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Blacks in American History: Racism and American Dream

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America’s race problem is like a man with a recurring headache who takes medicine to stop the pain. What he needs to do is find the cause of the headache and treat that cause. Otherwise, he will simply continue with the headache followed by the medicine America has a problem. America has had this problem since it became a nation. The problem is ethnic discrimination and it’s many consequences like thinking of them salves and it’s many consequences. Americans like to think of themselves and their country as a symbol of democracy, and for all intent and purpose, it is, almost. What is and has been missing in America is a true and clear picture of its problem In fact, America has yet to honor its promise of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, i.e.

Full citizenship for all people. The time has arrived for America to honor its promise. When the subject of race is discussed, we seem to accept ad definition that is very elusive except when it comes to mankind, the human race. Are some humans of a race different from Homosapiens? We seem to think so if our language is any indication of what goes on in our minds. Although religion, and science, both natural and social, tell us that we are all of one blood, the American people as a society, have never been able to fully accept that fact. Another term used in association with race is color. The two basic colors used in the western world and in particular, in America, are white and block.

These two colors are used to separate large segments of society. Thereby making one color privileged and the other not privileged. Because of this phenomenon, American society can not deal rationally with the problems of race. Because America has not attacked the problem of race, ignorance and confusion continue to manifest it self in a variety of ways. Hate groups who believe they are superior to black people. They try to promote their myth of superiority through club membership. One of the oldest such organizations in America is the ‘Ku Klux klan’.

Other organizations with similar beliefs include the ‘Aryan Nations’, and Skinheads …… to name a few. Throughout the history of America, blacks are considered as an inferior race. From the early time of America’s history, white people behaved toward Africa- American as a slave and separated themselves from black people As a result of such behavior from majority of people in America blacks experienced a lot of hardship and they were segregated from white members of the society. But it is enough for black people, they were becoming a people paralyzed by anxieties upon the subject of Abusing and slavery. For 246 years, from 1619 Africans were forced to do such things, they never liked to do. At this very important moment of history, they should forget their dark past and begin a new life with a new perspective. Black intellectuals of the late nineteenth century provoked blacks to have such an idea.

‘The need of new ideas and new aims for a new era’. Today, America looks at itself and thinks that things are not so bad for the Africa American people. They have experienced upward mobility educationally, economically, politically, and socially. Today the united states have a flourishing if somewhat dubious and tenuous, black middle class. The most important development since 1968 is that African Americans today are much better educated than they were in the past. These absolute improvements in education at attainment include a substantial increase in both high school and college completion rates. Another important event that proved, the Race disintegration in society of America is Obama’s victory in the presidential election on November 4, 2008. Obama was not the first black presidential candidate in American history.

Others had paved the way for him in the post-civil rights era. But, Obama as the first American – African president of the united states riched that dream, which blacks tried to achieve throughout the history of America. In the following pages of this work, I will look at America’s problem from a totally different perspective than those generally taken when discussing the subject of race. Looking at both the past and present should have given us a better understanding of the legacy of the problem. In this essay, I will analyze the history of racism in America and what happened to black people throughout the history of the united states in four different stages:

  1. Abusing Negros 
  2. Black’s shame and isolation 
  3. The need of new ideas 
  4. Freedom and reunion. 

And I also find the traces of my idea in the movie ‘ pursuit of happiness ‘and match these 4 stages with this movie.

Abusing Negros:

Slavery had been introduced by Dutch in the early 1600s and was still a thriving institution of the declaration of independence ‘, ‘ The European Americans’ were led to believe that they were inherently superior to African Americans. In fact, that belief of superiority and privilege is the legacy created by slavery that still influences American life today. Since slavery, America has been a divided nation. The division came about because of the value of lack of value placed on human beings. For those valued in society, privileges were granted by virtue of their group identity. For others, namely, slaves and poor working people, little or negative value was assessed them.

