Inequality for African Americans

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Prior to World War I there was much social, economic, and political inequality for African Americans. This made it difficult for African Americans to accept their own ethnicity and integrate with the rest of American society. By the end of World War II however African Americans had made great strides towards reaching complete equality, developing their culture, securing basic rights, and incorporating into American society. Toward the end of the Progressive Era American social inequality had stripped African Americans of their rights on a local and national level. In the 1896 Supreme Court case of Plessey vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court sided with a Louisiana state law declaring segregation constitutional as long as facilities remain separate but equal. Segregation increased as legal discriminatory laws became enacted by each state but segregated facilities for whites were far superior to those provided for blacks; especially prevalent in the South were discriminatory laws known as Jim Crow laws which surged after the ruling. Such laws allowed for segregation in places such as restaurants, hospitals, parks, recreational areas, bathrooms, schools, transportation, housing, hotels, etc. Measures were taken to disenfranchise African Americans by using intimidation, violence, putting poll taxes, and literacy tests. This nearly eliminated the black vote and its political interests as 90% of the nine million blacks in America lived in the South and 1/3 were illiterate as shown in Ray Stannard Baker’s Following the Color Line (Bailey 667). For example, in Louisiana 130,334 black voters registered in 1896 but that number drastically decreased to a mere 1,342 in 1904—a 99 percent decline (Newman ). Other laws prevented black... ... middle of paper ... ...or their heroic efforts during times of such as the 369th battalion and Doris Miller. African Americans had more of their basic rights, political voice, respect, and were able to blend into American society by the end of World War II. Works Cited Wormser, Richard. "U.S. IN WORLD WAR I (1917-1918)." The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. 2002 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Web. 9 Jan 2014. . Wormser, Richard. "RED SUMMER (1919)." Jim Crow Stories. 2002 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Web. 9 Jan 2014. . Newman, John. UNITED STATES HISTORYPreparing for the Advanced Placement Examination. Second Edition. New York: AMSCO SCHOOL PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2010. eBook. .
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