Historical Report on Race

Historical Report on Race Cultural Diversity ETH/125 October 20, 2012 Kelly Hebb-Campbell Historical Report on Race Historical report on African Americans from a historian writing about the racial group in a book chapter. What have been the experiences of this racial group throughout U. S. history? People of African ancestry arrived in the Americas along with the first European explorers.

After 1619, however, when a Dutch trading ship delivered twenty Africans to Jamestown, Virginia, to work for whites, people came to see dark skin as a marker of subordination.

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The demand for slaves was especially high in the South, where the plantation system required large numbers of people to work the cotton and tobacco fields. In the northern states, where slavery had less economic value, the practice had gradually come to an end. In the South, it took the Civil War to abolish slavery (University of Phoenix, 2012). After World War I, when Congress closed the borders to further immigration, the need for labor in the booming factories sparked the “Great Migration,” which drew tens of thousands of men and women of color from the rural South to the industrialized North.

These were times of great achievements in African American life as, for example, the Harlem Renaissance produced writers such as Langston Hughes and musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Even so, racial segregation in neighborhoods, schools, and jobs was a way of life in most of the United States (University of Phoenix, 2012). African Americans’ struggle for full participation in U. S. society is far from over.

People of African descent are still disadvantaged, African American families still have below-average income, and the black poverty rate is almost three times as high as the white poverty rate.

Although about 84 percent of African Americans now complete high school, their college graduation rate is well below the national average (University of Phoenix, 2012). African Americans had used government help to earn a college degree, but many of these men and women were not getting the types of jobs for which they were qualified. The Kennedy administration concluded that education alone could not overcome deep-seated, institutionalized prejudice and discrimination against people of color, so it devised the policy of affirmative action, which required employers to “throw a wider net” to identify and hire qualified minority applicants.

In the years that followed, employers hired thousands of African American women and men for good jobs, helping build the black middle class and reduce racial prejudice (University of Phoenix, 2012). What have been the political, social, and cultural issues and concerns throughout American history? Striking inequality and racism are built into the very institutions of U.

S. society. Social and economic inequality places African Americans at the margins of U. S. society.

Some people are still prejudiced and discriminate against African Americans; some African American communities need to improve their standing (Smithsonian History and Culture, 2012). Capitalism is the root cause of racial and ethnic inequality. Social structure including institutional prejudice and discrimination is the cause of racial and ethnic inequality. Cultural patterns such as the importance given to education, as a cause of racial and ethnic inequality. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 banning voting requirements that prevented African Americans from having a political voice (Smithsonian History and Culture, 2012).

What legislation meant to constrain race within prejudicial boundaries was enacted? How did the various groups you researched fight this legislation? Until the Civil War, slavery was legal. After the Revolutionary War, the new Congress passed the Naturalization Act of 1790 to provide a way for foreigners to become citizens of the new country. It limited naturalization to aliens who were “free white persons” and thus left out indentured servants, slaves, free African-Americans, and later Asians. After the Revolutionary War, most northern states abolished slavery, even if on a gradual emancipation plan.

Congress enacted Fugitive slave laws in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who had escaped from a slave state to a free state or territory. Black Codes were adopted by several states, generally to constrain the actions and rights of free people of color, as slaves were controlled by slave law (University of Phoenix, 2012).

The Dred Scott case of 1857, a “freedom suit” which was appealed to the Supreme Court, was settled with the ruling that, as the Constitution had not included people of African descent, whether they were enslaved or free, they could not be citizens of the United States.

Legislation enacting racial segregation was finally overturned in the 1950s-1960s, after the nation was morally challenged and educated by activists of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” was inherently discriminatory and directed integration of public schools. An executive order of 1961, by President Kennedy, created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to oversee workplace affirmative action.

Executive Order 11246 of 1965, signed by President Johnson, enforced this policy.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the policy included court-supervised desegregation busing plans (University of Phoenix, 2012). What legislation meant to alleviate prejudicial boundaries has been enacted? How did the various groups you researched promote this legislation? Thurgood Marshall, who later served for thirty years on the U. S. Supreme Court, led an attack on school segregation, leading to the 1954 case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas).

In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court rejected the claim that black and white children could be taught in separate but equal schools.

A year later, the heroic action of Rosa Parks sparked the bus boycott that desegregated public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama (University of Phoenix, 2012). In the next decade, the federal government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting segregation in employment and public accommodations. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, banning voting requirements that prevented African Americans from having a political voice, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which outlawed discrimination in housing.

Together, these laws brought an end to most legal discrimination in public life (University of Phoenix, 2012).

References Smithsonian. (2012). History and Culture. Retrieved from http://www. si. edu University of Phoenix.

(2012). Racial and Ethnic Groups. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, ETH/125 References History Study Center. (2012). Origins of the Second World War. Retrieved from http://www.

historystudycenter. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com University of Phoenix.

(2012). Week Eight supplement. Retrieved from University Of Phoenix, HIS/125, Ch. 24 of Hist2, volume 2.