The negative value of the African Americans in society continued from slavery in many ways to some Specific time of history. Slavery, the sum of all villainies, like a vulture, was gnawing at the heart of the republic: until this day there stretched away behind us an awful chasm of darkness and despair of more than two centuries, until this day the American slave, bound in chains, to seed his fettered arms on high and groan for freedom’s gift in vain until this day the colored people of the united states lived in the shadow of death and had no visible future. Enslaved people were seen not as people at all but as goods to be bought, sold, and exploited. For many years blacks were abused by whites in different ways and white people never behaved toward them as humankind. At the first stage, they should work in fields and farms like animals without having any Equal rights.

They were like a tool for white people, and white people used this tool just for earning more wealth. Immediately after the civil war, during the hopeful but brief period of reconstruction, black people were finally recognized as citizens with rights. In 1877, the defeated confederates regrouped as the ‘Ku Klux klan’ and ‘Knights of the white camellia’ regained control their workforce not by owning them but by circumscribing their lives through terror, violence, and vote suppression. In this movie, the main character of the film ‘Chris Gardner’ takes part in the classes of the company which he wants to engage he is the only black guy in this class, and every time his instructor wants him to do something for him. In these scenes of the movie, you can see how his instructor tries to abuse Gardner by telling him to do some tasks.

Blacks become shameful and isolated:

For most of the blacks, looking back into the post forced an encounter with the shame of slavery. ‘when Tourgee wrote in 1888 of blacks facing a slave past of ‘only darkness replete with unimaginable horrors In a thousand settings, from magazine articles to sermons, from emancipation exhibitions to anniversaries, and in private communication, many blacks tended to consider slavery as American prehistory that was painful to revisit. Angry or painful memories are not the same thing as shame. Indeed, it is difficult to know when ex-slaves felt shame or when they merely exhibited an impassive disposition to not look backward.

In ex-slave memory, one finds expressions of shame sometimes mixed with conservative nostalgia and interracial contempt. ‘Former North Carolina house servant Sarah Debro Looked back at age ninety and declared:’ my folks don’t want me to talk about slavery, they’s shame niggers ever was slaves. But, while for most colored folks freedom is the best, they’s still some niggers that ought to be slave now”’. Debro seems never to have abandoned her sense of class distinction as a hard maid to her mistress ‘” I look back and think”, she said. “I ain’t never forgot them slavery days, and I ain’t never forgot Miss Polly and my white starched aprons”’ Again in some of the scenes of the movie you can see Mr. Gardner as a shameful father that he is isolated from society, he cannot afford the rent of the house and as a result of that, he should spend a night with his son in subway toilet.

The need of new ideas:

Black intellectuals of the late nineteenth century differed, often fiercely, over just how historically minded their people ought to be. Alexander Crummel one of the most distinguished black intellectuals, gave the commencement addresses ‘the need of new idea and new aims for a new era’ now at these critical moments in the history of the united states blacks decided to do magnificent work. By having such a new idea, they tried to gain their right, from this time as black people we have the same rights as whites. What Africa-American did at that critical time of history is that؛forget their dark past and have a new dream for a new era. A young minister named Martin Luther King led the civil Rights Movement. His strategy of non-violent protest included peaceful demonstrations.

Inspired by the king’s tactics thousands of blacks got together to join the struggle. In 1963, more than 250.000 people marched peacefully on the nation’s capital in support of jobs, freedom, and new civil rights bill that was stalled in Congress. During the largest demonstration for human rights ever held in America, Martin Luther King delivered his most famous speech ‘I have a dream’. Protesters and demonstrators carried signs with newfound confidence and dignity. Martin Luther King was finally assassinated in 1968. King’s death sparked black rebellions in many cities and made him a revered martyr to cause.

