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Black History in America Until the Present Day

More than 400 years ago, an important event took place in the history of America, which affected the fate of the entire country. The institution of slavery has existed in the country for over two centuries. From 1525 to 1866, 12.5 million people were taken to America from Africa (Dagbovie 14). Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation throughout the country in 1863, there is still a movement for equal rights in the United States (Dagbovie 146). This paper aims to discuss how African Americans overcome the trials thrown at them from slavery until the present day.

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Thirty years before the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States, there was a movement of abolitionists, white people from the North who advocated the abolition of slavery. It was based on the Protestant religion, which unequivocally said that the idea of slavery is contrary to the Bible. In April 1861, the Civil War began in the United States against 11 rebellious Southern states that protested against the abolition of slavery (Dagbovie 200). As a result, slavery was abolished by amendments to the US Constitution; however, this did not make white and black citizens equal.

In the South, black people were persecuted by racists from the Ku Klux Klan. At the end of the 19th century, segregation laws called “the laws of Jim Crow” appeared there (Lebron 102). African Americans and whites lived in different areas, traveled in different train cars, and interracial marriage was impossible. The illiterate, that is, almost all African Americans, were denied the right to vote. Blacks settled in ghettos, where the standard of living was much worse than in the white areas. In cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Minneapolis, black districts and ghettos appeared, where the first pogroms took place. The first massive clashes between the two racial groups occurred in 1919 in Chicago and 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Lebron 54). They were different from the riots taking place in the United States today. In both cases, whites united and, with the non-intervention of the police, attacked African Americans.

Since the mid-1950s, the struggle for equal rights between whites and blacks has become a mass phenomenon. The post-war generation of Americans held peaceful protests in which equality was one of the main themes. Human rights activist Martin Luther King organized several nonviolent actions and fought for the equality that America still strives for (Dagbovie 103). After the main black rights activist was shot dead in Memphis, protests took place across the country. Thanks to the 1960s movement, the first generation of black politicians emerged in the United States. Segregation was officially ended, but inequality, including the economic one, remained.

Today, when it would seem that there can be no talk about inequality, African Americans are again faced with the issue of racism. The problem of police violence against blacks caused the riots in the past few years. In 2001, protests broke out in Cincinnati when 19-year-old black offender Timothy Jones was shot and killed by white police officers (Clayton 450). From August to December 2014, riots occurred in various US cities due to the events in Ferguson, Missouri. The reason was similar: the police killed 18-year-old Marcus Brown while trying to arrest him. In 2016, the National Guard had to be deployed in North Carolina after the police assassinated Keith Scott (Clayton 451). On May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, provoking various demonstrations and riots to this day. In general, the assassination of George Floyd has brought the discussion of equality to a whole new level, it has become a serious political challenge.

Until the present day, African Americans try to overcome the trials thrown at them from the times of slavery. Today’s Protests enjoy unprecedented support in the United States and the rest of the world. It is the largest involvement of white people in the struggle for black rights. Combined with the scale of the performances of the blacks themselves, this is a powerful synergy. The majority of people hope that this movement will help to put an end to the culture war in the United States.

Works Cited

Clayton, Dewey M. “Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Two Social Movements in the United States.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 49, no. 5, 2018, pp. 448-480.

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Dagbovie, Pero G. Reclaiming the Black Past: The Use and Misuse of African American History in the 21st Century. Verso Books, 2018.

Lebron, Christopher J. The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea. Oxford University Press, 2017.

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