African Americans were free in the beginning times of the New World, though first white landowners faced labor crisis, what appeared easiest was to force the strong, hardworking African Americans to slavery by the mid-sixteen hundreds, second the United States Constitution in 1788 did not help, it guaranteed equality only to whites and consider blacks as three-fifths of a person (Bigelow, 2011). The end of the Civil War and the help of Abraham Lincoln, in December 1865 the Thirteen Amendment to the constitution was adopted, stating that slavery was abolished, though it was the beginning of blacks worst struggles to come (Bigelow, 2011).
The following will view African-Americans lives from the adoption of the Thirteen Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1965 focusing how they have worked to end segregation, discrimination and isolation to gain equality and the civil rights. Technology help the New World take its shape, but many would not know that African Americans had a huge impact developing the beginning of it. In 1790 an invention that impacted this countries production of cotton was the cotton gin; invented by Eli Whitney an African American, it helped separate the cotton from the cotton seed which allowed the textile industry to grow (Trotter, 2000).
This did not help the blacks they were not viewed as having technical knowledge but only as labor workers, which pushed slavery and Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1832 which outlawed blacks to read, write and cipher (Trotter, 2000). 1836 the U. S. Patent Act came to affect which required inventors to submit models showing the construction, design and specifications, which the literacy restriction denied African Americans to patent their inventions (Trotter, 2000).
Then in 1857 the US Supreme Courts Dred and Scott decision, the federal government ruled that enslaved blacks were not citizens which they could not receive patents for their inventions (Trotter, 2000). All this things became obstacles for African Americans to be recognized for their inventions and knowledge in technology. African Americans continue pushing forward and with blacks being excluded from the industrial industry, the impact of emancipations, civil rights law and constitutional amendment, African Americans went from slaves to citizens which gave them rights, which led to many more inventions.
The shoe lasting machine was a notable invention by Jan Matzeliger’s, this machine would attached the upper part of the shoe to the sole, which at the times was only done by hand; before 50 pair of shows were done in a day and by the time he perfected the machine 700 pairs of shoes were done in a 10 hour day (Jan Matzeliger, 2011). Other inventions came from Elijah McCoy, who invented numerous lubrication devices for locomotives engines for the railroads and boat steam engines and Grandville T.
Wood’s electrical inventions, including a telephone transmitter (Trotter, 2000). It seems African Americans were moving forward though soon after African Americans face another struggle Jim Crows Law or Black Codes. This brought the beginning of segregation; Jim Crows law took voting rights because when the fifteenth Amendment gave those rights to Africans Americans it left loop holes which it was required to take literacy tests and the practice of poll taxes, which again discriminated the blacks (Bowles, 2011).
Poll taxes required blacks to show either a payment or a proof of land ownership and the literacy test required blacks to know how to read which most recent freed slave did not know how to read because of the Nat Turner that took education privileges away before the Civil War (Bowles, 2011). Jim Crows laws also separated and downgraded African Americans from the whites, but not for long because the West brought many more opportunities to African Americans.
The government excluded Asian immigrants but allow African Americans to take advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862, allowing to purchase 160 acres of land for $1. 25 per acre and to take land for free if a homesteader farmed it for a period of five years (Bowles, 2011). Another Act was the Timber act of 1873 this stated if settlers planted trees of at least one-quarter of the land for four years it gave them the option of taking another 160 acres of land for free, which helped solve some problems of isolation because the West was unknown and required collaboration of people and government (Bowles, 2011).
World War I also brought opportunities to African Americans because it called out for 2. 8 million US Citizens out to war which left many Northern jobs vacated which started the time of the “great migration” (Bowles, 2011). African Americans got the opportunity to move North in Massachusetts munitions plants, Pennsylvania steel mills, and New Jersey brick yards, it was said half a million migrated around World War II (Bowles, 2011).
In the 1920’s to 1930’s blacks worked very hard to become better and have equal rights but many industrial places still believed in the Jim Crows law, which the blacks moved from job to jobs, formed all black labor unions like the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, domestic and servant unions, which broke the strike of discriminatory white labor unions in aluminum, coal mining, meatpacking and the steel industries (Trotter, 2000). By 1926 10,000 blacks worked for Henry Ford and gave them many opportunities like supervisory positions, those who worked for Ford felt superior to other plants (Trotter, 2000).
