Historical Paper on Race
African Americans have experienced many things racially throughout U. S. history in so many ways. First and fore most African Americans instantly became a notable minority group when they were captured in Africa and brought over to the U. S. and to be integrated into slavery. Since the times of slavery they have been a minority group. Over the course of American history laws have been developed to enforce discrimination against African Americans. For instance, they were not able to either eat or go into “white” restaurants or able to use the bathrooms or water fountains that whites used.
They were told they had to sit on the back of buses and not in front, that’s if they were even allowed on that bus. African Americans were not allowed to vote. One the of the other important laws was that black children and white children were not allowed to attend the same school together. Many courageous people fought to have these laws changed. For instance, Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus and this incident sparked so much controversy that laws were changed regarding this discriminatory policy. The historical court case Brown v.
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Board of Education of Topeka, which was the landmark decision of the United Stated Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional, was a very famous historical decision regarding discrimination practices. We should also remember that discriminatory practices have not just been leveled against African-Americans. There was a time when even white women could not vote. I believe that as we have moved forward as a nation that these practices of discrimination are diminishing, which is a positive occurrence.
Still today African Americans face many political, social and cultural issues and concerns throughout American History yet most have gotten a lot better from a long time ago. Some of the social concerns were that years ago a “black” person was considered as 1/5 of a white person and today they aren’t. Some of the concerns that we have faces and still face are the groups that think that society should be all white, these groups known as the KKK and the Arian Brotherhood.
The KKK groups spread throughout the South as an insurgent movement during the Reconstruction era in the United States. As a secret vigilante group, the Klan targeted freed men and their allies; it sought to restore white supremacy by threats and violence, including murder, against black and white citizens. One of the biggest political concerns would be that for years African Americans have been discriminated against and as we all know brought over as slaves and had absolutely no political rights.
One of the concerns was that they couldn’t vote, if you look today we have an African American President. I don’t think that anyone years ago thought that we would have an “black” president. I think that it has changes tremendously over the years, and I don’t see a problem with having a black president. His whole mission coming in as president was to capture Osama Bin Laden, and he did just that. Some of the cultural issues would be the holiday Kwanzaa.
Its not like our Christmas where we wake up and open presents. They have to follow their religion and how to celebrate it. Kwanzaa is observed each year from December 26 through January. Participants in Kwanzaa celebrations affirm their African heritage and the importance of family and community by drinking from a unity cup; lighting red, black, and green candles; exchanging heritage symbols, such as African art; and recounting the lives of people who struggled for African and African American freedom.
The legislation that meant to constrain race within prejudicial boundaries was enacted in the early 1900’s. This occurred when black children and white children were not allowed to attend the same school, when African Americans could ride the bus but only on the back, when African Americans could not use the same drinking fountain as whites. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when legislation tried to fight and alleviate all of the prejudicial boundaries and show that you could be separate but also equal.
The case that showed this was Plessy v Ferguson which allowed separate but equal school systems for blacks and whites and not until 1950 had no Supreme Court overturned it. The legislation that meant to alleviate prejudicial boundaries enacted was when the trial of Brown v the Board of Education of Topeka started. This all started when a black third-grader named Linda Brown had to walk one mile through a railroad switchyard to get to her black elementary school, even though a white elementary school was only seven blocks away.
Linda’s father, Oliver Brown, tried to enroll her in the white elementary school, but the principal of the school refused. Not only did this happen in Kansas it also challenged school segregation in South Carolina, Virgina and Delaware. The Board of Education’s defense was that they simply wanted to prepare black children for the segregation would be facing during adulthood. In this case the Supreme Court struck down the “separate but equal” and for the first time since Plessy v Ferguson they required the desegregation of schools across America.