African American History

Topics: African American, Jim Crow laws, Southern United States Pages: 6 (1355 words) Published: April 23, 2014
Prior to the Civil War, many African Americans were the minorities. They were not even considered citizens in the United States. During this period African American were slaves, working in fields and being servants for the white slave owners. During the year of 1861-1865, the union states were fighting the federate states in which the union won and slavery was later abolished. After this period, things for African Americans did not change. Blacks were segregated from whites, they were still considered minorities, and blacks are still mistreated by the whites. Although African Americans were freed overtime, the life for African Americans did not change in the wake of the Civil War. Violence was the worst during the segregation time period. Blacks were mistreated and often looked down upon. There was always a threat by terrorist violence. The Ku Klux Klan, Knights of White Camellia, and other terrorists killed many blacks to keep them from voting and participating in public life. Founded in 1865, the Ku Klux Klan did everything they could to attack he blacks from having their rights. The KKK’s main form main form of violence towards blacks was lynching. Meaning, the Ku Klux Klan was known to kill African Americans by hanging for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial. In the south, over 2,000 African Americans were lynched between the years of 1884 until the early 1900’s. They also did other types of violence such as shooting, burying African Americans alive, and beat them to death. The Ku Klux Klan was not only violent towards African Americans, but they attacked citizens who supported Republicans or racial equalities. Frederick Douglas, a dominant Republican said "Rebellion has been subdued, slavery abolished, and peace proclaimed," He said, "and yet our work is not done...We are face to face with the same old enemy of liberty and progress.... The South today is a field of blood.” Meaning, even slaves were freed from working in fields and being servants, they still were mistreated because of the color of their skin. Even in the North where most civil rights reformers hailed from, people discriminated based on color. In the United States, racial segregation and discrimination was enforced by the Jim Crow Laws, a system of laws and customs. Jim Crow Laws were enacted by lawmakers who were upset and bitter about their loss to the north and the ending of slavery. The laws were written to and applied in a way that discriminated against African Americans, but yet the laws did not specifically mention race. February 1843, started the tradition of the Jim Crow with a performed song and dance act by four white men from Virginia. The successful troops were individual performers who copied African American’s singing and dancing. Jim Crow grew slowly. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, many African Americans still enjoyed the rights granted in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, along with the 1875 Civil Rights Act.  Blacks and Whites rode together in the same railway cars, ate in the same restaurants, used the same public facilities, but did not interact as equals. Held at the Civil Rights Act in 1875 the court case Plessey v. Ferguson was unconstitutional and ruled that the 14th Amendment did not prohibit individuals and private organizations from discriminating on the basis of race. The court case started the “separate but equal” status. This means, blacks were free, but they were to remain separated from the white Americans. Later, blacks were denied social forms of respect. Signs were posted stating “Whites Only” and “Colored. Black male adults were often called “boy” by the whites. Eventually, by the year 1912, in the south laws were passed for two separate societies. One society was black and the other was white. Blacks were not allowed to sit on the same train as whites, eat in the same diner with whites, or sit in the same movie theatre with a white person. During the Jim Crow era, the...
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