More than a hundred years ago the Europeans brought slaves to North America.
The blacks found themselves in the midst of prejudice whites with no way out.
When the blacks came over Jim Crow laws were incorporated. With these laws it
was near impossible for blacks to rise in the white world. Booker T. Washington
was the first black to rise to any prominence in this time. In the early 1900’s
blacks however began to fight back. In 1909 black advancement organizations
began to increase all over North America. Unfortunately with the rise of these
groups also came the rise of racist white groups like the Ku Klux Klan and
others brutally killing blacks. All blacks coming into N. America were being
brought into a very hostile environment.
The first sign of blacks becoming more equal was the blacks to fight in the
World War. For the first time they were looked upon as war veterans instead of
black slaves. Although progress was beginning a black man named Garvey believed
that the whites would never change, because of this he started an association
called “Back to Africa”. At the coming of the Second World War, blacks
participating in the war were being more important positions than ever before.
Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to make a strong contribution to
the Civil Rights movement. He had signed a declaration that stated no one could
be discriminated in the work place and other areas based on race. Also the high
court passed a law that enabled black children to have the same education
opportunities as white children.
It was in December 1955 that Rosa Parks made a big step for civil rights by
doing a very small but courageous thing. She was arrested for not giving up her
seat to a white man on a bus, which broke one of the many Jim Crow laws. With
that one action black activist hired Martin Luther King Jr. to boycott the bus
laws. This boycott of the Jim Crow transportation laws was a complete success,
launching Martin Luther King Jr. into national stardom with the accomplishment.
King often acted on and admired the ways of M. Gandhi. Soon blacks all over
began to non-violently protest many segregated places. In turn many places were
desegregated. President John F. Kennedy was a strong force also in the fight for
black civil rights and his assassination in 1963 did cause setbacks. The blacks
in the North felt that they had to do more than the blacks in the South to make
a difference but they didn’t have a voice. That was until Malcolm X joined the
voice of Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X did make a difference but he was not
liked by many whites and even was strongly disliked by black Muslims. Soon later
black Muslims shot and killed Malcolm X, not much later Martin Luther King Jr.
was also assassinated, and another great voice was silenced.
Jesse Jackson arose the killing in 1965. He started many organizations to
help support blacks and civil rights. Also to show that the equality between
blacks and whites was getting stronger Jackson ran for President of the United
States in both 1984 and 1988, not only becoming a threat in the civil rights
movement but as a political icon also. His message was and still is well liked
by both blacks and whites, as he sends the message of true equality and not just
power to blacks. Poverty, education, and racism are still part of today’s
society and in political battle with each other, but the efforts of all the
blacks are paying off for everyone. The world does seem to be getting better.
Category: Social Issues