems or issues of class, race, or any other particularly physical and visual difference are natural expressions of human civilizations.

Civilization isn't a smooth course. Civilization very often produces counter-currents. Civilization is something which it itself seems to involve very often rough places, these antagonisms, these struggles…[which] are, after all, just as inevitabl[y] part of the process…So that wherever we find groups amalgating in society, we must expect to find groups differentiating and separating out…So really, we must not regard these phenomena apart from normal phenomena…(Stewart & Locke, Page 45)

Humans are sort of hardwired to separate into similar groups based on fairly obvious traits. What is unfortunate is that humans have not found ways to differentiate themselves into various groups, a seemingly natural behavior, without turning those differences into reasons for institutionalized forms of hate and violence leading to destruction or eradication. His most salient argument is that race distinction is simply an extension of class distinction. (Page 47)

Locke describes discrepancies within objective scientific disciplines as well as discrepancies between objective science and popular perception of race. He might argue that there is a lack of scientific perspective and data in popular perceptions of race. His tone and perspective in the piece is philosophical and scientific. Readers may presume that this kind of approach regarding race and class on a massive or popular scale would alleviate some of the tensions of everyday life with respect to these issues. He further argues that the law reflects more of the popular perceptions and distortions of race.… [read more]

Invisible Man Ralph Ellison's Prologue Essay

… Because of his gifts, the narrator has been granted a scholarship to further his education beyond the high school setting. However, the scholarship is for "the state college for negroes" (Ellison 2314). Since the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson the United States government declared that segregation of people based on the color of their skin was acceptable. This went for elementary and high schools and then college as well. When the narrator mentions social equality, he is met with angry silence from the audience because he is making a claim to something to which he has no right. In this society, a negro will never be equal to his white countrymen. Creating a governmentally funded college for African-Americans gives that population the ability to obtain higher education, but there is also the understanding that the institution will not be as advanced or as well funded as the state college for white people. This allows the government to make a presentment that they are trying to better the lives of the minority population while at the same time limiting the tools they have to achieve social mobility.

In the prologue to his book, Ellison writes of a narrator who in just a few pages experiences a preponderance of racist and prejudicial attitudes. He is called racial slurs like "Sambo" and the other word. By the white men around him, he is called "boy," a term which is used both to demean him as a male but also reflects the former antebellum position of slave and slave master where the African-Americans where often called by this phrase. By declaring himself invisible, the narrator believes that he has become immune to this aspect of American society, but it is a fallacy. Even by living off the map as it were, he is still affected by the prejudices of the racist whites who live in the nation.

Works Cited:

Ellison, Ralph. "From Invisible Man."…… [read more]

Slavery Art Robert, Calvin, Martha Essay

… It claimed that blacks were beasts that were created before Adam and had no souls, and that God would punish the country with extermination if it ever made them socially, politically and economically equal to whites (Acker 83).

Other artists at the time saw a very different side of slavery, such as the young British painter Erye Crowe, who traveled through Richmond, Charleston and Savannah in 1852-53. He was horrified by the pubic auctions of slaves in every Southern city, and drew sketches of them that he later turned into oil paintings, such as Slaves Waiting for Sale -- Richmond, Virginia (1861), which was exhibited at the Royal Academy at the time, the same year that the Civil War began. The sketch he used for this painting, Slave Auction at Richmond, Virginia, was published in the Illustrated London News on 27 September 1856.

Crowe also made sketches of slaves being marched to the railroad station in Richmond, where they were transported to new owners in the Deep South. In this scene, their only possessions are the bundles of clothing that they carry, while the church steeples and state capitol building are shown in the background. During the Civil War, this was also the capitol of the Confederate States of America, but in exhibiting these paintings in the 1850s Crowe made it clear that he regarded slavery as the main cause of the war.

After the Sale, by Eyre Crowe (1853)

Slave photographs could serve another purpose as well, such as the picture of Dolly who ran away from the plantation of Charles Manigault. It was used in reward posters, along with her description, that offered $50 for her return.

Rev. Scott and his wife were small slaveholders, at least until they moved to California, and remained supporters of the Confederacy throughout the Civil War. They clearly regarded themselves as members of the Southern gentry, at least at the lower rungs, and the painting portrayed their children as fashionable members of the elite, accompanied by a slave nurse. Perhaps Mila was treated relatively humanely by the standards of Southern slavery at the time, and the portrait shows her as better dressed that typical slave women of the time, although in other respects her pose and position in the painting were typical of other slave pictures of the time. Scott may have been ambivalent about slavery, like other Southerners, and hoped that it would gradually disappear, but he was also quite racist and never able to accept blacks as being socially or politically equal to whites. Like Thomas Jefferson, he could not imagine free blacks remaining in the U.S. But only being returned to Africa, although evidently his oldest son did not share his views. Slavery expansion was a major issue in the 1840s and 1850s when the anonymous artist painted this picture and in the Compromise of 1850 California would be admitted to the Union as a free state, although four years later the Kansas-Nebraska Act would reopen the question of… [read more]

Racism Shelby Steele and Gerald Essay

… He maintains that these were the true goals of Martin Luther King and the early civil rights movement, forgetting that King later put forward many strong criticisms of American imperialism and the inequalities created by the capitalist economic system. Gerald Early also agreed that the turn toward nationalism, Afrocentrism, and racial separation in the late-1960s and 1970s was a mistake and remained hopeful about integration and multiculturalism as the correct path for black progress. At best, he regarded Afrocentrism as a kind of comforter or security blanket for insecure blacks who were integrating into the middle class. Baldwin wrote his essay long before Early and Steele, and even before the early civil rights movement had started to gain much traction in the United States. Certainly he could see the differences between white Americans and European whites living in an insulated, tribal village: they had never had to face questions about integration or extending equal rights to blacks in their lives. This was not the situation in the United States, although writing in 1955 Baldwin would certainly not have been able to report any great gain in civil rights or integration in America, much less large numbers of blacks being able to move into the middle class.


