The Adoption of the 13th Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1965

Topics: African American, Racial segregation, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 8 (2710 words) Published: January 9, 2012
The Adoption of the 13th Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1965
In the turn of the fifteenth century African American traveled with European explorers, especially Spanish and Portuguese to the New world many serving as crew members, servants and slaves (Bigelow, 2011). African Americans were free in the beginning times of the New World, though first white landowners faced labor crisis, what appeared easiest was to force the strong, hardworking African Americans to slavery by the mid-sixteen hundreds, second the United States Constitution in 1788 did not help, it guaranteed equality only to whites and consider blacks as three-fifths of a person (Bigelow, 2011). The end of the Civil War and the help of Abraham Lincoln, in December 1865 the Thirteen Amendment to the constitution was adopted, stating that slavery was abolished, though it was the beginning of blacks worst struggles to come (Bigelow, 2011). The following will view African-Americans lives from the adoption of the Thirteen Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1965 focusing how they have worked to end segregation, discrimination and isolation to gain equality and the civil rights.

Technology help the New World take its shape, but many would not know that African Americans had a huge impact developing the beginning of it. In 1790 an invention that impacted this countries production of cotton was the cotton gin; invented by Eli Whitney an African American, it helped separate the cotton from the cotton seed which allowed the textile industry to grow (Trotter, 2000). This did not help the blacks they were not viewed as having technical knowledge but only as labor workers, which pushed slavery and Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1832 which outlawed blacks to read, write and cipher (Trotter, 2000). 1836 the U.S. Patent Act came to affect which required inventors to submit models showing the construction, design and specifications, which the literacy restriction denied African Americans to patent their inventions (Trotter, 2000). Then in 1857 the US Supreme Courts Dred and Scott decision, the federal government ruled that enslaved blacks were not citizens which they could not receive patents for their inventions (Trotter, 2000). All this things became obstacles for African Americans to be recognized for their inventions and knowledge in technology.

African Americans continue pushing forward and with blacks being excluded from the industrial industry, the impact of emancipations, civil rights law and constitutional amendment, African Americans went from slaves to citizens which gave them rights, which led to many more inventions. The shoe lasting machine was a notable invention by Jan Matzeliger’s, this machine would attached the upper part of the shoe to the sole, which at the times was only done by hand; before 50 pair of shows were done in a day and by the time he perfected the machine 700 pairs of shoes were done in a 10 hour day (Jan Matzeliger, 2011). Other inventions came from Elijah McCoy, who invented numerous lubrication devices for locomotives engines for the railroads and boat steam engines and Grandville T. Wood’s electrical inventions, including a telephone transmitter (Trotter, 2000). It seems African Americans were moving forward though soon after African Americans face another struggle Jim Crows Law or Black Codes.

This brought the beginning of segregation; Jim Crows law took voting rights because when the fifteenth Amendment gave those rights to Africans Americans it left loop holes which it was required to take literacy tests and the practice of poll taxes, which again discriminated the blacks (Bowles, 2011). Poll taxes required blacks to show either a payment or a proof of land ownership and the literacy test required blacks to know how to read which most recent freed slave did not know how to read because of the Nat Turner that took education privileges away before the Civil War (Bowles, 2011). Jim Crows laws also separated and...

References: Bigelow, B. C. (2011). African Americans. Retrieved October 2, 2011, from Countries and Their
Cultures website:
Bowles, M. (2011). A history of the United States since 1865. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint
Carreiro, A. E. (1999, Summer). Ghosts of the Harlem Renaissance: "Negrotarians" in Richard
Wright 's Native Son
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