Ending Racism And Slavery

Racism is a belief that certain ethnic background is superior to another. Racism in America has marginalized people of color by withholding basic civil rights. In the 1950s, African-Americans used non-violence to protest racism. Protests were demonstrated in the form of boycotts, marches, and movements. Leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr advocated against segregation and used non-violence to fight for equal rights under the law.

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The United States is formed by several groups of people who migrated from different parts of the world. Each group has an exclusive color and economic background. The colonies of England brought Africans to America as slaves in the 1600s. Slaves were often ill-treated and were repressed by the owners to display their power and money. Slavery is not practiced within the modern world, but racism continued. African Americans were denied several privileges for a long time. Their admission was denied into corporate buildings and schools.

Rosa Parks campaigned for African-American rights. She lived in Montgomery, Alabama. After a long working day, she decided to take a seat on the bus that was in the Whites-only section on December 1st, 1955. As the bus filled up a White man was left without seats and the bus driver James Blake asked Rosa Parks and two other passengers ‘Move y’all, I want those two seats,’. She refused to give up her seat, she was taken into custody and fined. Martin Luther King Jr, a Christian minister supported Rosa Parks. He proposed to boycott public transport to condemn this act. The Montgomery boycott lasted for 381 days, African-Americans used other rides or walked to their work until the boycott was called off by a Supreme Court order, to stop segregation in public transport.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a supporter of the Albany movement in 1961 which protested racial discrimination in facility usage. Birmingham Campaign 1963 boycotted businesses that hired only Whites in Albany. King was hugely influenced by Mahatma Gandhi from India, he formulated a non-violent approach like sit-ins so that the jails would be flooded with prisoners. This campaign successfully ended to bring down boards that said “Only Whites”. King delivered a speech about equality in civil and economic rights on Aug 28, 1963, he started with referring to the Emancipation proclamation as “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” which captivated his audience. Later went adding “ I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. This march outlawed segregation due to color, race or sex in jobs, school, and voter registration and is called the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under the leadership of King, African-Americans could greatly do their equality and live with nobility. King’s works were recognized across the world, and he was awarded a Nobel peace prize in 1968.

African-Americans are supported by famous American Presidents like Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln’s contributions to ending racism and slavery can’t be ignored. He coined the word “free states” where African Americans could not be treated as slaves against their will in 1858. In a letter to James N. Brown, Lincoln wrote that ‘all men are created equal is the great fundamental principle upon which our free institution’s rest; that negro slavery is violative of that principle;”. Civil war during the 1860s demanded manpower in the army to fight. He was confined with a deal that ending slavery could bring men with physical strength to support his Civil war “This is not a question of sentiment or taste, but one of physical force which may be measured”. He announced the emancipation proclamation to end slavery in 1863. However, slavery was not over until June 19, 1865.

John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States in 1960 was mindful of King’s leadership and protests. Kennedy’s agenda was to promote African American equality and back civil rights as per the 13th Amendment. When King was arrested during a protest, Kennedy publicly criticized the atrocities of the White and demonstrated his support to King by calling King’s wife onto the stage. He proposed a bill to Congress in 1963 and talked about it on Television to the viewer saying “One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free”.

For centuries, there are leaders who demonstrated their exasperation through movements, creating awareness. And there are leaders who fought to change the structure of the society through Constitutional changes, Amendments and to create a much more tolerable and peaceful society. Human strengths are much beyond physical characteristics, and they do not impact a man’s intellect. All men should be treated equally.  

29 April 2022

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