Baldwin, James, "Stranger in…… [read more]

Segregation and Civil Rights Essay

… It was just the way it was. African-Americans were not even allowed to serve on a jury during that time, and it was a very rare case that an African-American would get a not guilty verdict when the alleged crime involved someone outside of the African-American race (Madison, 43-62). To know this would be to understand why Tom Robinson's trial turned out the way it did. And what was even more astounding was that a lawyer wanted to defend an African-American in the first place, since again, that was an extremely rare occurrence during those times. The line, "Do all lawyers defend n-Negros, Atticus?" (Lee, 122) depicts the questionable gesture of the holders of the laws intention to do something that should be expected of everyone, and although the answer was, "Of course they do, Scout" (Lee, 123), it was known very well that that was not always the case, especially in the Southern states of the United States.

The unfortunate outcome of this story was all too common during those times, and it was because of the way that African-Americans were thought of that these occurrences seemed to be like nothing was wrong. One may look at it form the eyes of today's perspective, but in order to fully understand the impact that this novel had on society, is to put oneself in the time of this book's setting.


Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print.

Madison, James H. "Lines of Color, Lines of Community." A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 43-62. Print.

Loewen, James W. Sundown Towns: a Hidden Dimension of American Racism.…… [read more]

Compare Mother to Son and the Negro Speaks of River by Langston Hughes Essay

… Langston Hughes Poetry

The two poems by Langston Hughes -- "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," and "Mother to Son," are excellent examples of the diversity of creative talent this American icon produces. Hughes is certainly considered one of the great poets -- not just of African-American poets but all of the talented poets that were born in the U.S. And plied their trade here -- and his work is recognized as reflecting his culture as well as his own thoughts and experiences. Along with Countee Cullen and Jean Toomer, Hughes helped Americans of all faiths and ethnicities come to an moral and ethical understanding of what it is like to be a black person in a mainly white American society. The thesis: In "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," Hughes relates to the history of the black culture, tracing it from the Euphrates River, which is considered the place on earth where agriculture was born and the farming society became an important source of sustenance for civilization, to Africa and into America. Every line in "the Negro Speaks of Rivers" is powered with images or metaphors that are richly endowed with the black culture's struggles and successes. "Mother to Son" is quite different in theme although it also traces the struggles of the black culture. In this poem, Hughes uses the image of a mother giving personal advice to convey a message to all black people to never give up, never turn back, to not be discouraged by challenges and instead look ahead to find the light. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is more about the culture's enduring legacy -- based largely on the past -- and "Mother to Son" looks ahead to the future with a setting based on the present but set in the past.

The brilliance of Hughes' ability to say a great deal in a very few words truly comes through in "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." There are so many ideas present in this poem that a student could take it in many directions. Perhaps this is what Hughes wanted readers to do, that is, find meaning in whatever aspect that jumps out at them. For this student, Hughes is not speaking for himself but for the black culture. Blacks may have originated in Africa, but to read this poem one can see that blacks have been part of practically every society through the ages. The poet uses the metaphor of the river to help the theme move along through the ages. "I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins" appears to be an assertion in support of evolution. The most ancient bones that scientists have found (that date back millions of years ago) in Africa and elsewhere show that prior to what we now know as humans, there were creatures evolving that perhaps Hughes is alluding to. They were mammals but did not yet have "human blood" flowing through their veins.

So, Hughes sets the… [read more]

Slavery the Remnant Research Paper

… Therefore the colonists did not view slavery as an immoral or wrong practice. Slavery was considered a way of life and they believed that there was a hierarchy and that slaves were at the bottom of this hierarchy. Nonetheless, the… [read more]

Malcolm X Is the Most Misunderstood Figure Essay

… Malcolm X is the most misunderstood figure in the American Civil Rights movement and perhaps in modern American history. Although his message of freedom differed significantly from that of his contemporary, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X was no less influential. Malcolm X championed a vision of Black American independence that was "by any means necessary" an independence that did not depend on whites granting freedom but on Blacks taking it. In other words, Malcolm X did not feel the need to acquiesce to white power. Malcolm X did not honor the dominant culture, the powers that be, the establishment that for so many years had crippled the African-American even decades after the abolition of slavery. Malcolm X is a hero, as powerful but perhaps more controversial, than Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the autobiography, Alex Haley has Malcolm X quoted as saying, "They call me 'a teacher, a fomenter of violence.' I would say point blank, 'That is a lie. I'm not for wanton violence, I'm for justice.'" Herein lies the most important reason why Malcolm X proved to be a more controversial and maligned figure vs. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was an outspoken advocate of Mohatma Gandhi's policy of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience. King, like Malcolm X, spent time in prison and also stood up to the white authorities in the south. However, Malcolm X did not envision a future in which white Americans would ever truly treat Black Americans as equals. In retrospect it seems that X was more correct than King. After all, Hurrican Katrina revealed the deep divisions between Black and white in America. Poverty is linked with race nationwide, and although overt racism is rare now, covert racism is not.

When President Obama took office, the nation saw for the first time a President who was also a man of power. Both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X would have been completely proud not just of the President but also of America for coming so far as to elect a person of color into the highest political office. What Malcolm X was trying to say was that true equality still has not been played out on the streets. Even though Barack Obama is President of the United States, inner cities are teeming with crime, poverty, and political disenfranchisement.

Both the messages of King and X were necessary to propel the Civil Rights movement. King offered all Americans the chance to hope and dream. Malcolm X, on the other hand, offered African-Americans a singular message that was not available or accessible to whites. Whereas King championed integration and peaceful protest, Malcolm X noted that integration would never work and neither would peaceful protest come to fruition. Ultimately both men were correct. Malcolm X was correct in noting that even after the Civil Rights Act, racism still remained rampant in the South. Black communities could not empower themselves, because individual families were torn apart by years of degradation and racism. Fathers could… [read more]

America John Debrizzi's Book, America, Tells Term Paper

… America

John Debrizzi's book, America, tells the story of America Huerta, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and her influence upon Moses Shabalala, the first African-American President of the United States. In America, color and class is examined and the reader… [read more]

History Analogy Essay

… History Analogy

There were two sets of conflicts that revolved around freedom. One was the freedom of the United States from her colonial masters and another was the freedom of the slaves and the non-whites in the U.S. Within that… [read more]

Amiri Baraka Thesis

… ¶ … Corrections in Blue Suggestions / New Material in Red

No Apprenticeship for Freedom

"A man is either free or he is not. There cannot be any apprenticeship for freedom," wrote Amiri Baraka whose life work has been a… [read more]

Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery Term Paper

… ¶ … Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery and the Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Lasting Impact of Slavery: Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington

The institution of slavery has always been a dark stain on the… [read more]

Jim Crow Laws, Aimed at Segregating, Disempowering Essay

… Jim Crow laws, aimed at segregating, disempowering, and disenfranchising African0-Americans in the antebellum South, served the economic, cultural, and political interests of the established white patriarchy for nearly a century before being eradicated. The laws effectively kept most African-Americans poor, unable to vote, denied them an adequate and equal education to that of white students, and kept them generally separated from white communities, organizations, buildings, and activities throughout much of the South.

