African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

Length: 728 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From the beginning of the black experience in American history, from slavery through to the Reconstruction in the antebellum south, the Great Migration to the civil rights movement, and to present-day America, black people have struggled to find a cohesive, meaningful identity that allows freedom of experience, importance of history, and creation of culture. As soon as enslaved africans stepped foot on American soil, autonomy was removed. What remained was the psychological effects of slavery; it was a widely accepted belief held by slaveholders that a slave needed to be created, and could never be bought. This belief structured the practices of creating, punishing and keeping slaves which relied heavily on the dehumanization of the enslaved.
Once enslaved people became free, these practices were difficult to undo. Entire generations of newly freed black men and women were faced with the burden of freedom and the psychological effects of regaining their personhood and finding meaning in a new world in which they made decisions for themselves. In addition, the rage built up from the period of enslavement becomes necessary to examine. Where does that aggression go when the ones to blame still have the power to destroy the new life you’ve created for yourself?
Myrtle Smith Livingston was an educator who lived and worked in Colorado for the public school and university system. She wrote For Unborn Children in 1926 and submitted it to The Crisis magazine, the official publication of the NAACP, as part of a literary contest in which Livingston won third prize. The story is simple, revolving around a small family cast with a simple living room set, but the themes and issues Livingston addressed were anything but simple.
The play cent...


... middle of paper ...


...acial marriage between blacks and whites as adding “another link to the chain that binds them” to white people, undoing years of freedom and subjugating themselves again to white dominance. Because of these choices Leroy makes, his fate is to be murdered by a white lynch mob; by deciding to “bind” himself once again to the white man, he offers himself up to them. In Livingston’s eyes, and through the blatancy of her narrative choices, he is getting what he deserves.
This begs an exploration back into the roots of misplaced aggression in the creation of black identity and the beginning of colorism in African-American communities. This play and its popularity with Crisis readers is telling of a wide spread mishandling of interracial marriage and mixed race children. Their conscious link to whiteness, to the oppressor, was thought of as a symbolic return to slavery.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- Throughout history, there are many instances of African Americans being mistreated in America. It started during the 1600s and it can be argued that it has not stopped since. Over the years, many African Americans acquired the resilience to make changes. The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most important parts of African American history. It was also important to world history. If it was not for the Civil Rights Movements, African Americans would not have the rights that are available today and the world would be completely different....   [tags: African American, Jim Crow laws]

Better Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- Whenever I hear the word slavery what immediately comes to mind is African Americans that were brought to the United States to work and were not paid. Then Abraham Lincoln ended slavery, but that wasn 't the end of it. The whites were not happy that black people walked around here freely, they hated to share or let the blacks do anything like they did because they felt that they were better just because of the color of their skin. They separated anything, and everything. Water fountains, bathrooms, schools, where you sat on the bus, being able to vote, restaurants, parking spaces etc....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Better Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

Essay on African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement

- African American ethnicities make up a large part of American society. The first immigrants from Africa were forced to call America home during the slave trade in the early seventeenth century. Although they were not given freedoms and rights as citizens, African Americans fought for a chance to become equal inhabitants of America. The following examines the civil rights movement, education, and economic standings of African Americans to demonstrate how this group overcame challenges and adversities to help build the societal fabric of the United States....   [tags: African American, Jim Crow laws, Racism]

Better Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- For many years, African Americans faced many challenges in the South. Many were beaten, threatened, and treated unequal by whites who did not have to go through that. Many African Americans were living under poverty around the time of the Civil Rights Movement, so they could not live in great conditions along with the unequal society which stopped them from being happy. After World War II, African Americans were tired of the conditions they were living under and demanded a change. They wanted to have decent homes, a better life for their families, and a quality education for their children....   [tags: Racial segregation, African American, Black people]

Better Essays
2011 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement

- In the 1940s, African Americans were facing the problem of discrimination. They fought to receive the rights that all Americans were given through the United States Constitution. They were being treated unfairly in society. Their education, jobs, transportation, and more were inferior to a white citizen’s. With the end of slavery and the creation of the Fourteenth Amendment, African Americans were theoretically given their freedom like every other American. The way they were treated denied them these rights that they thought they would obtain....   [tags: African American, Race, Black people, White people]

Better Essays
1438 words (4.1 pages)

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- Slavery, as well as other historical movements, frames ‘black’ in a destructive light. The history of a post-slavery United States, is ripe with discriminatory and dehumanizing anti-black systems: laws, practices and events: a thwarted Freedmen’s Bureau, Black Code laws passed immediately after the Civil War, sharecropping and debt slavery, Jim Crow laws (1876 – 1965), redlining and reverse redlining (1934-present), eugenics reform (1929 to 1974), a segregated military, etc.; terrorism: local lynch mobs, bombings of affluent Black communities (e.g....   [tags: African American, Black people, Race, Racism]

Better Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Civil Rights Of African Americans

- Racism, discrimination and oppression has been and still is a problem in the United States of America for a long time, dating back to early America when the Native Americans were often attacked, relocated, and forcibly assimilated into European culture. The African slave trade also helped contribute to the environment of a racist culture in America by debasing the African races and teaching Caucasian Americans that they are inferior to the African races. Although the civil rights of African Americans has improved over the last few decades and America now has an African American president racism still has a strong presence....   [tags: African American, United States, Race]

Better Essays
702 words (2 pages)

Civil Rights Of African Americans Essay

- Civil rights issues plagued the United States for the later part of the nineteenth century and most of the twentieth century. During that time period equality for all did not exist, and African Americans were treated sub-par to everyone else. The civil rights battle for African American citizens went as far back as the late nineteenth century with the ending of the civil war. The civil rights battle continued until about the later part of the twentieth century. The civil rights movement could be seen as a long one that takes place over about one hundred years....   [tags: African American, Jim Crow laws]

Better Essays
1812 words (5.2 pages)

African Americans And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

- The United States of America has come a long way since the time when African Americans were considered so different from white people that they were forced into slavery. After they were released from slavery, African Americans had to learn how to fit into society. They were not accepted for centuries. They fought through the civil rights movement in the 1960’s to get where they are today. However, even now racism still exists and it is thought that African Americans’ still don’t get treated equally to white people....   [tags: Black people, Racism, White American, Race]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Essay on Civil Rights And African Americans

- The idea of civil rights is defined by the dictionary as “Personal liberties that belong to an individual, owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community (Free Dictionary).” This definition broadly explains what civil rights means; however, it does not encompass specific civil liberties or the emotional aspect attached to the term. Civil rights holds a different meaning to everyone in the United States of America. This is because everyone has experienced different infringements of what they believe are their rights and each person is taught differently by their parents or community....   [tags: Racism, Race, Black people, African American]

Better Essays
1160 words (3.3 pages)