Black American also referred to as African Americans are the US citizens with an African origin. Some of them are descendants of survivors of Africans who were brought to America as slaves to work in sugar plantations. Other black communities in America are as a result of voluntary immigration from the African community. African Americans make the largest minority group in the present United States of America. The African American community has for a long time been neglected and discriminated, they had little or no rights at all, which caused them to form movements to fight and campaign for the recognition of their rights.
In the United State, women have been facing harsh treatments from their male counterparts. They have also been denied quite a number of rights. This research is intended to look into the similarities and differences that exist between the progression of the black Americans and American women in the United States. (Felder, 1990) Progression of blacks For many years, blacks Americans in the United States have been the poorest community in the country. They were regarded as slaves and had no rights to own properties and work. As time went by, they were allowed to grow crops and keep livestock.
Though they could intermarry with other communities, they were still poor and could not have right over their spouses married from other communities. African Americans were regarded as immigrants to the country and therefore taken inferior to the indigenous communities. After several attempts to fight for their rights, they formed movements to champion for their rights as other communities in the United States. These movements were fighting for equality in different sphere of life including the right to own properties, the right to employment, to vote, and others.
The civil rights movement started in early 20th century. These movements were encouraged by the extending role of the government in developing the economy and society. This encouraged the starting of businesses and jobs for blacks, the establishment of judicial law to protect the rights of all Americans rather than protecting businesses and whites only. The former US president, Mr Franklin Roosevelt, who was in power by then, appointed the judges who favored the rights of African Americans. Mr Hugo Black was appointed to head the Supreme Court as the judge.
This contributed to blacks accessing schooling like whites without any sort of discrimination as before. The government was clearly supporting the rights of the black community in championing their rights. At the start of the Second World War in Europe, African Americans brought their demand to fair treatment than it was during the First World War. They said through Medias that for them to contribute in the war, African Americans enrolled in the military had to be trained like their white counterparts while other civilians were to work in the same industries the white worked.
In 1941, blacks organized a march to Washington lead by Randolph Philip A. to demand the government to have blacks contracted in the defense department as the whites. This encouraged the government to order the creation of equal employment committee to enforce the practice of fair employment. The formation of the committee did not solve the matter but discrimination of the blacks went on. During the war, though the blacks contributed to about less that a quarter of the military personnel, they were trained as pilots in the armed forces without any discrimination.
This did not fully solve the matter for there were others who were put in a delicate position without any combat. After the government allowed the equal employment of blacks and whites, many blacks migrated to north for employment in war industries than they had migrated to south during the First World War. This migration was encouraged by an urge to have a much better incomes as others. There was much tension in their new homes in fear of racial oppressions. Those who migrated to the north had to use their economic and political influence in supporting civil right for those who were left in south.
(African-American, 2008). The blacks had gained much influence and were widely working against racial discrimination and were even challenging the registrar of voters in southern courthouse and could sue school boards for equality in education provision. The movement was gaining after the blacks were able to fight racism in Europe and in America. The war encouraged more blacks to fight racism in Europe and later extended to Asia. After the war, the blacks had gained momentum which encouraged the president to have uniform civil rights in the country but was rejected by the congress.
This movement helped the blacks to have most of the rights that were initially enjoyed by the whites only including right to education, right to vote, and right to participate in politics. Since then, African Americans have greatly enjoyed full rights of citizenship of the United States. As a result of this, blacks are able to strive for higher seats in the government and in other areas. Recently the blacks have progressed to a point of vying the highest seat in the country. Example of this is Illinois senator Mr. Barak Obama. (History made, 2008)
After the war, rights movement continued with a success, different forms of discrimination had already been overturned and this time it was on equal education provision and opportunities. After much emphasis on equal education provision that challenged primary and secondary education, the court ruled that segregating racial education was against the constitution. Segregating education faced a major challenge by whites opposing the ruling of the court; this called the whites to have mass resistance in complying with the segregation orders.
