Contemporary times have seen the African race in the United States referred to as African-Americans. Previously there have emerged numerous terms to describe this race made up of people of African descent. The words, black and Afro-Americans have constantly been used in the recent past. However, this community has come to be widely recognized as the African-Americans. Many writers and radicals in the 60s have defied these polite terms and have constantly used the label Negro and Black. These have however been widely considered racial insults. African-Americans claim their ancestry to captive Africans who were taken up for slavery from West African states. Some groups of this community however emerged from the Caribbean Islands and have now come to be considered African-Americans.
This community has faced a complex history right from immigration to settlement and struggle for civil rights at the height of racial upheavals. In spite of this, some researchers and scholars have impressively classified and recorded this history to what has today been labelled the black history which is celebrated in the United States annual calendar. African-American history in the 1950 is marked with the struggle for recognition and the fight for civil rights. It is this struggle that shaped a major part of the history of African-Americans. Recent times have seen this community rise to form a significant part of the population as well as holding many leadership positions. This paper narrows down to the history of the African-Americans in the 1950s and compares that history to their contemporary counterparts.
It would be inadequate to discuss about African-Americans without touching on their origin. African-Americans boast their origin to West Africa. Previously, English colonists depended on white servants but the seventeenth century saw a shortage of white servants. This forced the colonists to enslave Africans freeing the white servants. This brought about the emergence of three distinct slavery systems in the America civilization. In most parts of Virginia and Maryland slaves were used in the harvesting of corn and tobacco under a system named the “gang”. In Georgia and South Carolina they worked under a system called the “task” in indigo and rice farms. Through this, Africans were able to be maintained in a separate dialect and reconstituted along social patterns. In the North, slaves were put to work in farms and stock raising and sometimes house servants.
Consistent civil rights struggle by African Americans brought about the progression of African Americans that turned out to be historic. The struggle was for equity with other Americans. At this time, a civil war emerged for the purpose of liberating enslaved African Americans from the hands of the white Americans. However the civil war was futile in improving the lives of African Americans that were in America.
America is today a powerful nation and has a bright history. There is equal civil rights. People from different backgrounds and races share a lot without clashes. The commitment of African Americans saw them overcome the suffering and injustices in the previous years on a daily basis to gain liberation. The social development, political and cultural aspects of African Americans allowed them to gain power in America and mostly in the United States. They had proved that they have qualities like the white workers and went on to prove that their slavery years would not stop them from being successful and economically independent. They showed determination to take their rightful place in the economy and society though not immediately.
A lot of events occurred in their progression. Many economic, political, religious, cultural, social, changing events took place at this times of historic progression of the African Americans. African Americans participated in civil wars struggling for freedom from slavery by the Native American. This civil wars brought about liberation but this caused no relief to them because they were still economically and politically oppressed by the natives. Early in the 50s, liberation dreams came to peak but the dreams of African Americans had not been attained. Around this time the constitution abolished slavery, the constitution also provided that the African Americans can vote in America.
Despite this, the political and economic status of African Americans did not change, they still remained under political and economic oppression because they had no representation in the legislature, judiciary and executive positions. Organizations like the clandestine were formed with racial terrorism as the main thought. The position of African Americans in social economy was poor because most African Americans had very low literacy skills. The migration of labor-force that was more educated from Europe made it even worse for the African America economic position. The African Americans then created a movement to help them fight for their rights. This brought about the Niagara movement a movement to help them get strong economically and many more movements to help educate other African Americans about their civic rights.
Many of the African Americans moved to the north where political and economic oppression was low. This gave the African Americans better chances for them to exercise their rights. African Americans became more creative and created the Harlem renaissance which helped them become more powerful to demonstrate an ability to practice their ability to be successful in the US. Martin Luther King emerged at the helm of African struggle for liberation with the war against racial segregation being at its peak. This was in conjunction with other great African-American leaders and orators. This struggle for recognition led to the Native commonly labeled the Native Americans provide opportunities for this community to enjoy civil rights. The African-Americans won this battle by acquiring the right again racial discrimination in public schools. This was a significant achievement now that African-Americans had rights to access education. The civil rights movement won many wars, including illegalization of racial segregation in the United States.
