HIS 204: American History Since 1865
Instructor Jonathan Sharpe
May 23, 2011
From Slavery to Presidency: The Progression of African Americans from 1865 to 2011
The relationship between African Americans and White Americans throughout history has been strained, to say the least. Can you fathom living your life as a slave? Can you imagine being granted freedom; only to realize that the life that you’d dreamed of living is still as out of your reach, as it was when you were a slave. Imagine asking for nothing more than to be respected as a human being and treated as an equal; yet being treated like a second-class citizen everyday of your free life. Imagine desiring to live a simple life; but having several groups of people coming together, for the sole purpose of making your life a living hell. Imagine 146 consecutive years of struggle. Many would argue that race relations continue to be one of the greatest issues plaguing African Americans. As an African American woman, I am extremely proud of the growth and progression that my race has made over the past century and a half. African Americans have gone from being owned, to be being property and business owners - from having no rights; to having equal rights. African Americans have endured slavery, lynching, racism, segregation, hate crimes, discrimination, and hatred; simply because of their skin color. Rather than be discouraged or stopped, we continued to press forward toward equality, making history along the way. In this paper, I intend to give you an overview of my ancestor’s hardships, obstacles and accomplishments; on their journey from slavery to presidency.
The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution stated that, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, expect as a punishment of crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any...