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African American Women Struggle for Equality in America

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Words: 788 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Feb 9, 2022

Words: 788|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Feb 9, 2022

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Suffrage and Civil Rights
  3. Educational Inequality
  4. Gender Disparities: African American Women
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Introduction

In the United States and many other nations, individuals hailing from diverse countries, religions, genders, and races often grapple with issues related to racism, oppression, and discrimination. These challenges encompass a wide array of experiences, impacting people due to their gender, race, religion, and more. One of the significant minority groups in the United States that has endured centuries of striving for equality is the African American community. African Americans have faced disparities in suffrage, education, and employment, stemming from the historical legacy of slavery and continuing through to the present day. Therefore this essay will discuss the African American struggle for equality in America.

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Suffrage and Civil Rights

The inequality experienced by African Americans traces its roots back to the era of slavery when they were treated as property rather than human beings. Over time, African Americans began to advocate for their equal rights, ultimately leading to the abolition of slavery following the Civil War (History.com Editors, 2009). However, even after the abolition of slavery, discrimination persisted.

Efforts to secure suffrage for African Americans gained traction during the Reconstruction era following the Civil War, along with the pursuit of equal rights before the law. Unfortunately, these rights remained largely theoretical as obstacles were continually erected to deny African Americans their full rights.

The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, marked the abolition of slavery ("Landmark Legislation," 2019). The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship and legal equality to all individuals born or naturalized in the United States, although it did not include women at the time ("Landmark Legislation," 2019). The 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, prohibited the denial of voting rights based on race, color, or previous servitude ("Landmark Legislation," 2019). Despite these legal provisions, many states found ways to circumvent them, imposing conditions such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and the Grandfather Clause to restrict African American voting (Parrott-Sheffer, 2019). Threats, violence, and fraud further impeded their voting rights (Parrott-Sheffer, 2019).

The struggle for suffrage persisted throughout the 20th century, with significant milestones such as Martin Luther King's leadership in peaceful protests starting in 1955 and the eventual abolishment of poll taxes and elimination of restrictive conditions through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Parrott-Sheffer, 2019). These advancements significantly increased voter registration among African Americans, from 23% to 61% in just four years ("Voting Rights," n.d.). While these changes marked progress in suffrage, the fight against racial injustice continued.

Educational Inequality

The journey toward educational equality for African Americans in the United States has been riddled with challenges. Historically, schools for black and white students were segregated, with each group attending separate educational institutions. This segregation persisted until the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, prompted by the unjust situation where an African American girl had to walk a significantly longer distance to school compared to a nearby white public school (History.com Editors, 2009).

While the case marked a turning point, educational disparities persist today. African American students continue to grapple with an achievement gap in comparison to their peers from other racial backgrounds (NEA). Addressing this gap requires concerted efforts, including increased funding for schools, greater diversity in educational institutions, and enhanced access to resources (NEA).

Gender Disparities: African American Women

African American women in America have long struggled for equality, facing disparities in opportunities, rights, and protections compared to their white counterparts. This struggle extends to economic inequalities, as black women often receive significantly lower wages for comparable work. Currently, black women earn approximately $0.61 for every dollar earned by white males, while white women earn up to $0.77 and $0.85, respectively (Connley).

Historically, African American women faced exclusion from predominantly white women's suffrage organizations and activities in the late 1800s, leading them to march separately during suffrage parades. These actions underscore the ongoing fight for recognition and equal treatment.

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Conclusion

The African American community in the United States has endured centuries of challenges related to racism, oppression, and discrimination. While significant strides have been made in securing civil rights, suffrage, and access to education, disparities persist. The struggle for equality is ongoing, and concerted efforts are necessary to address these issues comprehensively. Through continued advocacy, legal reforms, and societal change, there is hope for a future where African Americans can experience true equality in all aspects of American life.

References

  1. History.com Editors. (2009, October 27). Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement.
  2. Learning, O. S. & L. (n.d.). American Government. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/amgovernment/chapter/the-african-american-struggle-for-equality/.
  3. Blacks: Education Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/15215.htm.
  4. Connley, C. (2019, April 2). Reminder: Today isn't Equal Pay Day for all women. Retrieved from
  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/10/today-isnt-equal-pay-day-for-black-latina-or-native-american-women.html.
  6. Voting rights for African Americans. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/elections/voting-rights-african-americans.html.
  7. Parrott-Sheffer, C. (2019, August 14). Fifteenth amendment. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Fifteenth-Amendment.
  8. Landmark legislation: thirteenth, fourteenth, & fifteenth amendments. (2019, February 5). Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/CivilWarAmendments.htm.
  9. Barbour, C., & Wright, G. C. (2020). Keeping the republic: power and citizenship in American politics (9th ed.). Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
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African American Women Struggle for Equality in America. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/african-american-women-struggle-for-equality-in-america/
“African American Women Struggle for Equality in America.” GradesFixer, 10 Feb. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/african-american-women-struggle-for-equality-in-america/
African American Women Struggle for Equality in America. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/african-american-women-struggle-for-equality-in-america/> [Accessed 14 Jun. 2024].
African American Women Struggle for Equality in America [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 10 [cited 2024 Jun 14]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/african-american-women-struggle-for-equality-in-america/
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