The Rise of African-Americans from 1865 to 2012, Their Struggles to Become Free Americans

Topics: African American, Black people, Jim Crow laws Pages: 9 (3038 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Running Head: The Rise of African- Americans From 1865 To 2012, Their Struggles To Become Free Americans

HIS204: American History Since 1865 (GSN1241A)
Instructor: Tracy Samperio
Ashford University
October29, 2012

The Rise of African- Americans
The Rise of African- Americans From 1865 To 2012, Their Struggles To Become Free Americans
After the Civil War African-American expected to have their freedom, but this was not really the case. Even though the approval of the 13th Amendment freed them from their Southern masters, they were still far from being free. The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "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" ( After surviving some of the most brutal injustices and dehumanization in American history, the African-American people have grown to be a powerful force, overcoming segregation, discrimination and isolation, and have worked toward the equality and civil rights they now enjoy.

Before the Civil War, African-Americans had dreams of freedom. After the Civil War they thought those dreams would come true. But in reality things got worse for them. The 14th Amendment secured equal rights, citizenship, due process of law, and equal protections to all former slaves. Blacks had gained control of their own destiny. Now they needed a way to support themselves. But this was no easy task, jobs for colored people were hard to find and discrimination and segregation was high. Nothing showed this more clearly than the “Jim Crow” laws. Beginning in the 1880s, the term "Jim Crow" was widely used to describe practices, laws or institutions that arose from the physical separation of white and black people. These laws were created to offer "separate but equal" treatment of blacks and whites. In reality Jim Crow Laws condemned black citizens to unfair treatment and substandard facilities. Public facilities such as hotels and restaurants as well as schools were all under Jim Crow Laws. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) the "separate but equal" standard set by the Supreme Court gave ample judicial support to segregation. In 1892, Homer Plessy refused to sit in a car for blacks. He was The Rise of African- Americans

Immediately arrested. This case went to the Supreme Court, where it was deemed to be that a state law that proposed that a legal distinction regarding the two races was not inconsistent with the 13th Amendment. Because of these Jim Crow Laws African-Americans was subjected too much segregation and discrimination.

In order to keep them under subjection and “prevent political rebellion and prevent blacks from wielding the balance of power in close elections, southern Democrats appealed to white solidarity to defeat the Populists, whipped up anti-Negro sentiment, disfranchised African Americans, and imposed strict by law segregation” (Lawson, no date). The Populists was a third-party uprising that threatened the Democratic rule over the South. To make life harder for blacks nearly all southern black men lost their right to vote through measures such as poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, and the white primary. All of these measures were aimed at preventing blacks from exercising their right to vote. The grandfather clause was peculiarly aimed at blacks because it stated that anyone having the right to vote before 1866 or 1867 or their lineal descendants would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements. Since former slaves did not get the right to vote until the 15th amendment was passed, this clause excluded them. The U.S. Supreme Court declared the grandfather clauses unconstitutional in 1915, because they violated the equal voting rights...

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Bowles, M. D. (2011) “American History 1865-Present/End of Isolation.” Bridgepoint Education, Inc. San Diego, CA. (
COCKERHAM, W., & Courant, S. W. (1992, Sep 28). World War II set stage for blacks to activate civil rights efforts war set the stage for black activism conflict created jobs, but few rights WWII: Looking back. Hartford Courant Retrieved from
Executive Order 8802 dated June 25, 1941, General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. Retrieved from
Lawson, Steven F (no date) “Segregation” Freedom’s Story TeacherServe© National Humanities Center Oct. 28, 2012 1917/essays/segregation.htm
POWELL, J. (2008, Mar 09). Web extra: Was the civil war a terrible mistake? Valley Morning Star Retrieved from
The House Joint Resolution proposing the 13th amendment to the Constitution, January 31, 1865; Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789-1999; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives. Retrieved from
Wallach, J. (2004). Inside Occupied Territory: The Struggle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High School. Conference Papers -- Association For The Study Of African American Life & History, N.PAG. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 11, 2012).
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