African American’s Battle for Equality and Right’s

Topics: Black people, African American, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 8 (1895 words) Published: June 11, 2014


African American’s Battle for Equality and Right’s
Luis Gomezfranco
HIS204: American History Since 1865
Prof. Lisa Bowie
January 14,2012

African American’s Battle for Equality and Right’s
During and after the Civil War (1861-1865), the African American people were mistreated and discriminated against for many years. There is still racism going on until this day that routes from years of violence and maltreatment of the Black community in the United States. Black men and women were in a constant struggle in order to try to gain their equal rights as American citizens throughout history. When the United States was first getting colonized around the year 1619 there were African Americans who were stripped of their homes and forced into slavery. It was only years later that there was a Civil War that ended slavery but didn’t end resentment and animosity between Whites and Blacks. Even though Blacks were constantly beaten in public places and made to feel like insignificant human beings, they still fought long and hard for their right’s to live in this nation as equal as a White man and Woman. In this essay I will explain how they fought for their rights and what trials and tribulations they had to go through in order to get the respect they deserved and the life they fought to live amongst the White population. “The Black Codes codified some of these feelings into law when in 1865 southern state governments created legislation that restricted and controlled the lives of the ex-slaves.”(Bowles,2011) These rules that were made specifically for Black men and women of the U.S. at the time, argued by some to be a new form of slavery. According to the Black Codes African Americans couldn’t work any other job then farming. They also couldn’t own guns even though it clearly says in the United States Constitution, “ the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Some states made it so they couldn’t travel at all, which made it very difficult for them to find jobs or try and make a life for themselves. “Blacks either entered into labor contracts or they would be considered vagrants. Vagrants could be arrested and forced to work on public projects or private farms to pay off their fines.” (Elliot,2006) Homeless and unemployed African Americans were arrested for their social status and then loaned out to work in county labor or for a private employer. This was just another form of slavery, but was considered just because it was a law in southern states. Nevertheless, the Black Codes didn’t last long because the North saw that it was just another way for the South to incorporate slavery and they were overturned and abolished. Even though they didn’t survive as laws they continued as informal policy.(Elliot,2006) Southern states found a loophole in the legal system and still made Blacks work for free, without pay, by convict labor and peonage, for over 50 years.(Elliot,2006) In 1870 the fifteenth amendment came into play and opened up a new opportunity for the African Americans. “Ratified in 1870, it specifically stated that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." (Bowles,2011) This was a pivotal point at that time in history and finally a Black man’s vote would count. After this great event Black’s started to show their independence and their culture. “This new black community, with the family as the foundation, built itself around the church, which did far more than just serve as a place of worship.”(Bowles,2011) They started to try and educate themselves and with the help of the North’s Freedman’s Bureau they achieved what they wanted, to learn to read and write. They also started to give each other new names; a name is a symbol of power and control.(Bowles,2011) Black women changed their clothing styles in order to show that...

References: Bowles, M. (2011). A history of the United States since 1865. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Jaspin, E. (2006, Jul 09). In period after the civil war, black codes re-created a form of slavery in southern states. Austin American Statesman. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/255773368?accountid=32521
PBS. (2012.) “The Colfax Massacre.” Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Accessed on December 18,2012. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general- article/grant-colfax/
John, H. B. (2010). Freedom 's main line: The journey of reconciliation and the freedom
rides. The Journal of African American History, 95(1), 115-116. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/792446628?accountid=32521
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