Second Class Citizenshipship Case Study

1512 Words

Lanny Ng 4/24/14 HIS 3060 Second Class Citizenship: Challenges Faced by African Americans After the abolishment of slavery African Americans were given a chance to climb the social ladder. They believed that if they worked hard they could achieve the American dream defined by providing their family more than the bare necessities. They were able to find work, improve their social status and even enter politics. During the Reconstruction era a few of them were elected into the House of Representatives and two were elected into senate. However, the progress of the African American came to a swift halt at the end of the Reconstruction era. Feeling threatened by the African Americans, whites created legislative laws that bar African American from politics and sought to undermine them starting with the Black Codes and later the Jim Crow law. Slavery had existed since the colonial times. The need for an expensive but continuous source of labor set the European’s sight on Africa. There they kidnapped Africans from their native villages and sold them to the highest bidder. This was essentially the start of slavery. Many slaves were bought to work on the sugar and tobacco plantations. There they worked long hours and were brutally beaten by their white masters. Slavery was not only a lifelong condition but it was also hereditary. Children born to slave mothers were also slaves themselves. Only in rare instances would a master grant his slave freedom. It took four years of war for slavery to come to a halt in the south but even then the lives of slaves did not improve. The southerners were forced to accept the end of slavery; however, that did not prevent them from finding other ways to dominate the blacks. After the assassination of Abraham... ... middle of paper ... ...they had less than whites: less income, wealth, occupational prestige, housing, education, and political influence.” Many migrated to the North in hopes of improving their living conditions only to be disappointed. While there were no visible signs hung up that divided the races the division were still very visible. Whites had the best property and were the priority. Blacks lived in slums and remained as second class citizens. Those who choose to remain in the south had two choices. They could either accommodate the Jim Crow laws or they could oppose it. These two opposing positions gave rise to two leaders, Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois, who would have opposing positions on how African Americans should respond to their second class citizenship. Proposal: I would like to research the Jim Crow law and its effect on politics and everyday life in America.

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