How have Africans Americans worked to end segregation, discrimination and isolation to attain equality and civil rights?
The African Americans’ entry into the United States of America was mainly through the slave trade organization. The main purpose of slave trade was to avail the much needed cheap labor for the white plantations concentrated in the South. The African Americans’ consideration as second citizens can be attributed to that occurrence, hence, their treatment as property belonging to slave owners. It is this practice that saw the entrenchment of segregation, discrimination and isolation of the African American from the larger American society. The Africans Americans have had to work tirelessly hard to end segregation, discrimination and isolation in their quest to attain equality and civil rights. Their struggle was not in vain. African Americans have achieved a lot of progress in through social, economic and political processes .
African American efforts
The struggle to liberate the African American dates back to the efforts led by the likes of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, among others during the civil rights struggle in the United States of America. In their struggle and quest, the African American community employed all the techniques possible for recognition and emancipation from the discriminative white treatment.
A section of African Americans believed that the acquisition of education would guarantee African Americans white and blue collar jobs which would suffice for purposes of achieving equality in the American society. Indeed, they did believe the isolation was attributable to the poor economic standing of the African Americans. The effort by George Washington through the establishment of the African technical school is a suitable example of the Africans’ efforts to attain economic progress and success. However, the efforts did not bear much fruit in light of the limited civil rights. This can be captured in the limited suffrage rights of the African Americans. The fact that the African Americans did not vote essentially meant that no one presented their interests in the legislative and policy making bodies. Consequently, the African Americans continued to live under discriminative laws that undermined their desire for economic, social and political progress.
These factors informed the actions by the civil rights leaders led by Martin Luther King. The famous Montgomery Bus Boycott of December 1955 sparked of by Rosa Parks, who declined to surrender her seat on the bus to the white adult in accordance with the discriminative laws. It was these boycotts and sit-ins that were to bring Martin Luther King to national prominence through the manner in which he shepherded the liberation wars. He advocated for the emancipation of the African American through the use of non violent protests and activities. Martin Luther King and other leaders in his brigade, succeeded in bringing on board the entire African American community into a common pool for the fight of their own interests.
It should be noted that the critics and advocates of discrimination could not take the strides made by King and others for granted. They tried numerous times and finally succeeded in their quest to weaken the group through the assassination of Martin Luther King. The assassination, however, only escalated the quest for civil rights. The leadership vacuum was soon to be filled by others led by Malcolm X. The latter’s approach departed from Martin Luther King’s. The latter advocated for the use of violent means for the attainment of civil rights. The struggle for justice, equality and civil rights in the 1950’s bore fruits seen in the legislations passed in that decade and the decade that would follow. The African Americans were allowed the exercise of their civil rights and freedoms inalienable in them solely because they were human beings.
The Africans often used the courts in their efforts to obtain justice and achieve social justice and equality. A suitable example lies in the holding in Brown v. Board Education, 1954. In this case, the Supreme Court faulted the state laws that had established separate public schools for black and white students. The courts held that such laws were unconstitutional. While the court ruling in that case and many other cases were practically inconsequential for, in many cases, discrimination continued, the cases, however, lay ground for the emancipation of the African Americans. The society became more informed of the issues at hand. The people gradually became responsible and sensitive to the plight of the Black Americans.
In fact, the Brown case prompted action by the presidency. It is on record that the incumbent president then sent military officers to the school that had refused the admission of the black sisters. The action of the president which was intended to ensure the sisters were allowed in the school reflects the gradual changes that America was experiencing.
African Americans have since earned their place in the American society. They have exploited the opportunities that modern America offers to its citizens. The Africans today excel and prosper in economic and social set ups. They have eliminated the isolation that their ancestors experienced. It is evident that, African Americans have achieved a lot of progress through social, economic and political process.
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