This served the interests of the white power establishment in many ways. First, by denying African-Americans employment in many companies and for many types of work, the established hierarchy ensured a cheap labor pool. Having lost their slaves following the end of the Civil War, plantation owners and even white owners of smaller farms needed to find a way to have their craps planted and harvested without paying a living wage -- and thus eating up their profits -- and the Jim Crow laws helped to accomplish this.

In addition to the direct economic impact of the Jim Crow laws on both the African-American and white communities, political control was put entirely in the hands of the whites to prevent the African-Americans from achieving the justice they deserved and were legally entitled to. Poll taxes and "random" tests prevented many African-Americans from voting, let alone running for office, and thus prevented them from making any institutional changes that would have eliminated Jim Crow and his economic designs.

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington's philosophy of slow improvement through…… [read more]

1968 Civil Rights Movement Thesis

… Civil Rights Movement in 1968

Civil rights had a long and difficult history in the United States beginning with more than three-hundred years of American Slavery. During that time, millions of native Africans were transported across thousands of miles of ocean in brutal conditions. Once in America, they were sold like cattle and forced to work throughout the Southern states, primarily in cotton and tobacco plantations. The Union victory in the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 ended American Slavery but did comparatively little to improve the lives of the freed African slaves (Edwards, Wallenberg, & Lineberry, 2008).

For most of the next century, African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities were subjected to rampant discrimination in employment, housing, transportation, and most other aspects of American society. Even well into the middle of the 20th century, it was not unusual at all to see signs posted in business establishment and newspaper employment advertisements that read "Help Wanted -- No Blacks or Jews Need Apply" (Edwards, Wallenberg, & Lineberry, 2008).

Furthermore, a series of Jim Crowe Laws were enacted to minimize any real effect of Supreme Court decisions and federal laws intended to end racial and ethnic discrimination (Edwards, Wallenberg, & Lineberry, 2008; Friedman, 2005). In Southern states in particular, local authorities provided little help because many of them were completely infiltrated by racist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan (Edwards, Wallenberg, & Lineberry, 2008).

The Political Situation in 1968

A Civil Rights Movement began to take shape in the early 1960s, marked by several memorable events such as the Civil Rights marches lead by Martin Luther King, his unjustified arrest in Birmingham, Alabama,…… [read more]

Louisiana History Research Proposal

… ¶ … Slave:

Solomon Northup And Slavery

From an historical perspective, Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave, first published in Auburn, New York in 1853 and dedicated to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the highly-popular Uncle Tom's Cabin, is much like other Negro narratives of the mid-1800's, for it conveys the often terrible and destructive experiences of Northup as a kidnapped African-American from New York who ended up in the bondage of slavery in Louisiana for a period of twelve long, grueling years.

As Northup relates in the opening lines of Chapter One, "Having been born a freeman and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty. . . And having. . .been kidnapped and sold into slavery. . . It has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public" (17). Indeed, Northup's account of his time as a slave in the Deep South when slavery was an integral part of the Southern economy and its way of life, did appeal not only to the general American public but also to readers in England, many of whom were unfamiliar with the horrors of slavery in the former American colonies. Overall, Northup's account is rich in narrative concerning the relationships between master and slave, overseers and among the slaves themselves. It also depicts very graphically the physical violence and coercion heaped upon the slaves by their masters and overseers; however, Northup also discusses how it was his fortune to be owned by several masters during his captivity, some of whom were "men of humanity" (xv, Editor's Preface) who treated him fairly and with respect as a human being.

In Chapter One, Northup describes his frequent encounters with slaves while living at the United States Hotel in Saratoga Springs. "Many times," he says, "they entered into conversation with me on the subject of slavery" and more often than not, "I found they cherished a secret desire for liberty" and possessed "the most ardent anxiety to escape" (25). However, "the fear of punishment" prevented many of them from attempting to escape, usually to the North via the Underground Railroad, which proved "sufficient to deter them from the experiment" (26). Clearly, as a freeman, Northup had a very hard time comprehending what it was like living as a slave, but unfortunately, he was soon to find out. As he puts it, just prior to being kidnapped, he realized that he was approaching "the shadow of the cloud. . .the thick darkness whereof I was soon to disappear. . . And shut out from the sweet light of liberty. . . " (27). Thus, although not so well-versed in the horrors of slavery, Northup possessed enough intelligence to see that forced bondage was a form of darkness which envelops the slave, much like what W.E.B. Du Bois once described as living "darkly as through a veil" (6), immersed in poverty, ignorance and barbarism.

In Chapter Three, Northup describes in great detail one of his… [read more]

Angela Davis Essay

… Angela Davis is one of the most well-known and recognizable figures from the Civil Rights and Vietnam War eras. As both a card-carrying member of the Communist party and the Black Panthers, she was no stranger to controversy, and her outspoken and fierce attitude earned her as many detractors as it did followers in her early days of activism. Over time, she has gained more respect, and her position as a university professor has helped to solidify this. Much of her career and life as an activist, however, is still something of an enigma. The clarity with which she describes her beginnings in activism is a true testament to her intelligence. Given how confusing a time this was, and the many internal conflicts Davis went through in her struggle to carve out an identity for herself that was not stigmatized by her race or gender, it is remarkable that she was able to make any rational sense of this period in her life. The fact that her account is so lucid and revelatory just makes it that much more amazing.

Davis begins this explanation by providing some important details about the circumstances of her childhood. Living in a neighborhood that was not just predominantly but completely populated by African-Americans, Davis does not remember ever interacting with a white person aside from the Jewish grocer who owned the store in their neighborhood, and she "lived on the border separating Black from white and could not cross the street o which our house was located" (Davis 319). These formative experiences created a racial identity for Davis that consisted largely of perceiving herself as an "other," and as something that needed to be changed (as evidenced by her use of a hot comb to straighten her "nappy" hair). Davis grew up with a mentality of living in an enclosed and almost prison-like atmosphere, with real physical boundaries, solely because of the color of her skin and condition of her hair.

