African Americans Then and Now
HIS 204 American History 1865
Instructor: Jason Williams
February 14, 2013
African Americans Then and Now
“If I had a thousand tongues and each tongue were a thousand thunderbolts and each thunderbolt had a thousand voices, I would use them all today to help you understand a loyal and misrepresented and misjudged people.” (Joseph C. Price) African American history has been around for decades, the sufferings of these people were brought to this country by force, but the people managed to come together and embark change within the nation and their leaders. African Americans have made a name for themselves throughout the years by using their creativity to overcome struggles and I have chosen a few events; The Underground railroad, The Dred Scott Case, The Harlem Renaissance, the March on Washington, Barak Obama: First African American United States President, and The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, to acknowledge some of their greatest achievements. I believe that all of these events are significant because they all are fighting for equal opportunities within themselves and others across the nation. Each and every one of these events are attempting and have succeeded in changing the nation for the good, obtaining respect for their ancestors and equal rights for the African American race and the less fortunate. The March on Washington, August 28, 1963
The March on Washington was a peaceful demonstration to promote civil rights and economic equality for African Americans. This was when the world first heard the famous Martin Luther King speech, “I Have a Dream”. Participants walked down the constitution and independence avenues, and gathered around the Lincoln Monument for prayer, songs, and speeches. This march was the largest march of all the previous marches and the first to be covered by television. It had great impact on the civil rights legislation and on the public opinion of the nation. The march attracted an estimated amount of 250,000 people and it impacted both the public opinion of the nation and the legislation for civil rights by showing that there is the power in mass appeal and inspired imitators in the antiwar, feminist, and environmental movements. The March on Washington was the high point of the Civil Rights Movement and the integrations, nonviolent, liberal form of protest it stood for was followed by more racial, militant, and race conscious approaches. 1963 was noted for racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations. Nationwide outrage was sparked by media coverage of police actions in Birmingham, Alabama, where attack dogs and fire hoses were turned against protestors, many of whom were in their early teens or younger. Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested and jailed during these protests, writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," which advocates civil disobedience against unjust laws. Dozens of additional demonstrations took place across the country, from California to New York, culminating in the March on Washington. President Kennedy backed a Civil Rights Act, which was stalled in Congress by the summer. The march demanded that public schools be desegregated, no more police brutality, a program to provide jobs for the people, a law prohibiting racial discrimination and private hiring, a $2 an hour minimum wage, and self government for the District of Columbia, a federal district coextensive with the city of Washington D.C., which had more black people.
The Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an escape route to freedom for African Americans ran by northern abolitionists, whit and blacks. This nomenclature, along with the numerous, somewhat glorified, personal reminiscences written by conductors in the postwar period, created the impression that the Underground Railroad was a highly systematized, national, secret organization that accomplished prodigious feats in stealing slaves away from the South. (The...
References: Ross, Shmuel (2007) Civil Rights March on Washington: All about the March on Washington, August 28, 1963. Pearson Education, Inc.http://www.infoplease.com/spot/marchonwashington.html
Underground Railroad. (2008). In the Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Operations. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/entry/sharperail/underground_railroad
Huggins, Nathan. Harlem Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973
Fikes, Robert (2007-2011) Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972). San Diego State University
James H. Jones, Bad Blood: the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York: Free Press, 1993); Carol A. Heintzelman, “The Tuskegee Syphilis Study and Its Implications for the 21st Century”
Obama, Barack (1995, 2004)
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