Events And Developments Affecting African Americans

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Then to Now: Events and Developments Affecting African Americans
Gabrielle Jones
History 204
Professor Cora Dunaway
22 December 2014 Throughout history, African Americans have struggled for the privileges and rights that were bestowed upon Caucasian Americans to be upon their people as well. There have been many attempts and loopholes used to disenfranchise African Americans, attempting to keep them as close to slavery as possible. Since the Civil War, that gave African Americans the new title of ‘freedmen’ in which they were legally no longer slaves, many a things changed for them some in a good perspective and some in a bad one. Not to say there were not setbacks, but improvements were made to better the lives of African Americans.
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The Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which endorsed the idea of being “separate but equal”, played a major downfall in their pursuit of justice. This Supreme Court ruling supported segregation and kept the races separate which means it legalized discrimination and racism throughout the nation (Bowles, 2011, ch. 2.3). African Americans not only struggled but according to Blair Kelley, “The legal defeat of the efforts to gain equal accommodations on the rails through the Plessy v. Ferguson decision was a devastating blow. While the case endorsed "separate but equal," in reality, conditions for black passengers, particularly on southern trains, were usually separate but never equal.” White Americans in the southern states particularly played a major role in racist acts against African Americans which was not just limited to rail ways but also in the community which had separate everything so African Americans and White Americans did not have to mingle. (Kelley, 2007). Though they may have suffered a defeat, it was far from over. Throughout the years, African Americans still fought for their right to be considered equal under the eyes of the law. The Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case of 1954, which abolished segregation, had given them hope for that. It was a landmark in the quest for social equity. “In effect, the larger lesson that Brown imparted was not …show more content…
Much of that suffering stemmed from the secret society of white supremacists going by the name of the Ku Klux Klan. The secret society, which was first emerged in the 1860s and later reemerged in 1915 by Colonel William Joseph Simmons, found many ways to hinder African Americans. The Ku Klux Klan marked themselves as “heroic redeemers of southern life” and against equality. (Bowles, 2011). The Ku Klux Klan is responsible for much of the violence against African American which included but was not limited to murder especially by lynching, arson, and assault and intimidation which in many cases were used to hinder them from voting. Many of the crimes against African Americans committed by the Ku Klux Klan never saw justice, which was further drive for people of color to attain their rights in the eyes of the law. The law in many states, especially in the south, grew to know and implement the Black Codes or Jim Crow laws. Black Codes or Jim Crow laws, were used to restrict African Americans socially, economically and politically. During these times, it was hard for people of color to be heard while the unjustly acts were committed against them. Even though some spoke out, many people including the president of the United States, looked away at the unfairness, inequality and injustice by doing nothing about it while it transpire for so long (Goldstein, 2013). Kelley

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