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African American studies - Essay Example

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The experience of being Black is unique among North American ethnic minorities.African Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the United States,but they are the only group of people that in 1619,entered Western society against their will …
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African American studies
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Download file to see previous pages The evolution of slavery aided in the development of a racist ideology that promoted the belief that blacks are inferior to whites, a myth that persisted long after slavery was abolished, and one that is deeply embedded within our national discourse. Cultural racism, such as this, fosters a “we” and “they” mentality, a state of mind that is maintained through the socialization of new generations. The abolition of slavery did not mean that blacks were accepted by the dominant white society. The racist ideology that emerged out of the slavery system continued to influence how whites perceived blacks. Wilson (1973) explains “Whites rejected slavery as an acceptable institution in the North but were unwilling to endorse the view that blacks should receive social, economic and political equality”, exemplifying how the negative belief systems of the plantations were deeply engrained in American culture after two hundred years of slavery. Unable to accept blacks as equals to themselves, white Americans relied increasingly upon the system of segregation, as a means to communicate the message.Segregation between blacks and whites was reinforced by a system of racial etiquette.The 1896 Supreme Court “separate but equal” decision failed to clearly define equality, and as a result, the separation of facilities for blacks and whites created a need to clarify the social positions of the dominant white class. ...
Lynching was regularly employed as a means to enforce the status quo, with over thirty-six hundred cases recorded between 1884 and 1914. Relations between blacks and whites became increasingly violent in character during the World War I era in America’s history. Black workers were competing openly with whites for jobs and housing, causing tensions to rise between the two groups. Having been denied political participation and strictly segregated in nearly all areas of their social lives, blacks found that their socioeconomic opportunities were severely limited. Race riots occurred in several American cities and discontent among the black population continued to rise. These hostile conditions continued into the World War II period, when more jobs became available to black workers. In addition to the economic opportunities provided by WWII, the conditions under which it was fought allowed Americans to re-examine their own racist logic. The racist ideology practiced at home was inconsistent with the ideals they fought for in the war against Nazi Germany, a racist regime. Also, according to Marger (1991) racist policies at home were viewed [Student 3] as an “international liability” (235) when dealing with non-white nations. These changes in the national racial attitude, along with the 1954 Supreme Court decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, helped push the advancement of black right civil rights. By the early 1970’s, the system of segregation had been fully dismantled and white supremacist groups, such as the Klu Klux Klan, were no longer supported. The historical relations between blacks and whites will remain in the collective narrative for many generations. America’s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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