Essay about A Reflection Upon An Environment Of Racial Tension

1802 Words Jun 14th, 2015 8 Pages
A reflection upon an environment of racial tension
The racial tension that exists in America did not arise spontaneously. It stems from slavery, the well-known and infamous practice that was once thought by half of our country to be a “means of economic prosperity” (Yandoli, 2013, para. 6). Its history calls back to the very foundation of this nation. Jefferson attempted to address the issue in the Declaration of Independence where he calls the “truths” of man’s existence to be “self-evident” - “that all men are created equal. . .endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Nearly two hundred and forty years later, the nation still struggles with ensuring these rights to every citizen. Even though slavery had been abolished 65 years prior and African Americans were allotted the right to vote in 1870, Denzel Washington’s movie The Great Debaters demonstrates the oppression that African Americans still faced in the 1930’s despite their legal rights and freedoms (Winfrey, Roth, Black, B.Weinstein, and H. Weinstein, 2007). The film shows multiple scenes of acts of violence and racism against African Americans - such as lynchings and verbal discrimination - committed not only by common white people but also by the surrounding government and police force. Simone (1964) addresses the reluctance of people to support the civil rights movement when she expresses her concern over how slowly society is…

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