Davis cites Malcolm X as responsible for creating a shift in her sense of identity and empowerment. Interestingly, she states that it is because Malcolm X's speech was so offensive -- "offensive, both because he offended the white people in attendance and because he was ideologically offensive" -- that she was able to view her race as simply a part of her identity, and not necessarily the limiting and defining characteristic that white society had made her feel it was (Davis 319). She does not fully explain how Malcolm X's offensive language cetaed this shift in her, but some conjecture is certainly warranted. It is very likely that this is the first time Davis had ever witnessed someone speaking about white people in any sort of offensive way when they were within earshot. The eloquence and intelligence that Malcolm X consistently exhibited on top of the offensiveness of his statements doubtless obviously made a strong impression on Angela Davis, perhaps opening her eyes to the true power of the word.

Witnessing a black… [read more]

Secession and Economic Impact on North and South Thesis

… Secession and Economic Impact on North and South

The secession of southern states from the union was a troubled time in American history, and it led to the Civil War, which had a strong and detrimental impact on the economy… [read more]

Having Our Say the Delany Sisters First 100 Years Research Proposal

… ¶ … Hearth, Amy Hill. Having Our Say: The Delaney Sister's First 100 Years. New York:

Dell, 1994.

The seismic changes in America over the course of the last 100 years are embodied in the lives of the Delaney sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany. These two African-American sisters, one born in 1889, the other born in 1891, reflect the changes that occurred in America from the end of Reconstruction up to the present. Their story is one of triumph and survival over the evils of Jim Crow. Author Amy Hill Hearth's Having Our Say: The Delaney Sister's First 100 Years examines how these two women's lives both reflect the limits the times placed on African-Americans and also how they rose above them. The lives of the sisters, from one of the finest and most respected African-American families in North Carolina are eccentric and extraordinary, yet interact with seemingly every major historical event in American history, from the end of slavery, to the depression, to the Civil Rights movement.

Oral historian and journalist Amy Hill Hearth met the Delaneys in 1991. She immediately became impressed by the ways in which they confronted racism in very different ways. Sadie was a high school teacher of home economics in New York City. She saw herself as elevating her people through education. "Being presentable and having good manners -- don't underestimate the importance of this if you're colored," she reflected ruefully, using the vocabulary of her time to designate an African-American individual (Hearth 143). Bessie became the second licensed black woman dentist in New York City after graduating from Columbia University. Bessie's eventual vocation seemed to make things come 'full circle' regarding the fate of the sister's grandmother, Martha Logan who was the "ladylove" of an amateur white dentist named James Miliam and helped him in his work (Hearth 29). Their grandmother inherited the farm after his death and miraculously won a legal challenge to her claim to keep Miliam's land.

Growing up, Bessie was more vocal and less able to forgive the racism the sisters confronted. At one point, Bessie says that she worries if she will get into heaven. Unlike her sister who is 'molasses' and sugar without trying, Bessie says that she always was the type to look the Devil in the eye, no matter what the price (Hearth 9). Bessie was the more politically active of the two. While Bessie was practicing dentistry in Harlem, a patient exclaimed:

"your office isn't a dentist's office. it's a social service agency" (Hearth 159). Sadie, said Bessie, was more practical about helping people "one person at a time," while Bessie wanted to change the world, and felt like she was walking around with everyone's troubles on her shoulder, all of the time (Hearth 159). Bessie's more radical nature was evident even as a child -- Bessie painted a porcelain doll's face to match her own skin, because she was angry that there were only white dolls. "You couldn't get a colored doll" back… [read more]

Eric Larson the Devil in the White City Essay

… Devil in the White City - Chicago and the World's Fair, 1893

Non-Fictional Glimpse at America's Best & Worst

Erik Larson's the Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America opens the door… [read more]

Free Joe and the Rest of the World Essay

… FREE JOE and the REST of the WORLD by Joe Chandler Harris

Free Joe and the Rest of the World" reflects a revisionist version of the antebellum South. It was published in 1884 by Joe Chandler Harris who tells the 'sad' tale of the African-American Free Joe, cruelly freed and drifting like "a black atom," in contrast to the happy, singing, and laughing enslaved human beings in the fields (Harris 1884, p.117). African-Americans are portrayed as quaint stereotypes in this tale, either as picturesque field hands, man-servants, or fortunetellers. Joe is freed by an irresponsible white man, a gambler who does so more out of vengeance on the world after he blows out his brains after a game of cards rather than kindness. Clearly, this is supposed to suggest to the reader that only bad slave-owners free their black slaves. These owners do so because do not want to take care of the slaves, not because they are abolitionists at heart. Joe is estranged from his wife, left with only a dog for company, and is said to see his status diminished as he must rely upon the mercy of "poor white trash" (Harris 1884, p.…… [read more]

Frederick Douglass Thesis

… Frederick Douglass is one of the most significant individuals in the abolitionist movement because he came from the most humble of backgrounds and made a difference. Douglass was born a slave in 1818 and became an inspiration for thousands of African-American slave prior to the Civil War. He is the epitome of determination because he did not allow his burdens to weight him down. Instead, he learned to overcome the obstacles that stood in his way. He learned how to read and he learned how to stand up for himself. As he made his way north, he became a voice that would move others to action. Douglass' life demonstrates how all of us have a voice and we should speak out against those things that are wrong because we can make a difference in the world.

The issue of slavery was something of which Douglass could address honestly. He had been a slave and lived through beatings and inhumane treatment. When he finally stood up to one of his owners, Mr. Covey, he finally began to taste freedom in determination. After fighting with Covey, Douglass felt as though he had bee lifted from the "tomb of slavery" (89) because he was able to taste independence. Douglass writes in his narrative that he might remain a slave in his bodily form, but the "day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact" (113). In addition, he also writes, "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man" (107). These words are powerful as they demonstrate Douglass' awakening - an awakening that would lead him down a path that would change lives forever.

