American History

Topics: Black people, African American, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 7 (2411 words) Published: February 4, 2014


March 25, 2013

African Americans from 1865-present
African Americans have shown great progress since 1865 to the present day. Starting with the Reconstruction with African Americans in which the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution made possible for the freedom of millions of slaves in 1865. Which then lead to the Southern Black Codes in 1865-1866 that allowed white southerners to enact a series of restrictive laws to keep blacks from equal activity and ensure availability for white southerners. Another significant event in African American history was the Harlem Renaissance that started in 1918. This event was due to a new black cultural identity. One of the most important events in African American history was the Civil Rights Movement dating from 1955-1968 allowing black Americans to fight and outlaw racial discrimination. One of the events influenced from the Civil Rights Movement was the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1965, marking a political and social protest campaign against segregation. Last but not least was the Black Power Movement in 1968 that encouraged other black leaders to speak out on political and religious reasons. In this paper I will explain and reveal the place of African Americans from 1865 to the present day through the major events and movements of American History. Reconstruction

The victory of the Civil War in 1865 paved the way for the freedom of millions of slaves. Reconstruction in the aspect of African Americans was a constant fight for equal rights in the political, economic, and social life of the south individually and as a whole. Although ex-slaves were free, the efforts to integrate into the American economy and society remained a task. President Lincoln took the first steps in freeing the slaves in 1863 when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared “all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be free”. National Archives & Records Administration. But, the proclamation did not apply to loyal slave states like Tennessee, victory had to be won over the Civil War for the idea of free slaves across the nation to take effect. The victory did succeed, and African Americans had experience what freedom meant. African Americans goals were to create their own community and get involved socially to prove their independence to society. They gave themselves new names, bought animals, guns, liquor, joined the military and change their clothing style to express their freedom. Along with freedom, and status, education was also a priority, African Americans wanted to be intellectually involved. The Freedman’s Bureau provided assistance to thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites in the Southern States. Also, during the reconstruction “Representatives Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania and Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts led a charge and sought legal protection and the enfranchisement that granted the right to vote for African Americans”. Although President Lincoln took the first steps in freeing the slaves and granted them the right to vote, some people did not have the same views. President Lincoln was assassinated by an angered man that did not believe in his desires and views for freedom of the slaves. Then, vice president Andrew Johnson who was an ex-slave owner was now in control of the future of the reconstruction for African Americans. African Americans received all kinds of resistance in politics, for instance the Negro troops were said to be the source of discontent and trouble. “One factor was the expiration of the term of enlistment of the soldiers” the white soldiers term was the same as Negroes, but whites had more political leverage in their demands for discharge”. Assaults towards white soldiers began to spring up everywhere for the Negro soldiers, because of the clash with white soldiers. Opinions of the conduct and discipline of the Negro troops were held by many in the North and South,...
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