African American History And Its Impact On African Americans Essay

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In order to understand the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is important to look back at the centuries of racism African Americans faced in the United States. From enslavement to the mass incarceration system of today, black people have been oppressed, neglected, and treated like second class citizens. Although they have been a vital part of the shaping of the United States, their contributions have often been overlooked and discredited. While there were a few short periods of positive achievement in the black community, the majority of African American history is filled with eras of racism, violence, and injustice. The effects of these eras are still felt today as they have led up to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
One of the most important events of American history was the enslavement of Africans. The time period is often seen by many as a horrible era wherein Africans were subject to the harshest conditions imaginable. They were brought to a new world, denied basic human rights and humanity, and forced to work like chattel. While that is true, the lasting effects of slavery are much more discreet and still help to perpetuate racial inequality today. According to Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, slavery in the thirteen colonies had no racial justifications at first, however later the use of African slaves’ “…heathen ancestry…to determine social status set the stage for the development of the idea of race.” (17). This concept was used to rationalize and uphold the brutal…

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