Violence against this race also reduced significantly achieving more freedoms and rights for African-Americans. Later parts of the 20th century saw many Africans elected to political positions. This group came to hold executive and legislative posts, a significant achievement in the fight for representation. However, despite the many achievements and revolution by the African-Americans, observers claim this race has not achieved equal opportunities with Native Americans. It is worthy to note that the majority of leadership positions are held by Native Americans with only limited African-American representation. Worse still, majority of Americans living in poverty constitute this race. Furthermore, racial discrimination in public schools has not explicitly ceased in the United States. Generally speaking, African- Americans have better in the Unites States have desirable and better lives.
The life of an average African American in the 1950s was full of hardship. This time is clouded by a history of social segregation since this group was considered to have second class citizenship. During this time, Africans faced a lot of discrimination on social grounds. There was major discrimination in schools, employment and leadership positions. Most of these opportunities were spelled out to be reserved for the Native Americans. African-Americans came to be considered as second class citizens. Most of the African-Americans at this time were faced with complacency with some resigning to that as their way of life. This was followed by African-American leaders enrolling in schools so as to gain the necessary literacy.
They advanced to building their own schools and churches as a way of rebellion to slavery and discrimination. These leaders started civil groupings to marshal for the war against the marginalization. These leaders continued to champion for the rights of their fellow African-Americans. The African-American schools provided a platform for empowerment. This racial group could now access higher education. This translated to the ability of African-Americans to secure employment. Education and its subsequent empowerment led to many Africans securing many opportunities in the society thereby significantly elevating their status. This meant better standards and economic improvement among this community.
Education led to enlightenment of African-Americans making them rise against white dominance and segregation. They now complained publicly against their plight and isolation by both the government and the natives. This prompted political leaders to call for a conference to resolve this among other major issues. This majorly addressed educational needs and social recognition of people with African descent. There was a significant achievement in these efforts since African-Americans now received a percentage of the government’s education fund to support their education. Although a meagre achievement, African-Americans now had access to education and funding. However, this funding was inadequate, posing a major hurdle in the quest for education. Access to schools meant better education standards among this racial group which led to increase in literacy levels and the ability to secure employment and leadership opportunities.
The focus of African Americans gradually shifted to economic independence and empowerment. This happened in the better part of 1950. African-Americans faced yet another major hurdle in economic development. This was due to the fact that most African-Americans missed out on most jobs and well-paying jobs. However, equipped with better education, they were able to secure some slots in the job market. Due to the economic prospects championed by African-Americans, most of them sought employment in the railway and automobile industries. This had many desirable outcomes. This racial group began to show subtle economic might towards the end of 1950s.
Economic rise was evidenced by emergence of businesses owned by African-Americans. Growth of the entertainment industry came to boast of African pioneering. They came to experience a conducive environment situation amidst a promising economic advancement. Economic empowerment was a major tool in fighting for recognition. African-Americans went to the American society with great promise and ambitions for economic dependence from their native counterparts. The American congress later recognized the African-Americans struggle for economic empowerment and allocated them land ownership rights. These rights were only extended to a few African-Americans with majority of them missing on this opportunity. The right to own land enabled many people fight social segregation and oppression making most of them determine and guide their destinies.
During the time for economic empowerment, the various civil rights groups had grown and began to gain ground. These civil groups grew stronger with time stimulated by the major funding from economic power of a significant number of African-Americans. This period led to emergence of great African leaders such as Martin Luther King, among others, who were a major inspiration to Africans to stand up against discrimination. Martin Luther King was a mentor and leader of African-Americans leading to many of them revolting against discrimination. This period of liberation encouraged black education leading to more empowerment of this group.
