Historical Progression of African Americans Thesis

Pages: 6 (2187 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies

¶ … Progression of African-Americans

Matters seemed to be looking up for African-Americans consequent to the Civil War period. Not only had the government become more tolerant towards them, but they were granted equal rights to white people, thus preventing them from being exploited by society. Emancipation was no longer an untouchable dream for black people in the south and those formerly enslaved could enjoy their much deserved power of free will. In spite of the fact that the ending of the war presumably meant that black people everywhere would be liberated, the process took time. While a number of black people enjoyed freedom at some point, others could not because of the faulty state of affairs that they found themselves in at the time.

Unit I:

The time spanning from 1865 to 1876 had been one of modernization, with people all across the U.S. struggling to rejuvenate both financially and economically. African-Americans had been certain that discrimination had been something long gone and that equality would quickly take its place. Whereas the government claimed that skin color would no longer be a reason for unfairness, racism did not die and most white people did not express any signs of willingly accepting African-Americans as their equals.

For African-Americans, the decade following the Civil War had been one of hope and celebration of their recovered, or soon to become a reality, freedom. Black people believed that all the rumors that they heard relating to them being freed had been true and that that would actually imply they became equal to the white majority of the population. Such concepts fueled most African-Americans in embracing optimism, starting to behave similar to white people. The 10-year period consequent to the ending of the Civil War is known as the Reconstruction period.

It became obvious that the American society had not been something that one could change with the help of a law system. Conditions had been critical, as black people realized that the U.S. did not experience the change that they thought it would. They practically believed that along with the proclamation of emancipation came a series of benefits that assisted them in properly developing as persons or communities, citizens of the U.S., according to their free will.

Even if white people were to simply change their principles and mentalities over night, African-Americans would still have problems integrating as people with the same rights and civil duties as their white con-nationals. They lacked some of the basic factors required for one to access society and become a member with equal opportunities. In order for them to become economically independent, they had to reinforce their communities through education and by influencing black people in the U.S. To build up a sense of cultural pride.

African-Americans had become aware of the fact that their long-awaited freedom had been different from what they expected. They had to go through great efforts so as to build up their reputation in the American society and in order for them to overcome their economical distress. Though African-Americans had indeed subjected themselves to working in unbearable conditions after the proclamation of emancipation, the aftermath of their endeavors could only be observed several decades later.

Unit II:

In their struggle for economical independence, black people in the U.S. had forgotten one major setback: the opposition of white people generally. Observing that those that had formerly been their slaves were evolving, white people became more and more determined to stop the African-American community from experiencing progress. The South losing the war did not lead to the white people there forgetting out their convictions when it came to racial discrimination. White people did not consider African-Americans to be entitled to evolution, thus, they felt that they had to obstruct the movement of black emancipation. The tendencies to hinder the African-American emancipation movement started to manifest outside the segregationist South. A wave of racism spread across the U.S., proving that it had been extremely difficult for black people to express themselves freely, to adapt to the new conditions offered by their freedom and to get the support to integrate in the modern American society, not long before entering the twentieth century.

In the eyes of society, black people were unfit to take jobs other than those reserved for slaves. Moreover, the majority of white people considered that African-Americans had only been capable of assisting society with their physical power, as their mental abilities had presumably been limited and in no case comparable with those possessed by the white population, regardless of the class.

Confederates had been appalled at the thought that they would have to recognize black people as equals. Their horror grew when, in an attempt to exploit the South, Northerners forced Southerners to accept corrupt whites and unskilled blacks coming to the South with the purpose of taking over management positions.

Blinded by their rage, Southerners turned to violence and a large number of black people having been killed as a result of the Reconstruction period. The time period from the end of the nineteenth century and until the beginning of the twentieth century is known as the Nadir of American race relations. White people in the South had let loose a wave of discrimination, leading to the formation of various anti-African-American groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Moreover, such factions had been strong-minded on discouraging any progress that the black community might have went through. African-Americans had not been the only ones targeted by racists, as the latter had also been responsible for attacking several white people suspected of assisting blacks.

In spite of the support they had been receiving from the public, the KKK and other similar groups did not manage to impose their power over the American society, only succeeding in creating isolate incidents. Indifferent to the anti-black crimes happening around the country, black people continued their journey to success, and approximately until the start of the twentieth century, most African-Americans had become literate.

People in the U.S. started to comprehend that everyone had been entitled to civil rights, regardless of their physical or mental characteristics. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a civil rights organization established with the purpose of preventing discrimination on several levels. The association formed as a counter reaction to the white southerners appearing to be reluctant to consider black people worthy of having certain rights.

Black people could no longer put up with the fear of getting lynched by a white mob motivated by absurd reasons. The NAACP represented the materialization of black thoughts at the start of the twentieth century. African-Americans had finally gotten an Association to lobby for their rights and discrimination ameliorated afterwards. Sadly, hundreds of black people had already died with no one to defend them.

Unit III:

While most people had expected the ending of the Civil War to unleash a wave of change for the better for African-Americans, little things have changed in the period consequent to it and it would be long until extreme discrimination would eventually disappear from the American landscape. In contrast to the Civil War, World War One did not seem to have anything in connection to the black people in the U.S. However, it actually marked a period of transformations concerning African-Americans, their beliefs, and the way they were perceived by the general public.

Having fought in the First World War, African-Americans returned home with the feeling that their country owed them more than what it had offered so far. Matters changed significantly and the years following the war virtually revolutionized the American way of dealing with civil rights and liberties. Minorities across the country put across their desire for reformation, pressing their case in order for the world to accept them as equal to the rest of the citizens. The war had provided black people with the opportunity of proving their value to the U.S. This made it possible for white people to become less aggressive toward African-Americans, realizing that a new age had started, one in which it had been vital for them to let go of their prejudices and retain their racist principles.

The 1920s have been a benefic period for black people, as the predominantly-white society had began to act more open-mindedly. With this in mind, black people took advantage of the situation and improved their financial conditions. Employers had also gradually put prejudice behind and showed less interest in only hiring white people. Equality could be partially felt in wages, as black people in certain workplaces were paid the same salaries as white people. Considering the fact that the U.S. industry had been thriving at the time, African-Americans hurried to occupy jobs in the business sector.

Economically, socially and politically, black people have experienced great advancements in the 1920s. However, due to the Great Depression, they could not enjoy their welfare for long, since most employers preferred to let go of African-Americans instead of firing white people. Even with this economical breakdown, it became… [END OF PREVIEW]

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