The term "Affirmative Action" originated in the United States and first referenced when President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925 on March 6, 1961 (Infoplease 2000-2007). The term was used in the Order to mandate federal employers to take affirmative action to ensure employment practices are free from racial discrimination against minority groups. Executive Order 10925 increased diversity between minorities and whites but was not enforced until four years later under Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This act has since been expanded several times to prohibit discrimination and influenced implementation of other acts, such as The Civil Rights Act, that prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin (National Archives, n.d.). Affirmative Action increased diversity between minorities and whites because Affirmative Action created equal opportunities in employment and education for minorities.
“Blacks have a 375-year history on this continent: 245 involving slavery, 100 involving discrimination, and only 30 involving anything else”. (Historian Roger Wilkins). The United States has a long history of discrimination against minorities. After being forced from their native land onto ships bound for America, they were enslaved and forced to work for their White owners. They were a mistreated group of people because of Whites prejudice about their race and ethnicity. They were subjected to oppression and slavery simply because of their race. This is an image that depicts men captured and enslaved by whites.
Photograph of enslaved Africans
Figure 1. A photograph of Africans enslaved by white Americans
Note. From Revolution Newspaper, 2006.
Although the African-American race has suffered years of discrimination and prejudice throughout American history, they played key roles in the development of the legal