Struggle For Equality Essay

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The Struggle to for Equality
With the aide of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, the end of the civil war in 1865, the addition of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the constitution, African Americans in the South, just like their peers in the North, found themselves as newly freed people. Many dreams of striking it rich and becoming wealthy business owners were now a possibility for a once enslaved population. African Americans could do as they wanted freely with no fears of being beaten or restrained, just as they were on white owned plantations and properties. After the civil war ended, many African Americans looked to celebrate their liberation from their white counterparts. However, their reality was met with much
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Confederate property was to be redistributed among freedmen and women, making many of the white southerners fearful of losing what they had. Forfeiture of authority and slave freedom had been the biggest fears for white Americans by far. During annual Christmas festivities, slaves and their masters were given a sampling of what freedom would bring. In the South, December was a time of leisure and drinks aplenty, celebrations were a time where “carnivalesque holiday rituals extended across the color line…Southern society was ‘turned upside down,’” (Secondary Source, Nissenbaum, 3). Lines became blurred while affection between landowners and slaves grew. Everyone became closely acquainted during those times and many had entertained the idea of being together as one because of its short and limited duration. The hierarchy knew that this time of freedom was limited and controlled; everything would go back to the way it had always been. By the time of the Reconstruction, the South had not been reincorporated into the Union yet, making their wants and needs easy targets for the president to meet. At the end of the war, “the subjugation of the South and the preservation of the Union,” (Secondary Source, Nissenbaum, 1) was celebrated over the ill prioritized emancipation of slaves. President Johnson, whom was sworn into office after Lincoln’s …show more content…
Black progress in society was a main point of interest for activists such as Booker T. Washington and WEB Dubois. In his Atlanta Exposition Address, Washington spoke against black uprise against Southern business owners, the main audience, stating that in order to reach the top, his black brothers must work with the strong business owners that “…tilled your fields, cleared your forests, builded you railroads and cities and brought forth treasures from the bowels of earth…” (Primary Source, Article 14.7, 479). In his speech, Washington explicitly defends that the African American community should be grateful for even the chance or opportunity of a future outside of slave labor. WEB DuBois and other supporters for racial equality that founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to improve education and representation of African Americans and minorities did not take Washington’s words lightly. In his book The Souls of Black Folk (1903), DuBois addresses Washington’s idea of accommodating to the way of life in the South as immoral and unjust to people of color. DuBois believed in a “civilized and peaceful method…for the rights which the world accords to men,” (Primary Source, Article 14.8, 482). He actively expressed to his people that standing up

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