The most significant commonality within Northern Black Ghettos between 1941 and1965 and the description of the social life during this period is going to be analyzed in the paper.
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The United States of America in the XX century may be characterized as the country with the racial problems which were tried to be solved. The racial problems were solved before, in the XIX century after the civil war, but instability and some economical and political failures, provided by the government, and which was the result of the postwar crisis did not bring the situation in the stable abolishing of slavery and installation of the democratic norms for the whole society. The appearance of the Black communities was not spontaneous, the backgrounds for such creations were provided before, but at the beginning of the XX century, the situation was so sharp that the appearance of the Black Ghettos was the question of time. The most significant commonality within Northern Black Ghettos between 1941 and1965 and the description of the social life during this period is going to be analyzed in the paper.
Starting with the description of the very essence of Ghettos, it should be mentioned that the meaning of the word is the citizenship of one region with people of the same racial, religious or ideological identities. Black Ghettos described the inhabited areas, where settled only by the representatives of the black race. The unity of Black people made them strong, they could now care about each other and protect their dignity, as there were a lot of them. Ne of the most famous Ghetto’s of that time, which still continues its existence is Harlemites, which may be surely identified as “a vibrant microcosm of America, and that successes – even shady successes – were the rules, rather than exceptions” (Lewis 129). Ghettos were the places, where black people were safe, at least they could feel that safety and do not afraid to be punished just because they were black. Discrimination was not part of that life. The ghetto is the community, and every black community of ghettos may be united according to o similar characteristics, about the same features. Being discriminated against, people usually try to unite, so such unities began to appear in the United States of America after the Civil war when the abolishment of slavery did not bring any results.
Living in a hostile society, Black people had to escape, and the communities they united were the safest. Identifying social conditions in the discussed years, Kenneth Clark wrote that “the dominant and disturbing fact about ghetto schools is that the teachers and the students regard each other as adversaries. Under these conditions, the teachers are reluctant to teach and the students resist learning” (Clark 137), so the first fact, which may be identified, is that Black people were rarely taught sciences. Moreover, discrimination was still an urgent problem and, what is significant, the problem was not solving. Black people were bound by “social clubs, by religious and educational institutions and the myriad social activities emanating for them, and above all by the one organization that nearly every black belonged to, the Republican Party” (Jenkins 109). Describing the social situation in Los Angeles, Josh Sides stressed that also being “benefited from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8802, issued in 1941” (Sides 3) the situation did not change much. The situation was the following, Black people were not regarded as people by white one and they had to create their own “society”, what they did in reality.
Considering the most significant commonality within Northern Black Ghettos between 1941 and 1965, the discrimination fact may be identified. Being pushed from every part of the life in the country, the Northern Black Ghettos were united by the same problem, and problems and grief, as known, unites people. Moreover, the situation in the Northern Black Ghettos was common. In the case of the emergency, when no black doctor was near, no white person helped. The other common feature was that black people always helped others, who belonged to their race. In comparison, white people did not provide such actions and everybody was for himself. The raised dissatisfaction with the Black people in the Ghettos with the living conditions, they provided the mass actions, which were supported by violence and fighting. Such actions may be both argued or supported, but the fact remains, all Northern Black Ghettos were involved in the fighting for their rights as people and deserved citizens of their country.
In conclusion, Northern Black Ghettos were the areas, where only black people lived and they were united by the same dissatisfaction with those modern rules, with discrimination and who expressed their dissatisfaction by their actions, the first creation of those very Ghettos and then active fighting for their rights. The social environment in the American society was not stable, political and economical failures had to be solved, but the after-crisis problems in the country were more important. People in the black communities had to attract attention to their problem and they did so, after what the government provided changes and black people are the full-fledged members of the American society.
Clark, Kenneth Bancroft. Dark ghetto: dilemmas of social power. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1989.
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Jenkins, Wilbert L. Seizing the New Day: African Americans in Post-Civil War Charleston Blacks in the Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
Lewis, David Levering. When Harlem Was in Vogue. Oxford: Penguin, 1997.
Sides, Josh. L.A. city limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the present. California: University of California Press, 2003.