Junior Language and Composition
5 March 2013
Minorities in America: The Similar Plights of the LGBT and African-American Communities
Throughout history, society has shown a particular dislike for groups of people who did, or did not follow the “social norm;” two groups that fit this criteria are people of the LGBT and African-American communities. With laws and other restrictions such as interracial and same-sex marriage bans, and the Jim Crow laws being passed against them, LGBT and African-American people have faced many trials. African-Americans were denied the right to be called human because of their skin color. LGBT people were denied their right to be called human because they did not find themselves attracted to who society felt they should. After reading George Chauncey’s “The Legacy of AntiGay Discrimination” and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, it has become apparent that there are many similarities between people of the LGBT and African-American communities.
African-Americans had things very, very hard after having liberated themselves from hundreds of years of slavery. With a new amendment in place that made slavery unconstitutional, and therefore “making every man equal,” it was now time to rebuild themselves through many generations to come. The first way of making that even closely feasible was through employment. At first, the only jobs available were through domestic work. Domestic work was a legal contract, binding the workers for however long the contract dictated to be the employer’s servant. Later on, as domestic work became less popular, African-American people began looking for other sources of income. People of the LGBT community had things just as hard, too. According to George Chauncey, fifty years ago, there was an executive order passed by Dwight D. Eisenhower which prevented homosexuals from being employed with any government-affiliated denominations, and for them to be...