Racial Inequality Among African Americans Essay

Racial Inequality Among African Americans Essay

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Throughout the past one hundred and fifty years, race relations have progressed markedly, emanating from the demise of legalized slavery and segregation in America. African Americans today have many rights that their ancestors were denied, such as the right to vote, being paid for their work, and being allowed to use the same restrooms and drinking fountains as white people. However, despite the many strides we have taken toward racial inequality as a country, there are still many ways in which African Americans and other minorities are unfairly treated today. For all the civil rights breakthroughs of the past several decades, racial adversity still materializes through numerous and often times far more insidious methods. It pervades in nearly every aspect of minorities’ lives, including discrimination when it comes to housing, jobs, criminal justice, and healthcare—all because of negative stereotypes based on the color of their skin. Most often, this is not because white people are making a conscientious and concerted effort to make the lives of minorities harder, but because of institutionalized racism that is carried out through many channels such as disenfranchisement of black voters, receiving less job offers and less money when they do land jobs, and a significantly higher rate of incarceration.
From the time Africans were first brought to America, they have been subjugated and persecuted. They were stripped of their basic human rights and enslaved for over two centuries before the Reconstruction amendments following the Civil War. Subsequently, they were subject to segregation laws and anti-miscegenation laws until the Civil Rights era of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Even after these breakthroughs, black Americans have still bee...

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...ne man noted how he deliberately relaxes his body while in close quarters with white women so he doesn’t frighten them. (DeAngelis)
In addition to trying not to be seen as a threat to white people, minorities can also feel a need to over-perform and carefully avoid making any mistakes, so as to not create a bad impression of other minorities, “One woman said she was constantly vigilant about her work performance because she was worried that any slipups would negatively affect every black person who came after her.” Regardless of whether people are conscious of it, minorities are often thought of as inferior and dangerous, and this affects how they interact with others in their everyday lives—being the ones to make certain everyone else around them is comfortable and does not see them as a threat—because of preconceived notions that they are ineffectual or menacing.

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