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Historical Report on Race

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Historical Report on Race
ETH/125 CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Jose Rodriguez
By: Valeria Kuhns

Throughout U.S. history African Americans were considered colored peoples, and they were forced to endure slavery. In the United States, slavery was formed from using people whom were forced to serve as slaves by capturing and sold at auctions. They were then forced to work on plantations as a slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America. Slavery existed more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776. In 1865, following the American Civil War, slavery was outlawed in the United States and slaves became emancipated or freeman. The first English colony in North America, Jamestown, acquired its first African slaves in 1619 by the Dutch. Slavery was a one of the key factors which contributed to the American Civil War which lasted from 1861 to 1865. Once slaves became freeman, many states developed laws which were created to disenfranchise African-American’s from voting. A group of African-American women decided to establish the first national black organization in the United States. From the time of slavery, children were bought and sold into slavery. Many times, white masters and owners would beat and force their enslaved women into having intimate, sexual relationships. Almost all slaves were of African descent and from the 16th to the 19th centuries; an estimated 12 million Africans were shipped as slaves to the Americans. The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” (Thirteenth Amendment, Unknown) This legislation made it illegal throughout the United States for people to have slaves. African Americans fought in every war that the United States had throughout history. The Civil Rights and Black Power movements obtained certain rights for African Americans and in doing so, it affected American society in the most far-reaching and important way. In the 1950s Black Americans from the South endured, de jure discrimination. “De jure segregation means racial separation forced by specific laws. All such laws were eliminated in the U.S. by the mid-1960s. Therefore, today in the U.S. there is no such thing as de jure segregation.” (Definition of Segregation, Unknown) African American citizens were often the victims of extreme cruelty and violence, sometimes causing death or severe impairment to the individual. Many African Americans began to express their discontent with their long-standing inequality and from the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. from his speech in 1963 titled “I Have A Dream”, and other African Americans and their supporters, they began to challenge the nation to “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed that all men are created equal.” (King, Jr., 12/3) American social, political, economic and civic life marked enormous changes after the Civil Rights Movement, which brought demonstrations, bombings, boycotts, sit-ins, and other violence as being prompted by worldwide media coverage and intense public debates. Over time, the ways Caucasian Americans and African Americans interact and relate to one another have fundamentally changed. Segregation is no longer seen in the public’s eye, unfortunately in the southeastern United States some still exists today. This movement has influenced heavily other groups and movements in regard to their struggles for civil rights and social equality within America’s society. It has also resulted in the removal of codified, de jure racial segregation, and discrimination. To name a few, the civil rights and social equality movements have had a tremendous impact and been widely influential on the Free Speech Movement, the disabled Americans, women, Native Americans, and migrant workers. The extent of the legislation is that race is to be understood biologically. Members of racial groups make a tendency to attend and extend themselves to racial in group members more than the out group members. People do not need to be members of a historically disadvantaged group to neither experience nor disregard statements and influences of those groups. Public policies that support the legislation are designed to decrease racial disparities between Blacks and Whites. African Americans were tired dealing with constant racism and inequality. Individual people of this minority group would go to court protesting about not having equal rights as a person. “The civil rights movement that spanned the years following the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 through the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 marked a watershed period that accomplished far more than the elimination of racial barriers; it led to the overwhelming transformation of American social, cultural, and political life. Changes to prevailing notions about the citizenship rights of blacks, for example, coupled with a redefinition of the role of the government and courts in protecting these rights; continue to bolster the human rights of all Americans, regardless of their skin color.” (The Civil Rights Movement, 2005) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP, had been steadily chipping away at the legal foundations of segregation. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the favor of Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in public schools were unconstitutional. Presented by Chief Justice Earl Warren of the Court’s decision in which “separate but equal” in education represents a violation of Black Americans’ rights: “Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation, with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to inhibit the educational and mental development of Negro children and deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system.” (Brown v. Board of education, Unknown)
Through research and learning the customs of African Americans, I now realize that they have suffered huge pain and untold agonies throughout the history of the United States. Today, there are still signs of prejudice, but its look and feel is not the same as it was between the 1600s and the mid-1960s. Currently both Blacks and Whites are able to get along better than ever before. In my own opinion, race, ethnic background, or cultural beliefs is not important, it is what you are on the inside that really matters.

References
Brown v. Board of education. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://www.civilrights.org/education/brown/brown.html
Definition of Segregation. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://www.adversity.net/Terms_Definitions/TERMS/Segregation.htm
King, Jr., M. L. (12/31/2009). http://leah-abramovitz.suite101.com/all-men-are-created-equal-jefferson-to-mlking-a184512. Retrieved from http://leah-abramovitz.suite101.com/all-men-are-created-equal-jefferson-to-mlking-a184512
The Civil Rights Movement. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.dikseo.teimes.gr/spoudastirio/E-NOTES/T/The_Civil_Rights_Movement_Viewpoints.pdf
Thirteenth Amendment. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/13th+Amendment

References: Brown v. Board of education. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://www.civilrights.org/education/brown/brown.html Definition of Segregation. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://www.adversity.net/Terms_Definitions/TERMS/Segregation.htm King, Jr., M. L. (12/31/2009). http://leah-abramovitz.suite101.com/all-men-are-created-equal-jefferson-to-mlking-a184512. Retrieved from http://leah-abramovitz.suite101.com/all-men-are-created-equal-jefferson-to-mlking-a184512 The Civil Rights Movement. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.dikseo.teimes.gr/spoudastirio/E-NOTES/T/The_Civil_Rights_Movement_Viewpoints.pdf Thirteenth Amendment. (Unknown). Retrieved from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/13th+Amendment

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