I have chosen this course because in my opinion Afro-American People’s history is very interesting. It reveals both how cruel human beings can be and how a discriminated “population” can all the same produce wonderful things.
I. The discrimination that Black People have suffered and continue suffering in the USA.
1°/ In the Past
I don’t think one can discuss the suffering of this population without talking about Slavery. This abomination has lasted several centuries and has consisted of kidnapping innocent African and bringing them in a far country. They were deprived of their names, languages, religion, cultures … As a result; one may say that they weren’t considered as human beings. They have had to do a hard work in the cotton fields, and their living conditions got closer to animals way of life. Actually, there were even some men who were called and used as reproductive. For the women, rapes weren’t punished.
After the Slavery was abolished, Black People even if they were free, have faced an other terrible discrimination: the Segregation. It took place in the Southern States, where the Black community was very important. Perhaps, it came from a fear of White people. It was written in the Law and as a consequence for instance Black people haven’t the right to sit or eat in the same places than White people. In the Northern States, even if it wasn’t written in the law there was a tacit rule.
A.Not really equal in front of Law
Actually, it is said that a Black men has seven more chance to condemn to
death penalty than a White men. So even today they are prejudiced. Moreover, the media reveals regularly some police atrocities against Black people. So even today, the law is double faced and it’s better to be White if one has any problem with the justice.
B.Not the same Education
Black pupils are concerned by the discrimination too. They are often sent to school in very poor areas. Thus, they don’t benefit from the same education’s level than the White pupils. Their chance to access to a good university is seriously reduced. There, it’s again a piece of evidence of discrimination.
Until today, there is no significant action from the USA government to solve this problem, this unfair phenomenon.
II. Some good things emerged from a catastrophic history
1°/ A culture
Today, nobody can deny the influence of Black community on the music. Several famous kinds of music as Rap, Jazz, R’n’B for instance are the direct product of this community. It all begins with the work songs by the Slave, the Negro Spiritual and the Gospel by the victims of segregation.
Their music is spread all over the world and paradoxically without the terrible history which is behind I don’t think they would have done such wonderful music. It entails a artistic creativity in this community.
Afro-American people also contributed to the fashion. In fact, in Harlem particularly in the nineties, the people’s clothes have been taken as model by some garment firms.
Nowadays, one can notice that the Rappers’ or R’n’B singers’ way of being dressed is imitated all over the world. A huge part of them are developing
their own clothes’ lines;
2°/ Last but not least: the Individuals
A. Rosa Parks
In the sixties this courageous woman contrasted against the Segregation. In a bus, she has refused to leave her place to a White man. This act which can be perceived as common today is the origin of a huge movement’s success.
She has showed the way to several Black-American and emphasized an injustice.
B.Martin Luther King Jr.
He was a Reverend who has leaded the Civil Right’s Movement in the sixties and died, murdered, in 1968. He started to have a great success after the bus story. He has supported Mrs. Rosa Parks. He also has fought against the discrimination without any violence. He has defended the equality between Black and White People and inspired people who were discriminated against all over the world. His most famous speech named “I have a dream” is known by everyone within it he advocated the brotherhood. Even after his death, some people remained animated by his struggle.
As a conclusion, I think that the terrible history of the USA entails some very good things but the price for benefiting from them has been very important. The question is how and when the USA’s authorities will admit that they have to do something. We know that the Affirmative Action measure hasn’t really been efficient so which measures can be enforced to help Black-American people. In my opinion, compelling firms to hire Black people is not a good idea and the better is to educate younger generations by teaching them to be more tolerant.
Courtney from Study Moose
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