Slavery Today, an African-American Man Is Running Essay

Pages: 3 (1069 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies


Today, an African-American man is running for presidential office under the umbrella of the Democratic Party. Fifty years ago, the Democratic Party was the party of slavery and segregation -- how things have changed. Yet the attitudes that validated racial injustice still tragically linger on in our national consciousness. Recently, supporters at a John McCain rally gleefully uttered racial epitaphs in support of their candidate. In the striving of Obama, one might say, we can see the legacy of King pressing America on to change realized. Who would have thought the current presidential contest would have been possible only ten years ago -- but that does not mean the legacy of slavery is still not present in the economic and social disparities evident between blacks and whites, and in the national unconsciousness, even while paying tribute to Obama's achievement.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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To read the words of King is inspiring for all generations. King was told wait until the time was right by supposedly good white men. But King knew that he time had never been right. The Constitution had been founded on liberty -- and the 3/5ths compromise that declared African-Americans slaves only partially human beings. After Reconstruction Jim Crow segregation was rapidly put in place in the South, hampering blacks with voting poll tests and segregating the school districts. Obama is the promise of the Constitution made good upon, an ideal Frederick Douglass longed for in his speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" But black men and women still suffer discrimination and the economic repercussions of slavery and hatred. Simply because men such as Obama, King, and Douglass have risen above these challenges does not mean that slavery's legacy can be ignored. Back in the days of slavery, Frederick Douglass painfully taught himself to read, but this did not mean that education was accessible to most of his fellow slaves, and just because a black man can become president does not deny existence of injustice -- even the question of votes being 'counted' in largely black districts during the past presidential elections has an eerie parallel with the 1950s and 1960s.

Racism is more than simply epithets and statistics. To be racist is to perceive certain individuals as 'other,' as intrinsically different from one's self. To be racist is to refuse to go to school with 'them,' to refuse to hire people perceived as different. Subtle racism results in African-Americans being denied, sometimes unconsciously, the ability to have the same opportunities as members of the group that dominates most institutions of power. African-Americans still suffer the sad and debilitating legacy of racism which can be harmful to self-esteem and social mobility, just like overt segregation.

Some Americans may try to forget the fact that America's proud cry of liberty and freedom for all really meant liberty and freedom for some, for much of its history. That is why it is essential to read the words of King and Douglass, and to carefully reflect upon their meaning. Seeing the prejudices of the Americas from the eyes of an early observer like Alexis de Tocqueville also reminds us how extraordinary cruel and strange American plantation slavery seemed, even to Europeans, and reminds… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Slavery Today, an African-American Man Is Running" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Slavery Today, an African-American Man Is Running.  (2008, October 14).  Retrieved August 2, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Slavery Today, an African-American Man Is Running."  14 October 2008.  Web.  2 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Slavery Today, an African-American Man Is Running."  October 14, 2008.  Accessed August 2, 2021.