African Americans and Segregation: The Civil Rights Movement

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Imagine being a Negro in the 20th century. To be hated because of the color of your skin, to still be a slave in a “slave-less world”, to fear speaking up for yourself because it will only result in losing everything or being killed, or to be constantly reminded of how unworthy you were. How far would you go to be looked upon as an equal? Throughout the 1950s, African Americans experienced things that made them who they were – angry Americans. They encountered racial discrimination, segregation, and unequal opportunities. Within the play Fences, by August Wilson, we can see just how the play exemplifies what is happening in the world around them. African Americans experienced the hatred of the whites everywhere they went and soon it was advancing to having in their own homes. When the television was advancing and becoming popular, everyone wanted one, including African Americans; but they had to reframe from purchasing them. This left children angry and confused as they wondered why everyone was getting TVs but them. In the play, Cory wonders why they don’t have a television either. CORY. Hey, Pop… why don’t you buy a TV? TROY. How much this cost? CORY. I don’t know. They got them on sale for around two hundred dollars. TROY. See that roof you got over your head at night? … It’s been over ten years since that roof was last tarred… Now how much you think it cost to get that roof tarred? CORY. I don’t know TROY. Two hundred and sixty- four dollars…cash money. While you thinking about a TV, I got to be thinking about the roof (Wilson 981). Troy told his son the reason for not buying the TV is because it is not in the list of priorities for them, but another reason could have been because he knew the TV wasn’t in the best interest f... ... middle of paper ... ...s Cited McDonald, Fred J. "Blacks and White TV." Preface. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2014. "On the Impact of the Movement." On the Impact of the Movement. Web. 15 May 2014. Pescosolido, Bernice A., Elizabeth Grauerholz, and Melissa A. Milkie. “Culture and Conflict: The African American Portrayal of Blacks in U.S. Children’s Books Through the Mid and late Twentieth Century.” American Sociological Review 62.3 (1997): 443-464. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 May 2014. Schwartz, Richard A. "1950s Civil Rights Developments." 1950s Civil Rights Developments. Web. 15 May 2014. “The 1950s.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 9 May 2014. “The 1960s.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 May 2014. Wilson, August. "Fences." Approaching Literature Reading, Thinking and Writing. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012. 965-1018. Print.

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