Term Paper: Brown vs. Board of Education

Pages: 4 (1354 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies  ·  Buy This Paper

African-American History: Brown v. Board of Education

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

Reconstruction should have been a time to rejoice and celebrate for blacks in the South. But that was not the case. Blacks suffered immensely at the hands of severe racial differences that plagued the country and had sharpened with the proclamation. The administration did little or nothing to ease the transition process. Frederick Douglass expressed his disappointment in these words: "You say you have emancipated us. You have; and I thank you for it. But what is your emancipation? When the Israelites were emancipated they were told to go and borrow of their neighbors -- borrow their coin, borrow their jewels, load themselves down with the means of subsistence; after, they should go free in the land which the Lord God gave them...But when You turned us loose, you gave us no acres. You turned us loose to the sky, to the storm, to the whirlwind, and, worst, of all you turned us loose to the wrath of our infuriated masters." long series of struggles began when reconstruction failed to make the dream of liberty come true. Voting rights were not yet granted to blacks and to make matters worse racial segregation had not been abolished in schools and other departments. Racial segregation in schools was a major sign of discrimination because young generation of blacks who were born free was forced to encounter unfair treatment without their being any legal support for the same. Slavery was no longer there in practice but it could still be felt in such actions of the people. Discrimination on the basis of race was reflected by things such as black people riding at the back of the bus, racial segregation in school, equal and separate principle and no voting rights or job opportunities for blacks. Before 1950s, things were not even moving in the right direction. Everything was intensely unequal for blacks including access to education and jobs. But 1950s and following decades changed the fate of black community as more than a century after initial emancipation, they were finally given some of the civil rights they had dreamt of. But these rights were not offered on a silver platter. Blacks had to consistently fight for their rights and there were a series of court cases that upheld the democratic ideals and opened doors to more freedom and equality for blacks. One such prominent and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Brown vs. Board of Education.  (2005, February 16).  Retrieved July 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/brown-board-education/604003

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"Brown vs. Board of Education."  Essaytown.com.  February 16, 2005.  Accessed July 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/brown-board-education/604003.