President Johnson lent his full support to the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1965. These acts guaranteed basic civil rights for blacks. In one of the acts of the movie, while Mr. Gardner is passing in front of one huge building, he sees a man with a luxurious car. Suddenly Mr. Gardner asks the white man about this huge building and also how he can become a rich person like him. In fact, Mr. Gardner as one of the members of the American- African people of America has this new perspective for his future.

Freedom and Reunion:

In 1964, pressure from Martin Luther King, Jr.Fannie Lou Hamer, and thousands of activists combined with the political will of Kennedy and ministrations to push for critical legislation.’The civil rights of 1964 forbade discrimination on basis of sex as well as race in hiring, promoting, and firing)’.Bundles4)Black power meant two things: the end of shame and humiliation, and black community control. Blacks now be proud of being black, and they should be proud of their African past. Instead of using skin lighteners and hair straighteners, black power advocates began adopting the style of dress with an African flavor. American civil rights legislation of the 1960s became the basis for affirmative action. Programs that increased opportunities for many black students and workers as well as for women, disabled people, and other victims of discrimination. Increased participation in the American electoral system lessened black reliance on extra-legal tactics. That Obama’s election signaled the start of a post-racial era without divisive racial issues and controversies.

If you make a comparison between one of the first scenes of the movie in which Mr. Gardner has an important appointment with the white heads of the company and the final scene of the movie in which Mr. Gardner successfully passed all the exams and again has a meeting with those white guys, you can easily understand that on that first scene of the movie he dressed badly and it seems that heads of a company do not have a positive viewpoint about him. But in the final act movie, Mr. Gardner comes to the conference room with very attractive suit. Now heads of a company completely change their view about him and accept him as one of their family members. In this company.

The major challenge for America in addressing the race problem is to recognize and acknowledge the fact that discrimination and biases elements are woven into the fabric of American life from the beginning. All Americans were and are affected by the phenomena.’The founding father, Thomas Jefferson, played a trick on us when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”’. Equality is impossible for humans if taken on individual bases. The word equal is one that allows for the powers that be to value each individual the same or equally, not that each individual is given the same values as in ‘Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.Unfortunately, all Americans have not been treated equally or fairly, and that has been at the center of America’s social problems. America is faced with a choice: to live inside the race box as it does presently, or to move outside of it and start to address some of the problems created by the separation and division it causes. America operates inside the race box, and because it does, everything is viewed as either black or white.

As I discussed earlier, white is normal and privileged. The normal image of the African American as viewed through the race box is one of a stereotype of him comes to public attention, them that African Americans are seen as being different. For European Americans to see African Americans as normal is an extremely difficult challenge because society has done such a thorough job of picturing him in negative stereotypes throughout his American experience. As a result of such behavior toward African Americans, they became shameful and isolated. Many blacks asserted that slavery is American prehistory that is painful to remember. But in some important time of America’s history blacks felt the new need for a new era. They decided to forget their gloomy past and started to fight for their rights and equality. They took part in lots of demonstrations which led by some guys like Martin Luther King.

Finally, they achieved what they wanted. The civil rights of 1964 was that aim, black people struggled for it and they could achieve it. The changes were a result of the long struggle from 1900 to 1999. In 21 century, African Americans fully expected greater rights as American citizens, the first century in American history free from slavery. In 2008, African Americans overwhelmingly supported the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Finally, African Americans supported Obama because his candidacy offered the state and blacks the best hope for economic, political, and cultural renewal.

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Blacks in American History: Racism and American Dream. (2022, August 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved August 16, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blacks-in-american-history-racism-and-american-dream/
“Blacks in American History: Racism and American Dream.” GradesFixer, 01 Aug. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blacks-in-american-history-racism-and-american-dream/
Blacks in American History: Racism and American Dream. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blacks-in-american-history-racism-and-american-dream/> [Accessed 16 Aug. 2022].
Blacks in American History: Racism and American Dream [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Aug 01 [cited 2022 Aug 16]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/blacks-in-american-history-racism-and-american-dream/
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