Monday, September 23, 2019

The history of African-Americans Research Paper

The history of African-Americans - Research Paper Example The paper will use the works of different Historians in understanding why Reconstruction Era efforts did not immediately guarantee civil rights and equality to African-Americans. The paper will highlight significant events that contributed to racial violence, cultural identity and black organisations that advanced the movements for social justice and civil rights to African-Americans and ultimately attainment of post-racial American society. The main events that the paper will focus on include the enactment of 13th amendment, Colfax Massacre, Wilmington race riots, Harlem Renaissance, Black power movements and recent election of an African-American as the President of United States. African Americans Introduction A majority of African Americans are the descendants of African slaves that were held in the US from 1600 until 1865. African-Americans were at times referred as the Negro, Blacks, colored Americans and Afro-Americans. African-Americans trace their ancestry from native Africa n tribes in Sub-Sahara Africa (Turner-sadler, 2009). African-Americans mainly came to the US as slaves working for both Portuguese and Spanish settlers. Most of the African-Americans were concentrated in the Southern states and a significant majority worked as slaves in the Southern plantations (Bair, 1997). According to Hornsby (2008), African-Americans history is characterized with racial struggles, violence, agitations for self-identity and determination and ultimately eventual integration in to the mainstream U.S political and social life. Thesis: the history and struggles of African-Americans have greatly contributed to the current civil rights in the United States. Enactment of 13th Amendment and commencement of Reconstruction Era There are numerous significant African-American historical events that shaped the current US bill of rights and social relations in the US. In 1865, American Civil War came to an end after Confederate forces conceded defeat to Union forces (Hornsby, 2008). Accordingly, Freedmen’s Bureau was also established in order to provide education and health services to the emancipated African-American slaves. The first significant event in African-American history was the enactment of the 13th amendment of US constitution in 1865 (Hornsby, 2008). The 13th Amendment effectively ended slavery and involuntary servitude across the United Slaves. McPherson (1971) is of the idea that President Lincoln was concerned that Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had not effectively prohibited slavery since it had been declared only for Ten Confederate States and not the Border States. McPherson analyses the numerous House of Representative meetings that were geared at enacting the 13th amendments and the intentions of the legislators. According to McPherson, the 13th amendment offered the best opportunity for Reconstruction and end of slavery after the Civil War that had claimed lives of thousands of African-Americans. However, some states did n ot ratify the amendment the same year while others continued to subject blacks to involuntary servitude (Turner-sadler, 2009). The amendment contributed to the end of African-American slaves and later demand for equal human rights with White counterparts (Turner-sadler, 2009). The 13th amendment also paved way for subsequent reconstruction amendments that provided for equal protection under the law and due process in legal proceedings (Turner-sadler, 2009). Colfax Massacre of 1873 The Colfax Massacre that occurred on Easter Sunday 1873 is regarded as another critical event in the history of African-Americans since the end of the civil war (Laird, 2009). During the riots, more than one hundred African-Americans were

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