African Americans During the Gilded Age

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Thesis: Although the promise of equality and prosperity were present for African-Americans, this premise was never kept and African-Americans remained segregated. Voting rights were taken, education was limited, and jobs were unavailable due to racism and new immigration.

Factor 1: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) z– “Separate but equal” * Ruled that separate but equal facilities are constituted in the 14th Amendment * The quality of African American life was unequal to that of whites * Public places (schools, restaurants, restrooms, railroads, etc.) were segregated. (Jim Crowe Laws) * Black facilities were inferior to whites.

* Southern whites dealt harshly with blacks who violate the South Cede of Conduct * Blacks were killed/beaten/lynched, most often for asserting themselves as equal.

Factor 2: Booker T. Washington v. Dr. W.E.B. DuBois – “Complete Equality or Segregation” Booker T. Washington * Supported giving African Americans good education, but did not challenge white supremacy * Founded Tuskegee Institute (trained young blacks in agriculture and trades)POV: He holds the POV that African American need to be self-sufficient but do not need to be fully equal to succeed. | W.E.B. DuBois * Demanded complete equality of blacks (social and economy)POV: He holds the POV of African-Americans should be completely equal.|

These two’s contrasting opinions showed how the life experience between the North (DuBois)and South (Washington) affect their different goals and choices.

Factor 3: Populists and African-Americans – “One Step Towards Equality or Not?” * The first step towards Populism was the start of the Farmers’ Alliance in the late 1780s. * The Alliance were farmers who came to socialize but also band together to break the grip of the railroads and manufacturers by buying and selling with one another. * Downside: Ignored landless farmers, sharecroppers, farmworkers, and blacks (who counted for nearly...
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