Midterm - Essay Example

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The African American lived under oppression for a long period of time in America since they were discriminated almost everywhere and in all ways. The…
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Racism against African Americans The minority group that suffered most serious oppression in the United s of Americahistorically was the African American. The African American lived under oppression for a long period of time in America since they were discriminated almost everywhere and in all ways. The most notable king of oppression to the black Americans was the slavery. This is where the African Americans were used as slaves and treated like property by the white Americans. When the act of slavery was instituted, African Americans were viewed as second class citizens. They were denied same job opportunities as the whites; they were made to work for the whites without pay, in the World War they were made to serve in only segregated units.
The slaves were used for agricultural purposes as labor especially in cotton and tobacco plantations. They were also used in shipyards, as domestic slaves and as labor on the docks. They were viewed as slaves so much to the point that their owners bought them. A slave could be bargained for, and the highest bidder would take him or her home. The owners were allowed to do anything to the slaves including killing them as the Black Americans were not viewed equals to the rest. They were given the hardest works, worked under the toughest conditions and were treated to gruesome punishments like being left to be mauled by dogs or starved to death.
After a while, the art of the slave trade was abolished in America, and was now illegal and punishable by death. This shows the start of a new century which hopefully would bring a change to the African Americans. However, it still did not bring change. They were still treated with contempt and were discriminated especially in the fact that they could not share the same facilities with the whites like the train, the bus, the restaurants and more. They were allowed to vote in the national elections and poll taxes. In response to all this, in 10909, lobbyist groups and protest groups emerged to respond to the de jure racism. One of the groups was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (Zastrow, 2010). This period is at times known as the Nadir of American Race Relations. This is so because this was the height of African American segregation. It was so intense that race riots were experienced, black lynching and anti blacks’ violence. It was so intense that in 1946, Einstein defined African American racism as America’s worst disease. In 1981-1997, the United States Department of Agriculture discriminated against African American farmers, and refused to give them loans that were given to the whites under similar circumstances (Abu, 2009).
However, despite the immense change in America, blacks still continue to struggle hard to try and overcome the effects of centuries of oppression they underwent. The average household income of a black family is approximately 70% the household income of an equal white family (Zastrow, 2010). All this is a result of the blacks having lagged behind in terms of education and gained fewer skills in the industrial world, blacks also lead in the poverty statistics. They have overcome a lot and one of the crowning achievements is the election of the African American president, Barrack Obama. The mantra “We shall overcome” is still a rally call for equality by the blacks in America to prove that they are all equal.
Works Cited
Pitre, Abul. Educating African American Students: Foundations, Curriculum, and Experiences.
Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009. Print.
Zastrow, Charles, and Karen K. Kirst-Ashman. Understanding Human Behavior and the Social
Environment. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2010. Print. Read More
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