The later parts of the twenty first century has seen the increase of African-American influence in television and the social platform. African-Americans also gained significant domination of the film industry. The disbandment of racial segregation saw the increase of African-Americans pride in their culture and roots. They were later proud and free to express and promote their culture in the media and the social platform since it was no longer discriminated against. Many African-Americans have since gained great interest in art that promotes empowerment of their culture without fear of discrimination.
Following the revocation of oppression of African- American culture, many of them have emerged to become freelance writers and photographers. This has had dramatic results in contemporary times as evidenced by African-Americans that have emerged as talented as their white counterparts. Great talent has been added to the entertainment industry with African-Americans dominating major slots. Recent times have seen the increase in literacy levels in this racial group. This has increased the number of African-Americans employment in the professional sector. The increase in literacy levels has increased the hiring of African-Americans in sectors that require skilled personnel.
The Harlem renaissance is recognized as an event that revolutionized education and literacy in the African-American population, a factor that has led to the emergence of this racial group in the world of literature. Many writers of this population have emerged to produce best-selling editions worldwide, yet another milestone in proving equal ability with their white counterparts. African culture has continued to be integrated into music and art which continue to inspire a strong sense of identity and belonging. African-Americans have constantly been associated with many vices and crimes in the United States. The number of African-Americans involved in crime such as drug trafficking has continued to increase over time. This has been due to the deplorable conditions lived by many Africans today.
Major slums in the United States are dominated by African-Americans. The high poverty levels and lack of formal employment among African-Americans have increased poverty levels with most of them being pushed to these metropolitan suburb. These living units are the home of most crimes investigated by the FBI today. Reports indicate an increasing number of criminal activities due to the rising living conditions. Lack of employment has seen the development and organization of youth gangs. These gangs run the suburbs by the gun. Drug trafficking has been blamed on these groups which have constantly been dominated by African-Americans. Harlem is one of the areas inhabited by a large number of this racial group.
The federal government has moved to ensure empowerment of this group that has constantly been regarded a minority group. The introduction of government funding to education and economic empowerment has had dramatic and impressive results. On the other hand, African-Americans have continued to prosper and show might by excelling across all fields. The entertainment industry today has majorly been dominated by African-Americans. They have continued to express exceptional talent in music and sports. Most renowned sports men and women are of African-American descent. The art industry likewise has seen the influx of this race and exemplary dominance in recent times. It is amazing how this group has emerged to change tables in their presence in major fields nationwide.
African-Americans have continued to increase their political and civil might. A significant number of African-Americans have continued to be elected to the congress to represent their rights and concerns in addition to slots set aside for minority groups. In 2009, the election of Barack Obama, an African American, marked the fulfillment of Martin Luther King’s dream of political and racial liberation. Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected president and the 44th president of the United States. This was to later completely change the dimension of politics and civil rights. This has marked a major political step by African-Americans to date with many scholars seeing it as a symbol of the final acceptance of the African-American population in the United States.
The history of African-Americans has been clouded with major events of the struggle for liberation from racial discrimination. The 1950s mark the height of racism in the United States that regarded the African-Americans as second class citizens with very limited rights. These political and social events greatly shaped the life of African-Americans at that time and at present. The life and culture of African-Americans in 1950 is tagged on the struggle for recognition and equality. The lifestyle of African-Americans at this time revolved around the fight for social equity and struggle for economic empowerment. Contemporary times have greatly changed the way in which this race has been regarded. African-Americans have made major strides in politics by having one of them elected president in 2009, a major indicator of acceptance of racial diversity in America. Today, many African-Americans have emerged to take many positions in formal employment and education. Another significant figure continues to excel in the entertainment and filming industry. The change in time has however not only been beneficial. A significantly great number of African-Americans continue to face unemployment with limited economic opportunities, a factor that has led the increase of their numbers in slums and the fuelling of criminal activities. These issues have yet to be addressed up to date.
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