The Long Struggle for Civil Rights

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African Americans have a history of struggles because of racism and prejudices. Ever since the end of the Civil War, they struggled to benefit from their full rights that the Constitution promised. The fourteenth Amendment, which defined national citizenship, was passed in 1866. Even though African Americans were promised citizenship, they were still treated as if they were unequal. The South had an extremely difficult time accepting African Americans as equals, and did anything they could to prevent the desegregation of all races. During the Reconstruction Era, there were plans to end segregation; however, past prejudices and personal beliefs elongated the process. All African Americans thought with the creation of civil rights, they would be free to do what all Americans could do. In the context of civil rights, emancipation means to be free from slavery. The process took much longer than they expected. Many fled to the North to gain their freedom, which was rightfully theirs. Legal slavery was removed from the North, but the population of slaves between the first emancipation and the end of the Civil war doubled, from roughly 1.8 million in 1827 to over four million in 1865. It was very difficult for southern farmers and those who owned slaves to immediately give up a lifestyle they were accustomed to and remove their slaves. White southerners viewed African Americans as their workers. They have lived with this mindset for so long, causing their transition to be challenging compared to the transition of the slaves in the north. The Civil War was meant to end slavery in the United States, but the victory could not keep prejudiced feelings and beliefs away. The newly freed African Americans who lived in the South ... ... middle of paper ... ...h past prejudices and previous beliefs elongated the process of desegregation, African Americans were still successful and were able to be free. Works Cited Brannen, Daniel, Clay Hanes, and Rebecca Valentine. "Segregation and Desegregation." Supreme Court Drama: Cases That Changed America. (2011): 873-879. Cartlidge, Cherese. Reparations for Slavery. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Lucent Books, 2008. Chafe, William, Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad. Remembering Jim Crow. New York: The New Press, 2001. George, Charles. Life Under the Jim Crow Laws. San Diego, California: Lucent Books, 2000. Guelzo, Allen. "Should Blacks Get Reparations?." Christian Science Monitor, 2009. Lichtenstein, Alex, and Elizabeth Tenney. "A Long Struggle." Cobblestone. (2013). Martin, Waldo, and Patricia Sullivan. "Emancipation." Civil Rights in the United States. (2000).

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