This was a rising time for African Americans and as proven, standing their ground and pushing forward was what it required to gain equals rights and the start of a time for those to fight for what belonged to them. In the beginning of the 1930’s many intellectuals like Richard Wright believed that the Communist Party of the United States of America CPUSA was the best solution to fight racial inequalities in employment, housing and education (Carreiro, 1999). The CPUSA was known as “Negrotarians” the members seemed to adopt intellectual maturation and independence thought from African Americans (Carreiro, 1999).
Zora Neal Hurtson an anthropologist and author was the first to use the term “Negrotarians” they were white humanitarians and philanthropist who “aesthetically and financially supported young black artist” (Carreiro, 1999). In Voice of the Negro sourced and excerpted stories from African Americans newspapers and published them in 1920 was Robert Kerlin (Bowles, 2011). This gave whites an opportunity to understand firsthand of how African Americans lives were in the United States, which gave blacks an opportunity to speak to become equal (Bowles, 2011).
African Americas racial pride and intense desire for equality, the Harlem Renaissance began, they were Harlem artist who demanded respect (Bowles, 2011). From 1920-1934 the whites social reformers and black intellectual faced many problems and whites continue to dominate political and social institutions with no gains of civil rights (Carreiro, 1999). The South continued the Jim Crows law and voting restriction and in the North blacks dealt with color-line employment, housing and entertainment (Carreiro, 1999).
Harlem Renaissance declined and was face to a shift of economic and social reform, which was greatly shown in 1933 during the Great Depression (Carreiro, 1999). African continue pushing forward in a wild roller coaster of improvement and then having to start again, but the hard work had been noticed, but hard times called for focus in a time like the Great Depression. African Americans continue the battle of equal rights and believed to fight for the country they lived in. So when World War II came about, nearly one million served, but continued being segregated in to black units led by white officers (Bowles, 2011).
Many did not back down and continue to fight for the equal rights they deserved, so on April 12, 1945 101 U. S. Army African American Officers were taking in to custody because they refuse an order from a superior officer, they refused segregation of housing and recreational areas (Bowles, 2011). African American pilots also protested segregation and many showed it by risking their lives, like the Tuskegee airmen Fighter Group 332nd, who flew 15,000 sorties and shot down more than 200 German aircraft, though none were recognized for their heroism, until 50 years later by Bill Clinton (Bowles, 2011).
The years from 1950’s to 1960’s many African leaders arise, like members of the NAACP, women, ministers, black powered organizations, and youths from colleges, all protesting for segregation, discrimination and isolation to end for civil rights. A notable civil rights movement was in 1954 with the ruling of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, it help desegregate African Americans and whites at school’s (Bowles, 2011).
Oliver brown argued that it was injustice to make his daughter to walk several miles to attend an all-black school, when a school of all-white was only three block away from her home, which the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision Plessy stated that schools needed to be equal. In this case it was just making it harder for his daughter and other children to attend school, so Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled in favor of Oliver Brown (Bowles, 2011). Though the ruling was done it unfortunately left the rest, for the board of education to figure out when they would desegregate, which they were in no hurry to do anything about it.
Arkansas governor Orval Faubus opposed the ruling and assembled the Arkansas National Guard to confront it, but President Eisenhower did not allowed and sent 1,000 paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division to allow the Little Rock Nine to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas (Bowles, 2011). President Eisenhower was a huge influencer to civil rights, he approved the Civil Rights Act of 1957, it did not do much positive to African Americans but it helped established a civil rights office within the Department of Justice, with 10 lawyers staffing it (Bowles, 2011).
Other influencers of the time, that kept things true through music was Bob Dylan, singing about the 14 year old boy Emmet Till who was beaten to death by two white men, and both later released (Bowles, 2011). Times were tough and in spark of the civil rights movement this set them back in times of hatred and violence, segregation continue in the South and the Brown decision disappeared in Arkansas, a new strategy needed to be approached. Rosa Parks a 42 year old African American women and former secretary of the NAACP, road a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1, 1955 helped focus on a new strategy to civil rights (Bowles, 2011).
