The Emancipation Proclamation, By President Abraham Lincoln Essay example

933 Words Nov 10th, 2014 4 Pages
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all men and women under slavery in the South. Under its clauses, many African Americans were freed that day, and even more as the War came to an end and the nation become united under one government. Still, for many ex-slaves, their lives changed little. Even with their freedom guaranteed and their rights inalienable, they still faced discrimination and hostility. With the development of the Jim Crow’s laws, Black Americans were legally isolated from the public, effectively keeping them away from the opportunities to advance their lives beyond that of a former slave. Those of biracial descent, who happened to inherit pale skin, were able to assimilate at least temporarily into white society and receive a broader range of opportunities to better themselves. Some worked hard and almost escape the shadow of racism. But then, the laws of segregation still restrict their lives, leaving them yearning for what were given freely to every other white people. The story “The Wife of His Youth” by Charles Chesnutt tells the tale of one such person. The protagonist is portrayed as an elite of a respected colored society and yet, for many time, he has shown his longing to be “whiter” and to be integrated into white society, even at the cost of his racial heritage. The oppression of African American after the War was strong enough to force even the best of them to consider abandon their own…

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