Firing the black school employees who were on the favor of segregation was another tactic that was used by the whites and creating whites private schools other than boycotting the integrated schools that incorporated both races. During the first years, the schools were not desegregated, but this gradually proceeded as the schools as the segregation had already taken part in the neighborhood. In overcoming this some schools sent their students in different neighborhoods. After much struggle by the whites to fight segregation, they formed a group called Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
The group used all form of violence and threats against anybody who was supporting the desegregation or the rights of the blacks. With support from the media they performed all forms of terrorism especially in the southern states in the early second quarter of the 20th century. Though there were still threats and violence, this did not end the struggle for the rights of the blacks, it had to move beyond the education provision to challenge other affected areas like in public transport and other public service provisions. The black community was annoyed by the whites for being rude and abusive.
A bus boycott was organized in Alabama after a white passenger expected a black passenger to excuse him from the bus seat, this kind of harassment contributed to organizing for a boycott within a night which was a success, this called in court attention and the segregation in busses were to start immediately factors that helped in ending the continuous harassment of the blacks by the whites in the city. Martin Luther King who chaired the Montgomery Improvement Association, organized a boycott through his organization, King’s plea to Christians was to create a non discriminatory impression of people in the whole country.
King wanted the violent and harsh ways to a non violent way of encouraging segregation. In the University of North Carolina, four black students started yet another protest against the whites’ only counters, though it was not a new for of protest, it had spread through out Carolina within days, this lead to desegregation of restaurants across the southern states. This movement showed clearly that whites and blacks are alike and they could show they were against segregation openly. The students found a nonviolent committee in 1960, the formation of the committee was to help the students organize sit-ins movements.
It was encouraged that civil rights movements should only be based on individual communities of the blacks. This was to enforce change to the local communities rather than the national change. The voters’ registration campaign started in 1964, though the community level activism had started in 1961, there was a heavy commitment in heavily concentrated black territories mostly in rural areas of southern states. The blacks believed that voting was the only way to empower them and had to ensure that they participated in changing of the racism policies in the south.
The activist Robert Moses through Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worked hard in registering blacks and teaching them the importance of voting, skills the required and the necessary responses applying for voter registration. The exercise faced a great opposition from the whites they went a head in threatening Robert and even beating and sending him to jail. The efforts of Mississippi to recruit both whites and blacks in colleges and other professions were thought to attract attention from the whole nation.
This lead in having more active politician who later formed Mississippi freedom democratic party (MFDP) after they were rejected by the white democrats as members in their delegation. The actions of the whites were challenged when the blacks participated in the media interviews to represent Mississippi. The voting right was initiated by the blacks and began protesting in court houses in Selma, when they were unsuccessful, they proceeded to Montgomery where they faced police beating and were tear-gassed, the scene was televised and shocked many, this encouraged King to lead hundreds of people to a 50 mile march to Montgomery .
The Selma march got great supports which in turn lead to enactment of the law which protected southern states blacks to vote. The president Johnson proposed the passage of rigors act by the congress in the 1965. After the amendment of the act, most of the requirements that restricted the blacks from voting were suspended. After this, the blacks were able to vie for major offices seats and were able to win in all districts. (Martin Luther King, Jr. 1958 ,46 ) Progression of women in the US Though the republic of America was founded on ideas of equality, liberty and freedom, it proved to be difficult to achieve in practice.
Women in the United States were not regarded as equal to men despite of their important roles they played in forming and shaping the US. Their lives were confined in the domestic world and were not given enough chances to spearhead their causes in the education, social and in political arena This led to the rise of women activism in politics. They started realizing the power of politics in constructing women identity in the society. They realized that they could also play an important role of Republic motherhood by instilling republican and freedom values to their children.
There were few women like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and others who become prominent public figure in the political arena. They championed for the rights of women. (History of women, 2008) During the American war with the British, women played great roles like boycotting of British goods and contributing to the economy of the country. They held several demonstrations that opened their eyes to some issues rather than being at home with their children. Some women participated in political activism that progressed women to another level.
