The articles described the European settlement in North America and marked the beginning of oppression, slavery, and racial injustice to the black people who had settled in the region. They also describe how the black people suffered and struggled for their rights. Harsh and unjust systems of administration characterized this period that was pro-European supremacy and the exploitation of the black people. Even though the civil war of the mid-1860s brought these vices against the blacks to an end in the northern part of the country, the African American community continued to suffer in the South and other neighboring states.
The Jim Crow Laws
These laws took the center stages in the twentieth century in these regions. The black people were completely segregated from the white. African Americans were denied access to various social places such as swimming pools, rest rooms, good restaurants, parks, railroad cars, and beaches. Further, there were different schools and other public institutions for the white and black people. However, the disparity in the quality of services offered in these facilities was imminent. High-quality services were provided in the whites' facilities whereas African Americans struggled with poor services in their premises.
The articles describe the rampant cases of discrimination against black people due to their race and color of the skin. Whites and even facility owners such as in guest houses posted derogatory statements all over such as Negroes and Dogs Not Allowed to mock African Americans and keep them away from the premises. Due to the low-quality education and the Jim Crow laws, blacks could not access decent jobs and thus served as laborers for the whites.
The blacks were also denied their basic rights such as citizenry and even voting. People from the African American community were often denied registration as citizens in the region and thus were refugees in their land. This denial of citizenry ensured that they were locked out of participation in civil public processes and even access to social amenities. Further, the blacks were not allowed to take part in the electioneering processes and choice of leaders. The whites mainly imposed leaders to the blacks.
In his article, Atlanta compromise," Booker is coerced by the Southern Stateswhite leaders to portray them as making positive steps in harmonizing the blacks and the whites and ending the laws of separation. This shows the extent of the southern opposition to the processes of ending the slavery and other unjust behaviors committed against the blacks. Martin Luther King Junior points out the racial injustices and the state of perceived nonviolence in the Southern States in the 1950s.
The African-Americans Union for Liberation
The social injustices against the blacks cut across all blacks regardless of their religious and other cultural beliefs. There was a sharp divide between the blacks and the whites. The blacks were denied equal rights and were discriminated against. There was the need for the blacks to rise and fight for their liberation.
The article Souls of the Black by Du Bois show that the African Americans needed to save their souls from the whites who had mistreated them. The author describes the manner in which the African-Americans could not be allowed to vote and choose their leaders and had become sharecroppers in their land. Bu Bois points out that the whites had passed laws that protected their acts and criminalized any acts of resistance of the blacks to the white people. Further, the white leaders had taken center stage in terrorizing African Americans and in case of any resistance were lynched and beaten seriously. Following this, Du Bois called upon the blacks to unite against the whites and resist any acts of racism. Washington, in the article, Up from Slavery' describes how he had been coerced by the whites to work in their favor.
In the article, Atlanta compromise,' Washington is seen to take sides with the whites following the coercion but is later noted as one of the leaders in uniting the African Americans against the whites. He makes various journeys that involve moving from West Virginia to the Hampton Institute in the Tidewater region of Virginia rallying blacks to unite and cooperate in fighting for their rights and rising against the oppression.
African American Muslims as shown by Malcolm X who despite his religious backgrounds agreed with his African American Christian leaders and ministers to champion for their rights. His audio in 1964 in Cleveland, demonstrates a man that was so committed to the fight. He took only two options which he accepted that they use to fight for their rights which included either the Ballot or the Bullet.
Separate but Not Equal
The injustices committed against the blacks cut across all the African American people who seemed to have fallen into the traps. Before 1864, most blacks seemed contented with the oppression and served the whites diligently. They did not resist the injustices. All articles show that the African Americans had fallen for the white tricks that segregated them into the different categories and that each category had their services. The whites had learned the art of separation and rule as shown in the article Atlanta Compromise Speech done by Washington. The white leaders ordered Washington to give a speech that showed that everything was okay in the southern states. He demonstrated to the north that African Americans were treated relatively well and that they were equal to their white counterparts. However, the case was very different. Washington on his part had conceded the segregation, but his concern was that each party is treated equally.
Martin Luther was majorly concerned with peace as shown in the article Nonviolence and racial justice.' He describes that there was A peace that was no peace' which implied that even though there was an all over pretense that there was peace, the peace was elusive and that it was only reserved for the privileged which in this case were the whites. The blacks knew no peace and that they were mistreated, oppressed, maimed and lynched by the whites and their leaders. Even though he pointed the act of separation, Malcolm X was for a long time aligned to the aspect of religion. The blacks had been separated along the religious lines and did not take note of the oppression early. These articles show that there was no equality which was a result of the segregation.
Quest for Freedom
The articles show a desire for justice from all the African American leaders. The souls of black folk show the peaceful progress made in the pursuit of freedom and justice for all. The civil war of 1861 to 1865 had led to the eradication of both economic and social oppression and injustices against African Americans in the north. The South lacked behind, and in between 1865 and 1877, the African Americans championed for constitutional amendments. Malcolm X in his audio The Bullet or the Ballot' demonstrated his quest for the same. He was both democratic and was committed to using force to get equal rights from the white leaders which he symbolically referred to them as the ballot implying democracy or the bullet which means powerful means.
Martin Luther King Jr. describes his need for a friendly coexistence between the two races. He wanted the whites to rescind their unjust practices against the blacks. According to him the blacks had lost their glory in their home and needed this dignity be restored to them. Luther points out the colonial injustices committed to people in various parts of the world and compare them with the current situation in the Southern States of America. He challenges the whites to accept the reality and stop their oppressive characters against the blacks.
Luther gives the alternative to violence which is taken by the whites. Du Bois and Washington present the three key amendments made to the constitution which brings oppressions, slavery, and injustices to an end. The 13th amendment seeks to abolish any practice of slavery committed against anyone in the region. It describes the various forms of slavery and provides the penalties for the violation of this law. The 14th law is also amended and looks at the civil rights of everyone in the state. The rights have an equal right as the whites in matters relating to citizenry and voting. The third amendment ratified in 1870 looks at the black suffrage and seeks to ensure that all the rights of the blacks are protected and that they are equal to their white counterparts.
All the articles serve to ensure that the blacks reclaim their lost independence in the Southern American region. It gives the varying views of the leaders and their understanding of the oppressive procedures and injustices committed against them by the whites. They also show different struggle mechanism employed by various leaders in the fight. While most of the articles show a peaceful struggle for the rights, the case of Malcolm X demonstrates the need for peace through violence or peaceful means. It thus shows his determination to acquire his rights and end the biased segregation of the blacks through any means possible.
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