The History of African Americans

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The History of African Americans
HIS204: American History Since 1865
Instructor: Steven Harn
04/29/2013

Jewish people had the horrific era ordeal of the Holocaust, Native Americans had to deal with the displacement of their people which lead to death, starvation and exposure to diseases while in en route to other locations. However one could suggest that African Americans had an extremely rough time, and till this day continue to have a rough time fighting for equality in all things. This is to not downplay the horrific, and devastating things that happened to other ethnicities, but despite the unfairness, the injustice, the inequality, African Americans have always found a way to rise to the occasion and still find some gleam of hope that one day things will be fair. African Americans have endured countless hardships, countless set-backs, and sometimes a seemingly never ending battle. Despite the way the United States have treated blacks from the time they brought slaves over to America on their ships, to this day in age, black people have not given up hope that one day all, especially African Americans will one day be treated equally. This purpose of this paper is to enlighten the accomplishments of the African American race as an whole, and will outline the many trials and tribulations that African Americans have gone through, the many contributions they have made, as well as the relentless efforts blacks have made to not turn its back on the United States, despite the country many of times turning its back, or more-so looking the other way while morally wrong events took place, despite the fact that it seemed oh so many times that they took three steps forward only to be knocked back two. Nonetheless they still prevailed and continuously paving ways and making things better for the next generation making harsh sacrifices, even to the extent of death.

Immediately after the Civil War ended and Congress passing the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery in 1865, no more than a year later former Confederate states started passing the so-called “Black Codes”. What this basically meant was that blacks were now allowed to legally be married, own property, and also have a limited access to the courts, and by limited it meant only when a white person was not being testified against. They could not serve in state militias or on juries, vote, or even start a job without having the consent of a previous employer. They also came up with harsh laws for things that were beyond control such as making it a crime for being unemployed or making trivial offenses, handled on a felony level or with harsher sentences. It basically re-enslaved black people in another fashion by requiring blacks to sign yearly labor contracts, and if refused they risked being arrested and fined or typically forcing them into unpaid labor. (Black Codes , 2013) In 1867 five all black colleges were founded: Howard University, Morgan State College, Talladega College, St. Augustine’s College, and Johnson C Smith College. These schools were actually established 26 years before the end of slavery. Some may ask why were these schools still needed in the first place, or still needed after schools were desegregated in 1954. Well the answer to that question is one of many. For one we must examine this from a realistic angle, at that point in time education amongst African Americans was not encouraged by many whites during that time. Remember it was about 87 years between the time black colleges began existing and schools becoming desegregated. So one can only assume that there were many things done to discourage blacks from being educated such as making laws, and giving harsh punishments, burning down schools, or even extending to death, if discovered that one could read and was educated. Originally starting out the purpose of black colleges were simply for one to teach others to become teachers, however it lead to being the foundation of many inventors,...
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