Riding the bus was not the problem, the problem was that the city ordinance stated that African Americans had to give up their seat on a train or bus if a white person asked; it also stated blacks were not allowed to sit parallel with a white person. Rosa Parks refused to give her seat when a white man asked for it; he got off the next stop, called authorities and had her arrested (Bowles, 2011). As a former NAACP she was committed to the movement but she acted as a private citizen, which led to the Montgomery bus boycott.
A 26 year-old black pastor responding with poetic and deeply felt words led to another approach of civil rights movement, his name was Dr. Marti Luther King, Jr. He helped organized the Montgomery bus boycott, about 90 percent of blacks that normally rode the bus on a daily basis began walking, riding a bicycle or carpooling to work (Bowles, 2011). He also helped urge for them to buy less at Christmas since the lack of transportation, plus it was a good time to show what Christmas was truly about.
The boycott lasted until the Browder vs. Gayle federal case, which showed that segregation laws were unconstitutional, which helped King become a noticeable civil rights leader, with stories appearing in New York Times Magazine, he appearing in the cover of Time, and was the second African America guest in NBC;s Meet the Press (Bowles, 2011). Following Gandhi nonviolent philosophy he was able to coordinate many more boycotts in other cities, which led other to view this movement differently in a more nonviolent way.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee formed sit-ins as a form to protest. Four African American freshmen from the North Carolina Agricultural and technical College sat under a sign that read, “We don’t serve colored here” but they did not cared and remained seated until closing and promised to return the next day till served (Bowles, 2011). This movement spread quickly with roughly 70,000 people sitting in across the nation, some 2,000 arrested and some were attacked by whites (Hall, 2007).
The NAACP a national leader supplied bail money and legal advice to this activist, and later 3000 from the NAACP boycott stores that practice discrimination which dropped sales because of the refusal to buy (Hall, 2007). Though this movement was nonviolent others like the white used force one being done in 1963 Bull Connor unleash police dogs and high-pressure hoses on Black school-children in Birmingham, Alabama bringing blacks to the streets (Hall, 2007). King went to Washington, DC, where he gathered 200,000 demonstrators at the National Mall and addressed them with his famous "We Shall Overcome" speech on August 23, 1963. King's words at the capital that day were a defining moment of the Civil Rights movement (Bowles, 2011). ” After the assassination of President Kennedy, Johnson assures congress he would honor the passage of the civil rights bill that Kennedy fought for before his death.
The Civil Right Act of 1964 stated, “An Act, to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes (Bowles, 2011). This helped start the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who serve as a watch dog to employers to treat every employee equally. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the final pass after a march that ended as the Bloody Sunday; blacks were attacked as they walked 52 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (Bowles, 2011). These boycotts, sit-ins and marches led to a change in laws and lead to the end of legal segregation of the races, known as the de jure segregation (Bowles, 2011).
African Americans are sure very hard working citizens to what they believe are right and will go the limit to prove this right. With continues roller coasters over high and rocky mountains, blacks accomplished many success that lead to the Acts passed in 1965. Many important people including some white supported the end of segregation and civil rights which with patience and courage it was shown it was something accomplishable over time, since change requires time.? References
Bigelow, B. C. (2011). African Americans. Retrieved October 2, 2011, from Countries and Their Cultures website: http://www. everyculture. com/multi/A-Br/African-Americans. html Bowles, M. (2011). A history of the United States since 1865. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Carreiro, A. E. (1999, Summer). Ghosts of the Harlem Renaissance: "Negrotarians" in Richard Wright's Native Son. The Journal of Negro History, 84(3), 247-259. Retrieved from http://www. jstor. rg/ stable/2649004 Hall, S. (2007, November). Civil Rights Activism in 1960s Virginia. Journal of Black Studies, 38(2), 251-267. Retrieved from http://www. jstor. org/stable/40034978 Jan Matzeliger. (2011). Retrieved October 2, 2011, from http://www. blackinventor. com/pages/ jan-matzeliger. html Trotter, J. W. , Jr. (2000, Fall). African Americans and the Industrial Revolution. OAH Magazine of History, 15(1), 19-23. Retrieved from http://www. jstor. org/stable/25163396