Douglass even found his way to becoming an influential voice for…… [read more]

Los Angeles Riot of 1965 Thesis

… ¶ … Los Angeles Riots of 1965

The riots of Los Angeles that occurred in 1965 are some of the most memorable and significant riots because they represent generations of turmoil coupled with decades of efforts to reach peace, which… [read more]

Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun Thesis

… ¶ … Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun

Raisin in the Sun is the most well-known and successful play written by Lorraine Hansberry, who died tragically young of pancreatic cancer in 1965 at the age of 34 (SocialJusticeWiki). The play was groundbreaking in many ways -- it was the first play produced on Broadway written by an African-American female, and the first directed by an African-American director since 1907 (Social Justice Wiki). In breaking down these barriers, Hansberry was following in the tradition she had learned from her parents since the time of her birth. Her parents were hugely active in the struggle for equal rights, and figures like Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes often came to her parents' house (Voices from the Gap). But it is not just details of Hansberry's adult life that seem inspired by her upbringing, but there are even strong elements of biography in her plays and other writings. Being at the center of the struggle for African-American rights, and specifically her family's move to an all-white neighborhood whil she was still young, had a very large impact on shaping Hansberry's literary works, especially Raisin in the Sun. In this play, certain aspects of Lorraine Hansberry's family life and details of her life are the basis for this work, which examines the breakdown -- or perhaps the strength -- of a family on the edge.

Lorraine Hansberry was born to Carl Augustus Hansberyy and Nannie Louise Perry on May 19, 1930, the fourth child in the middle-class African-American family in Chicago, Illinois (Wikipedia). Both of her parents were activists against segregation and other discriminations, and they moved to an all-white neighborhood that tried to keep them out via the court system, leading to the Supreme Court Decision Hansberry v. Lee, which allowed them to stay in their home (SocialJusticeWiki). They also sent Lorraine to public schools, where they were fighting segregation, rather than to the private schools they could afford (SocialJusticeWiki). She dropped out of the University of Wisconsin and moved to New York City to become a writer, where she made use of some of her father's connections and found both work and instruction through them (SocialJusticeWiki). In 1959, Raisin in the Sun was produced on Broadway and was an instant hit (Wikipedia). The 1961 movie version, also penned by Hansberry, was well received, but was her last success -- she died of cancer in 1965 (Wikipedia).

The connections between her life and play are very strong, though she did not merely write scenes from her life onto the page as she remembered them. Her family's economic situation was actually nothing like the Younger's in the play; her father was a well-off real estate broker, inventor, and political activist who even ran for Congress, which is a far cry from the servile position of chauffeur that Walter Lee Younger has (SocialJusticeWiki). It is not the situation, but rather the desires of her parents and herself that are transferred to her characters somewhat tragically,… [read more]

Frederick Douglass Research Proposal

… Frederick Douglass was one of the most prominent figures of American civil rights struggle. He was born into slavery around 1818. He escaped from slavery in 1838, in his early thirties. Apart from his influential career as a writer, Douglass… [read more]

Comparison of Coming of Age in Mississippi Book and Reading in History Essay

… Coming of Age in Mississippi Book And Reading in History Book

Martin Luther King Jr. said that the throbbing desire for freedom inside every man could no longer be denied and to rob a man of his freedom is to take to him the essential basis of his manhood. This very statement is one of the many issues he had always raise in every chance that he could get so that his fellow African-Americans could have not just a better but more importantly a reasonable condition during the time when discrimination and injustice towards them were very prevalent. And it was an unlikely method of non-violent actions to dissent the countless accounts of wrong doings being done to the African-Americans that Martin Luther King Jr. And all the people who believed in his means tried to carry out amidst all the violence being done to them by doing these protests.

For Mr. Stokely Carmichael, the death of Martin Luther King signifies the start of a different approach of how will African-American people will respond to the kind of dealing they are receiving from the hands of the White Americans, it will be a more confrontational stance. Ms. Anne Moody would have considered the opportunity to be with Mr. Luther's endeavors since the main reason that they are doing this is the same and that is to give African-American people like them equal rights and opportunities like of the White Americans. Throughout her life, she had firsthand experiences of the different kinds of chauvinism that have been happening not only in her native town but throughout the whole of America.

This burning desire inside her and her unwavering idealism might have fueled her decision to be part of the civil rights movement enthusiastically. Her bravery to pass judgment on the incompetence of this civil rights movement she is a part of and her explicitly to raise question whether the non-violent approach and effectiveness of the movement was relevant and appropriate, even though there is a of violent response of the White Americans to the African-Americans every time they will try to hold a protest rally, boycott or public meetings.

Anne Moody grew up a poor, southern African-American from a family of sharecroppers working for a white farmer. Even as a child, although she lacked the capacity to understand prejudices, she knew that she was treated differently from the other children. During her early childhood, she hardly met the essential needs of food and shelter but it was her discovery of racial discrimination after…… [read more]

Slave Life in the South and North Thesis

… ¶ … slave life in the South and North colonies/states from the 1680's to the Civil War. A great wealth of slave narratives exist in print today, a legacy of the slaves' experience in both the North and South in… [read more]

Campaigns and Elections Thesis

… ¶ … Obama Campaign

Barak Obama is getting an incredible amount of media coverage and most of it is good. Since Obama is spending an incredible amount of money on ads, this should be no surprise. Jim Rutenberg reports that Obama buys advertising time, "day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels" (Rutenberg). That being said, Obama is running a mixture of advertising. Some of his ads clearly attack McCain while others tend to promote fear in order to garner votes. Howard Kurtz reports, "Seventy-seven percent of the Illinois Democrat's commercials were negative during the week after the Republican National Convention, compared with 56% of the spots run by McCain" (Kurtz). According to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, Obama's ads are "39% of all general election Obama TV ads have been positive... 35% have been negative... And 25% have been contrast ads" (Wisconsin Politics). The more positive ads include ones about his heritage and family while the negative ads focus primarily on McCain and his policies.

The Reader's Digest reports, "If the election were held overseas, or even in the rest of North America, the Republican nominee wouldn't stand a chance" (Cannon). Author Carl Cannon writes, "In the Netherlands, Obamamania surpasses 90%. In Germany, it's at 85%-numbers not usually seen in political…… [read more]

On Lynchings by Ida B. Wells Essay

… ¶ … Lynchings

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an African-American woman and journalist noted for her work in detailing the prevalence of the murder of blacks by lynching, largely but not entirely in the South at the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. Her writings are collected in the book on Lynching, a book that describes many cases of lynching and that shows a deep sense of outrage that such actions take place in a country that ostensibly lives by law and that renounced the institution of slavery while not really giving the former slaves full citizenship.

