African American Equality Analysis

2114 Words 9 Pages
Abraham Lincoln once explained that “the assertion that all men are created equal was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use”. However, even though the notion of equality laid the groundwork of our nation’s principles, African Americans have struggled against inequality for several centuries in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation declared their freedom from slavery in 1863, blacks continued to face different forms of racial discrimination in the following years. In the South, harsh oppressive laws prohibited these individuals from attaining equal opportunities. In hope for equality, a large number of African Americans chose …show more content…
During the early 1900s, African Americans living in the South had to face the constant terror of the Ku Klux Klan. Founded in 1915, the second Klan flourished across the entire nation by transforming its organization into a business. Although this group was underground, it used racial violence against African Americans to enforce its rule. In many cases, this white supremacist group set arbitrary restrictions against blacks and forced them to work in low-wage plantation jobs. Africans Americans who opposed these oppressive rules were physically attacked to impose fear in the black community. In fact, many of these cruel crimes consisted of torture and even murder. In his autobiography, Black Boy, Richard Wright described his own experience while growing up as a young black boy in southern Mississippi. He accounted the lynching of his step-uncle and explained how this refined his demeanor as an African American. He recognized the harmful consequences associated with acting against the rule of the Klan and was forced to obey the oppression and discrimination that was prominent within the South (Wright). In addition to murder, the Klan also worked against the political actions of African Americans. To discourage and intimidate black voters, many violent events were organized around election day. …show more content…
As many blacks continued to take jobs in industrial factories, they experienced the harsh conditions associated with dangerous machinery. Many of these machines emitted toxic fumes that accumulated within the factory due to lack of ventilation. These technologies also generated massive amounts of heat which resulted in an oppressive working environment. Furthermore, labor within these factories was extensive, tiresome, and repetitive. The average worker was assigned to a single duty that was to be repeated throughout the entire day. In some cases, work lasted up to eighteen hours a day with no breaks, extra pay, or accommodations. Due to this lack of safety, workers had an increased chance of developing life-threatening illnesses. Unfortunately, fatal injuries were also common within the workplace. In 1913 alone, it was reported that 23,000 workers had died in industrial factories due to the absence of safety regulations. Many of these deaths occurred in the factories that contained a large amount of African American laborers. In addition, blacks still continued to face issues involved with low-wages in these industrial firms. The average employee made about six dollars a week. This equates to less than one dollar per day. Although this pay was higher than agricultural jobs in the South, it was not nearly

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