African American History
HIS204: American History Since 1865
July 22, 2013
Heritage makes up a large portion of our History. Combine that heritage with race and you have a foundation for establishing different beginnings of races that can trace their early origins back to the beginning of the United States. A giant melting pot as it has been described due to all of the immigration that occurred in the early nineteenth century. African Americans have established an enormous role in the beginnings and the history of the America. Their continuous fight for equality and rights as American people have spanned many years. The actions against African Americans immediately following the conclusion of the civil war were not fair. This initial unfair treatment sparked numerous debates that all can be followed back to their initial start of fair treatment after many years of mistreatment. The Black Codes were established to restrict and control the lives of ex-slaves. (Bowles 2011) That is not a way to be granted freedom if your life is still controlled. Freedom isn’t freedom if you are still treated unfairly amongst other races. The thirteenth amendment established to abolish slavery in the United States. This was a major step to equality among African Americans. The industrial boom in the north sparked the interest of many looking for work. The promise of a job and being able to provide for your family drew the attention of millions of African Americans. These jobs caused a mass movement of African Americans from the south to the north. This move was the Great Migration. The entry into World War Two brought some unique opportunities for African Americans. Key components to the war were the Tuskegee Airmen. Moving on in their fight for equal rights and treatments, Rosa Parks made a stand and refused to give up her seat on a bus. Seeing the need for more action by the government, Martin Luther king assembled a massive million man march into the Nation’s capital. The struggle for African Americans has been a long and at times dangerous struggle. Former slave owners and many others in the south did not wish to abandon their way of life and what they saw as fair and equal treatment for African Americans. With the determination, the will to make a difference, and legislative actions. African Americans have changed the laws and made remarkable steps towards the fair and equal treatment they were always entitled to as any American should be. Their nonstop pursuit of change has had an everlasting effect on history. The hopes and dreams of freedom for African Americans were destroyed immediately following the end of the civil war, because of black codes and the intimidation with terror and violence from veteran confederates that formed the terrorist group called the Ku Klux Klan. As newly freed slaves, blacks found out very soon that freedom was not how they dreamed. “In 1865, southerners created black code that controlled all aspects of black’s lives and stopped new found African Americans from the freedom that they had won from the civil war.” (The Black Codes of the South 1966) Almost every part of free slaves life was regulated by black codes even the freedom to migrate. Blacks could not enter certain towns without permission so hopes of finding family that were sold during slavery proved to be a challenge. There was also vagrancy laws that stated all freedman were vagrant if they did not have a job or they were homeless. Black codes made segregation in public facilities, carrying any kind of weapons, and to testify in court against white men illegal. If a black person disobeyed these codes and imprisonment would occur most of the time. This was a backwards step towards equality and freedom. Black codes did offer a few certain rights to blacks. They were given the right to marry, and the right to own some land. Although being a free black slave during this time...
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