Wells-Barnett had lived in the South when she started writing about this subject, but she was threatened and moved to Chicago, from where she continued to write about the lynchings taking place in different parts of the South. She would travel to the site of these murders even though she was at great risk doing so. Her courage an d her dedication would be repeated much later in the Civil Rights era as journalists and others went to the Old South and reported on the racism they found there and on the injustices that continued to be practiced. This included continuing reports of lynchings, one of the best known of which was the murder of Emmett Till in 1955. reading the reports by Wells-Barnett is truly a look back at an earlier age and at the horrors faced by African-Americans at that time, and the fact that these sorts of crimes would continue more or less openly well into the 1960s is a terrible indictment of a segment of society. While the reports by Wells-Barnett were largely written about actions in the South, that sort of racism and even that sort of murder was not uncommon in the North as well.

Wells-Barnett had pointed out that some of the lynchings in the South in the 1890s used the racist attitudes of the time as a way for some white businessmen to eliminate black competitors who would not be deterred any other way. When she was forced to move to the North, she continued what was by then a crusade against the way her people were treated and the way many whites were using violence to keep the black population in line. Her first pamphlet on the subject was called "Southern Horrors," and she wrote about mob violence in places like New Orleans and Georgia. Reading these works today serves not only as cries against the injustice of the time but also as historical documents showing the reader another time and place, a time that contributed to the history of the African-American community and that helps explain many of the conflicts that continue to this day.

Another aspect of the practices of the time is made evident as the author points out many crimes committed by white citizens against black people, crimes that were usually ignored and rarely punished. She notes how oe man was arrested for attempted rape in a… [read more]

Social Movements Term Paper

… Social Movements

Social reformers recognized very early that the causes for which they sought change, namely equality and equal representation were seriously stymied by poverty. The condition of poverty unfairly stilted individuals in their ability to seek change as being… [read more]

Slavery in the United States: The Grave Term Paper

… Slavery in the United States:

The Grave Mistake

According to W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the most outstanding African-American scholar, critic and historian of the past century, the most "dramatic episode in American history was the sudden move to free… [read more]

Colorism Term Paper

… Colorism

The idea that the amount of racism and discrimination that a minority person faces depends, in part, upon how much a person looks like a member of the dominant group is not a new one. India's strict caste system, though largely abandoned, continues to designate some people as better than others, and though its proponents will say that it is based in traditional jobs and family history, it is clear that the more menial the caste, the darker-skinned its members. Moreover, the vestiges of colonialism can be found in most of the countries in the Americas, which all spent time as European colonies. After all, racism based on the degree of one's blackness is a widely-acknowledged part of American history. While some states concluded that people with any proportion of African-American ancestry were black (and thus, slaves), other states defined blacks as people having a certain percentage of African-American history. Louisiana may have been the most specific of those states, recognizing quadroons (people with 1/4 African-American ancestry) and octoroons (people with 1/8 African-American ancestry). In addition, many states, most notably Louisiana, had large groups of free "coloreds;" people who were of mixed white and black ancestry. Though these "colored" people did not have the same rights as whites, they were also not subjected to the same degree of degradation as their blacker counterparts. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that people still experience colorism.

What may be a surprise is that I believe that colorism is a natural response to a period of colonial oppression. This is not to suggest that I believe that colorism is appropriate; race-based discrimination is wrong, even when it is done by members of one's same racial minority or on the basis of degrees of racial "purity." However, when one looks at systems of colonial oppression, one sees that colorism is an almost-inevitable by-product of those systems. Moreover, differences in colorism, such as the differing approaches to race in the United States vs. most of Latin America, can be traced back to the different types of colonialism practiced in those different countries.

The basic thrust of colonialism was an assumption of superiority by the colonizing groups. Not only were they taking land and other resources from native persons, but they were doing so in a disingenuous manner, under the guise that they were somehow civilizing the natives and helping them by taking their land. When that assumption of superiority is missing, then colonialism does not exist. On the contrary, those land battles become outright wars, with the targeted people on-notice that they are going to be subject to harassment and hostility. Colonialism is different. Colonizing countries approached the peoples of new lands under the guise of friendship, and then engaged in mass slaughter and domination of those peoples. Moreover, they engaged in various practices to keep indigenous people from revolting against colonial rule. For example, Europeans established extensive colonies in Africa, and the role of those colonies is largely downplayed in modern discussions of… [read more]

2008 Nomination Phase Campaign Term Paper

… Political Science

Themes, Issues and Strategies:

The Nomination Phase of the 2008 Presidential Campaign

Political campaigns depend to a large extent on the public image they create for their candidate. During the course of the 2008 presidential primary season, the… [read more]

Up From Slavery Term Paper

… Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington, published by a.L. Bert, 1901

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Up From Slavery" tells the life story of Booker T. Washington, a famous black educator and activist of the 19th and 20th century. Washington began life as a slave and rose to help found Tuskegee Institute, one of the most famous black technical colleges in the country. He wrote early in the book, "My life had its beginning in the midst of the most miserable, desolate, and discouraging surroundings. This was so, however, not because my owners were especially cruel, for they were not, as compared with many others" (Washington 1). He then goes on to discuss his life, his accomplishments, and his desire to spread learning and discussion among the black American community. Near the end of the book, Washington was granted an honorary degree from Harvard University, and a newspaper of the day wrote, "The work which Professor Booker T. Washington has accomplished for the education, good citizenship, and popular enlightenment in his chosen field of labour in the South entitles him to rank with our national benefactors" (Washington 301). Thus, the book follows him through his life, travels, and accomplishments.

