Plight of African Americans Essay

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Plight of African Americans Essay

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African Americans plight throughout U. S. history begin as early in the 1400-s and ending in the 1700-s. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in the southern states through the Emancipation Proclamation. African Americans endured many hardships such as not having rights to vote, social inequalities of African Americans were violated, equal social status, social classes, and social circles. Examples of these violation are freedom of speech, property rights, access to health care, education, and transportation.

Cultural concerns of African Americans currently include not being acknowledged in most educational settings and lack of our cultural experiences in classroom settings denying African American children the right to know the history of where our ancestry evolved. All of these experiences are and some continue to be the journey of African Americans today Groups and organizations promoting racial equality are the National Association of Advancement for Colored People{NAACP}, Southern Christian Leadership Conference{SCLC}, The National Urban League, Rainbow/Push Coalition each helped paved the way for equality of races and continue to do so.

Objectives of these groups was to eliminate discrimination along with racial discrimination among citizens of the United States, eliminatin barriers of discrimination through democratic processes, seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights to inform the public of the changes of racial discrimination and educate persons of their constitutional rights and to take lawful action to secure the exercise thereof and to take any other action in furtherance of these objectives.

Experiences of the NAACP help to dismantle Jim Crow Laws, the NAACP had it’s first victory in Guinn and Beale vs. US Supreme Court this case declared it unconstitutional the “grandfather clause” in the Oklahoma Constituition which stopped voting qualifications if the individual grandfather had voted, this was an attempt by Whites to stop African Americans whose grandfathers that had been slaves. Laws and amendments were designed to constrain the racial inequalities within prejudicial boundaries such as the 13th, 14th , and 15th amendments.

These amendments address unfair treatment of African Americans, amendment 13th abolished slavery, amendment 14th secured rights of slaves and equal protection under the law to all persons and helped to dismantle segregation{Brown vs. Board of Education}. Various groups, organization and people played a tremendous role in fighting for racial equality leaders like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall and organizations such as NAACP, SCLC, and The Urban League.

These groups of people and organizations help to fight legislation through landmark court cases, peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations, protests and sit ins and with the amendments listed above. The 14th amendment contains the equal protection clause and this clause was included to protect slaves from unfair treatment, In Brown versus the Board of Education this case helped declared separate public schools for Blacks and Whites was unconstitutional as a result of dejure segregation, this is ruled a violation of the 14th amendment.

Infamous boycotts and sit-ins, contributed to this fight, like The Montgomery Boycott and The Greensboro Sit In. Peaceful demonstrations in a nonviolent manner was the objectives of these organizations and leaders. Protesting for racial dignity, economic and political self sufficiency and freedom from oppression of White Americans was the goals of these leaders and organizations to help fight legislation.

Several laws have been enacted to help eliminate prejudicial boundaries, these laws are often called antidiscrimination acts which addressed racial, political and social inequalities of African Americans, The Civil Right Acts of 1968,1964 and 1948, helped to outlaw major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities and women. These acts ended unequal voter requirements, racial segregation in school, workplaces and by facilties that served the general public.

These are a few of the struggles of African Americans and their journey throughout U. S. history there have been enormous strides in gaining equality for races, politically and socially, although political challenges currently face African Americans now we continue to fight for this right our ancestors have marched, died , were abused physically and verbally, remains the plight before us.


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