African Americans Throughout History

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Supreme Court of the United States, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 7 (2713 words) Published: December 24, 2012
African Americans throughout History

What is freedom? From liberals and conservatives, libertarians and progressives to even hippies, freedom has been a concept everyone has seeked in their lives and in their communities. Freedom has been an issue to many ethnicities such as Muslims, American Indians, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Japanese, Africans Americans, the Irish, and the list keeps on going and going. Freedom has been defined as a power or right an individual may seek without any limitation or restrictions. Throughout history, freedom has been an issue amongst all races. White people in American history have assumed the role of superior authority and have caused turmoil with many ethnic groups such as the African Americans. Enslaved Africans represented many different people each with distinct cultures, religions, and languages. Most originated from the coast or the interior of Western Africa, which today would be known as Senegal and Angola. Other enslaved people originally came from the island of Madagascar and Tanzania in Eastern Africa. Ships began transporting millions of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. This massive population movement helped create the African Migration in the New World. During the course of time, African-Americans had been separated from their families, auctioned and sold into slavery, whipped, abused and raped, yet they have struggled and fought against their white masters. During the time that led up to their freedom, many African-Americans such as Frederick Douglas, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Dred Scott, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, President Barack Obama and the infamous Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rose up to the role of great leaders and became the first of many blacks who historically have made sacrifices and made a difference.

Frederick Douglas, an African American, became one of the most distinguished human-rights leaders of the 19th century. His verbal and literary brilliance made him one of the most influential individuals of the U.S. abolition movement period. Douglass became one of the first black citizens to hold high rank within the U.S. government. Frederick Douglass was born as a slave in 1818 in Tuckahoe, Maryland. In September 1838, Douglass escaped from slavery and arrived to New York City, one of the Free states. In 1841, Douglass spoke about his slave experiences at a convention of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held on Nantucket Island. He impressed prominent abolitionist leaders and was hired as an anti-slavery lecturing agent. In 1843, he joined a group of anti-slavery lecturers on a "One Hundred Conventions" tour, a challenging schedule of stops that included upstate New York, Ohio, Indiana, and western Pennsylvania. In addition to advocating abolition in his lectures and in his publications, Douglass became active in the Underground Railroad and was extremely skilled in guiding many fugitive slaves to Canada. Frederick Douglass had asked President Abraham Lincoln to make abolition his campaign objective as well as to fight for the rights of African-Americans to enlist in the Union Army. Douglass helped to recruit African-American soldiers and wrote a popular editorial entitled "Men of Color, To Arms,"(Frederick 2011) which became a recruiting poster. Frederick Douglass also advocated for Women’s Rights and the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. He remained dedicated to the cause of women’s rights. Before his death, Douglass had attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. on February 20, 1895. During the meeting, he was brought to the platform and given a standing ovation by the audience. He died shortly after he returned home. Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were two of the most influential black women in history. Harriet Tubman was known as the “Moses of her people.” She helped escape slaves from slavery in the South and became a leading abolitionist...
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