The book is well written in a lively style, even though some of the language and style seems a bit archaic, as it is over 100 years old and written in the style of the day. Analysis of the book and Washington's life continues to this day. One reviewer discussing the 100th anniversary of the book wrote, "The overarching message that Washington intended, [...] was not acceptance of disfranchisement and segregation but rather a message of progress,' a message that he tied to 'a defense of black education' -- and not just industrial education" (Anderson). Washington gained an education himself, and then went on to become a teacher and head of Tuskegee, all during a time when few blacks enjoyed the luxury of an education and a professional career. He continued this important work throughout his lifetime, and when he died in 1915, most remembered him as one of the most influential black men of his time. Another historian notes that W.E.B. DuBois wrote upon Washington's death, "The…… [read more]

Gender and Race in the Presidential Campaign Term Paper

… Gender & Race in the Presidential Campaign

Clinton & Obama - Gender and Race in a Presidential Campaign

The 2008 presidential campaign in the United States is unique in that never before have voters in the Democratic primaries been offered a choice between a woman candidate and an African-American male candidate. It can be safely stated that never before have race and gender played such a major role in American presidential politics. While the Republican candidates are all white males, the major Democratic candidates are males (African-American Barack Obama and Caucasian John Edwards) and female (former first lady and New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton)

Back in January 2007, Washington Post reporter Dan Balz (Balz 2007) wrote, "For all the potential history-in-the-making of their candidacies, neither Clinton nor Obama enters the campaign primarily because of race or gender." In fact, Balz goes on in the article, Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and white American mother, is not the first African-American candidate to enter the presidential primary field. Jesse Jackson ran in 1984, and was seen more as breaking a racial barrier than seriously contending for the presidency. And Obama's appeal, Balz writes, "...appears not fundamentally based on his race."

And Clinton, Balz continues, has ascended to near the top of the Democratic field "not principally because she is a woman" but rather because she is part of the Bill Clinton family, and because as first lady she was more of an activist than most first ladies are expected to be. That having been said, there is "no way" one can safely underestimate the "significance of race and gender in the coming campaign," the writer asserts.

Fast forward to October 2007; a New York Times article (Seelye 2007) reports on the African-American voters in South Carolina, site of the Democratic Primary in January 2008. Beauty shop owner Clara Vereen, an African-American, said that she would like a black man to be president some day; "I would love that, but I want to be real, too." By that she meant that a black president "would not be safe," Seelye writes. "I fear that they just would kill him." As for Clinton, Vereen said "We always love Hillary because we love her husband," but when it comes to a woman being president she added that as a Christian who accepts what is written in the Bible, she believes "...the Lord has put man first...a man is supposed to be the head."

Another hair stylist in South Carolina, Vanessa Gerald, 38, said she was "torn" because while Obama is "trying to help his people" Hillary "is too." No matter which of the two candidates wins, Gerald said, "this is history let's see what history going to bring in." Maria Hewett, a black retiree in another hair salon visited by the journalist for the Times, said she would vote for Obama "...despite her fear that he could be a target" once elected.

As for Obama's style of politics, another New York Times… [read more]

Abolitionism William Lloyd Garrison Term Paper

… Abolitionism

William Lloyd Garrison is considered to be one of the most important figures of the abolitionist movement. Aside from his reformative ideas on the emancipation of black people and the freedom of slaves, his approach to sensitive issues such as the "peculiar institution" offered him a place in history as one of the most significant voices against slavery.

The context of the 19th century was marked by an increasing number of tensions which would eventually lead to the Civil War. Nonetheless, one of the most important issues of debate and argument was the slave issue. The discussions that were held during this time revolved around whether slavery should be abolished and if so, what should be the conditions and the methods to achieve this (Jenkins, 1997)

While in the late years of the 18th century, there was a general state of equilibrium between slave supporters and abolitionists, in the first part of the 19th century, the balance changed and more views were put for discussion. The main reason for this change was in fact the establishment of a powerful central government that impose laws meant to increase the control on slavery. In this sense, "the Fugitive Slave Law, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the attempt to annex Cuba as a slave state, the movement to reopen the slave trade, and the Dred Scott decision all seemed to underscore the power of slaveholding interests at the national level" (Ripley et al., 1993). Therefore the issue of slavery was no longer a matter of state choosing, but rather a national question.

In this context, the contribution of Garrison proved essential as one of the leading voices of the anti-slavery movement. His main arguments resided in the nonviolent means used to express his indignation and frustration in relation to the slave issue. He expressed himself both through actions such as being member of the American Anti-Slavery Society, as well as through writings. His contributions to the Quaker Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper pointed out his strong anti-slavery beliefs as well as the means he considered necessary and appropriate to end the issue of slave ownership.

On the one hand, his main point was based on the intrinsic rights of the human being enshrined in the U.S. constitution. In this sense, he pointed out in the first issue of his paper, "The Liberator" that "Assenting…… [read more]

Malcolm X Was One of the Founding Term Paper

… Malcolm X was one of the founding leaders of the Black Islamic Movement within the United States. He is viewed by many to be the second most influential black leader within the Civil Rights era, behind only Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His ability to rally crowds around him and his strength as the spokesperson of Black Islam allowed the African-American rights to gain both notoriety and public debate within the mainstream. Malcolm X has had several turning points in his life that were both results of choice and of inevitable social pressure. In the following analysis, there are three crucial turning points that dramatically changed the course of Malcolm X's life.

The first turning point was when Malcolm X dropped out of high school and went into the foster care and detention system. Malcolm X graduated from junior high school at the top of his class; he believed that he had unheralded promise and ability. However, one of his high school teachers told him that he would never be able to become a lawyer because it was "no realistic goal for a nigger." This was a turning point in his life because it made him realize the reality of racism within the United States, and propelled him into his initial life of crime and disillusionment. This turning point was forced upon him, Malcolm X felt that society had judged him inadequate based on his race and thus he retaliated by attempting to escape. It led him to a life of abusive foster homes, detention centers and finally the underbelly of the Boston underworld.

The second turning point in his life came after he entered prison for burglary. He was imprisoned for over five years and during that time discovered the Nation of Islam. Through correspondence with his brother Reginald and Elijah Muhammad,…… [read more]

Biographies on Pioneer Social Workers Term Paper

… ¶ … Pioneer Social Workers

Pioneers in the field of social work laid the ground work for programs, agencies, and policies still in effect today. Especially of note are African-American social workers from the past who not only impacted the field of social work, but also presented landmarks in African-American history. The following discussion will focus on four African-American social work pioneers and the influence and implications their work had for modern day social work practice. These four pioneers are Jane Addams, Roger Cummings, Whitney Young Jr., and Sara a Collins Fernandis.

Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois, and lived until 1935, when she passed away I while living in Chicago, Illinois. The most prominent event that Jan Addams is remembered for is founding the Settlement House Movement. This was initiated when she founded the Hull house in the poverty stricken streets of Chicago in 1889. Also of note, she was the first American woman to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Beyond her generous help with the poor, Jane Addams was also heavily involved in the area of labor law reforms, in which she pushed for improvements in laws that governed working conditions for women and children. She was also an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of colored People (NAACP).