Some women participated in the in the progression of women by serving in the army. Although it was considered abnormal for women to enter in the war, most of them broke these rules and directly participated in the war. Other women like Deborah Sampson played the role of men in order to be allowed to enter into the war and fight in the front line alongside men. (Morton, 1980) She presented herself as a volunteer using male names to be recruited in the army. The last time she participated in the war, she was recognized as Robert Shertliffe.
She served under the command of Captain Nathan for three years performing various duties until she was injured and could no longer continue fighting. She was later relieved of her duties and rewarded for the role she played in the army as a revolutionary warrior. Women played great roles in shaping the future of the counterparts. With the laid foundation by former women, modern women are able to compete with their male counterparts for the big positions in the job market, politics and in education achievements (Ellet, 1969).
Hilary Clinton is a good example of a woman who has fought against the odds and was competing for the highest seat in the country. Another example is John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin who would be the vise president if McCain wins; another woman who has fought to the higher seat is the American secretary of states Condoleezza Rice. (Mark, 2008) Similarities of blacks and women in America There are several similarities between the blacks and women in the United States. At first, they were regarded as people who were not much important to the society and their work was to serve the white man.
They had to proof their capability in order to be regarded as important figure in the community. With formation and participation in movements and demonstrations, they found objections and were termed as illegally demonstrating and were facing brutal beatings and other sort of punishments. Blacks’ participation in the movements and protesting the rule of whites brought about a great change that its impact is felt in the modern America. Blacks have equal rights as whites in the country and the can access anything as their fellow whites are accessing.
Were it not for the activists who volunteered and fought against the poor treatment of women by men, women could still be “stay at home mom” as they used to be. Blacks and women have climbed the ladder to the righted world and they have the right to do whatever a man can do (Wikipedia, 2008). In the current America, being a woman or black has no restriction in exercising ones right. None has more rights than the other and are all protected buy human rights which has not specified the race, religion or gender, provided its human being.
The voting right was initiated by the blacks and began protesting in court houses in Selma, when they were unsuccessful, they proceeded to Montgomery where they faced police beating and were tear-gassed. The scene was televised and it shocked many people, which encouraged King to lead hundreds of people to a 50 mile march to Montgomery. The Selma march got great supports which in turn lead to enactment of law which protected southern states blacks to vote. The president Johnson proposed the passage of rigors act by the congress in the 1965.
After the amendment of the act, most of the requirements that restricted the blacks from voting were suspended. After this the blacks were able to vie for major offices seats and were able to win in all districts. As each has gained the right to vote is a very important role in the welfare of the country, with all participating, democracy is exercised and only with majority supporters gains the access to any political seat. Conclusion The movement of civil rights in the United States has gone through major challenges before achieving a tremendous success.
The total commitment of the activists was of benefit to the whole nation’s blacks and women. The recognition of capability of blacks and women has brought equality and has contributed to the growth of the economy. The movement also helped the blacks to access education like any other American without discrimination and also led to segregation of schools and other public services. The enactment of voting rights gave the blacks and women an opportunity to exercise politics like their white counterparts which in turn brought a better service provision to all citizens.
Participation of blacks and women in national welfare activities like in war led to victory of the nation. Reference: African-American, 2008, retrieved from www. en. wikipedia. org/wiki/African_American on 3rd 10/2008 Ellet, E. 1969, The women of the American Revolution, New York; Haskell Felder, J. 1990, Black Origins and Lady Liberty, Daily Challenge. July 16, History made, 2008, Obama becomes first nominee of major party, retrieved from www. elections. foxnews. com/2008/08/27/history-made-obama-becomes-1st-black-nominee-of-major-party History of women, 2008, retrieved from www.
en. wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_women_in_the_United_States on 3rd 10/08 Mark E, 2008, career progression of minority and women, retrieved from /www. defenselink. mil/prhome/careerprog. html, on 3rd 10/08 Martin Luther King, Jr. 1958, Stride Toward Freedom New York: Harper & Row Morton, M. 1980, The Liberty Daughters: the Revolutionary Experience of American women 1750-1800. Boston: Little brown Retrieved from www. African-American_Civil_Rights_Movement_ (1955-1968). htm on 3rd10/08 Wikipedia, 2008, African-American civil rights movement (1955-1968)
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