In her upbringing, Jane Addams was heavily influenced by her father, who taught her the values of tolerance, philanthropy, a strong work ethic, and higher education. Jane Addams pursued higher education at the Rockford Seminary for young ladies, and achieved great academic success. Along with her academic achievements, Jane Addams also developed strong leadership traits, and desired greatly to attend medical school, of which her parents did not approve.

While in England on vacation with friends, Jane Addams was introduced to the founders of Toynbee Hall, a settlement house in the slums of London,. This inspired her to return to the United States and start a settlement house in Chicago. Jane soared to new heights as the creator, innovator and leader of the Settlement house, and abundance and help was drawn to her from all around. Hull house eventually provided English classes for immigrants, as well as instruction in vocational skills, music, drama, and art.

In 1915, Addams organized the Women's Peace Party and the International Congress of Women in efforts to avert war. She was also the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP. She received much criticism for her involvements, and was labeled as an anarchist, socialist, and a communist. Throughout controversies involving her political involvements, Hull House continued to be successful.

Another pioneer of social work was Roger Cummings, who was born in Canada in 1910, and lived until 1967, when he died while living in Minnesota. Cummings is most recognized as being instrumental in the development of clinical social work. His vision included the integration of services provided by medical and psychiatric social workers. The program he developed later became a model used in other health-related settings.… [read more]

Everyday Use Term Paper

… Walker Everyday Use

Alice Walker explores the emergence of Black pride and empowerment in "Everyday Use." Through the contrast between the two sisters Dee and Maggie, the author illustrates the social transformation from oppression to civil rights. The narrator of the story, a hard-working mother, watches as her two daughters grow up in to strikingly different women. Their differences are emblematic of the political changes taking place throughout the African-American community in the early 1960s. Dee, who comes home from school one day with a new Africanised name, criticizes her mother and sister for being "backwards" and for denying their "heritage." Her youthful zeal is both ironic and immature, as it is really mama and Maggie who remain closely connected to their family traditions.

Tradition and family is symbolized in "Everyday Use" by the quilt. Quilts are tapestries pieced together of patchwork from discarded garments or pieces of what would otherwise be scraps. To mama and Maggie, the quilts are practical items. Their sentimental value is…… [read more]

MLK Jr.'s I Had a Dream Speech Term Paper

… MLK Jr.'s "I had a dream" speech

Martin Luther King was a famous leader of the American civil rights movements, a political activist, a baptist minister and he was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, at the age of thirty-five, for his work as a promoter of equal treatment for different races. His "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on the steps of Lincoln Memorial in 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, became one of the most important and enthusiastic of his speeches, having a great influence in the American history.

One of the remarkable lines of his speech underlines that: "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

His word sustain the goals of the March on Washington, because the purpose of this event was to reveal the condition of blacks in the south ant to put pressure on those who had the power to change things, and to improve the situation of black people in America.

The march made some important demands: an end to racial segregation in public school; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality. These are demands that Martin Luther King has also stated in his "I Have a Dream" speech, showing that America is an amazing nation, a country where children "will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.." Martin Luther King's hope…… [read more]

Harriet Tubman -- Legend and Woman Term Paper

… Harriet Tubman -- Legend and woman of mystery

Although the name of Harriet Tubman has often been lauded by historians and in the popular press, this legendary, almost mythical figure of the Underground Railroad remains a mystery, even to this… [read more]

Roll of Thunder, Hear Term Paper

… Mama tells his story to encourage Cassie to have enough strength to be true to her own desires for freedom and self-expression, even when oppressed by whites and when she meets with obstacles. She also tells this story to keep the memory of Great-Grandpa alive in Cassie, so his story can be passed on, hopefully, to Cassie's own children as a similar source of pride and comfort.

The story also highlights that Great-Grandpa, even when forced to hide in a cave, never gave up. Thus, Mama's story is not sentimental, for Great-Grandpa faced great trials. Mama says that although the war ought to have made Blacks and whites equals, it did not in the reality of history. Mama says the sense of superiority felt by whites in earlier historical era is carried on into the present day, tracing an important line of continuity in the prejudiced faced by the family, from the time they were "brought in chains" from Africa to now. (127) But Mr. Sims is wrong, she states to her daughter, as are other whites that feel superior because of their racial status. Just as Great-Grandpa was brave enough to defy what was taught to him, about his own inferiority as a Black man from birth, so must the Logan children resist the teachings of white superiority from the society of today.

Telling stories about the family and telling stories about history are one in Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. Great-Grandpa struggled for freedom, and sadly his children must wage a similar, bitter battle. But by remembering Great-Grandpa the children can find comfort in history. They know that simply because society says something is true, does not make it so. It is difficult, but possible to resist, just as slaves resisted teachings about obedience and bondage.

Works Cited

Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. New York:…… [read more]

Malcolm X Autobiography Term Paper

… Malcolm X ranks among the most important figures in American history because of his unwavering political activism and his staunch dedication to countering racial bigotry in the United States. His autobiography, which was assisted by Alex Haley, was published in 1964 and was been made into a big-screen movie directed by Spike Lee in 1992. The Autobiography of Malcolm X details the life of Malcolm X, from his childhood in Nebraska and Michigan through his assassination in 1965. Having experienced the horrific manifestations of racism via KKK attacks and the murder of his father and mental anguish of his mother, Malcolm X realized first-hand the deeply-rooted extent of racist norms in American culture. Partly inspired by his father's faith and his ascription to the teachings of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm would eventually become the figurehead of black separatism and black power movements throughout the United States. His influence parallels that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; although the two men differed greatly in their politics and techniques, both worked diligently to squelch racism and both men were also eventually assassinated.

Orphaned and living in a group home in Michigan, Malcolm X dropped out of school after 8th grade and fled to Boston to live with an older sister. There, Malcolm received his first taste of social power as he rose through the ranks of urban street culture. He soon moved to New York City, where he continued spending his adolescence and early adulthood as a hustler, drug dealer, and petty criminal on the streets of Harlem. Busted for armed robbery back in Boston, Malcolm X ended up in prison. It was during his years in prison that Malcolm X encountered the spiritual and political philosophies of the Nation of Islam and subsequently converted to the religion that was sweeping black America by storm. Behind bars, Malcolm X also taught himself how to read and write by memorizing page by page of…… [read more]

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