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History of African Americans Essay

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Updated: Apr 10th, 2019

The readings that are going to be discussed in the paper tell the history of African Americans, their struggles for civil rights, and their integration into the social and political life of the country. The examples provided by the authors illustrate how a certain ethnic or racial group may be discriminated by the society and how they can become an inseparable part of the society.

This progress can be explained by the political activism of black people. These are the main issues that should be discussed in more detail. To a great extent, they are essential for understanding the history of the United States.

The history of African Americans is described by David Levinson and Melvin Ember. These scholars eloquently demonstrate that black people were often denied the right to humanity and for a long time the government was unofficially opposed to their integration into the community, especially at the time when the policy of segregation was adopted (Levinson and Ember 255). Very often they were excluded from political life of the community.

Nevertheless, the collective effort of African Americans led to the elimination of official barriers that prevented these people from becoming full citizens of the United States. Their political activism led to the creation of the term African American which indicates that these people defended their right to be a part of American community.

Nevertheless, one should not suppose that the socio-economic conditions of black people are not affected by the legacies of racism in the United States. For example, Ellis Cashmore acknowledges African Americans have achieved success in such areas as politics, economy, or army (231).

Still, the studies indicate that black people may be discriminated in the workplace or courts. Certainly, the laws of the United States officially prohibit any form of racial prejudice. However, this bias can still affect the opinions and decisions of many people. This is one of the main issues that people should take into account.

Apart from that, these reading show how a racial or ethnic group can integrate themselves into the political system of the country. In particular, James Jennings shows that in the early eighties, black community became critical for the success of politicians and they had to consider the interests of these people. Moreover, a great number of black people entered the House of Representatives and Senate.

This progress enabled many black people to voice their opinions about the policies of the state. So, they were better able to affect the decisions taken by the government. Moreover, one should note that African-American politicians enjoy popularity among many voters who can be both black and white. Therefore, one can argue that the political power of African Americans has increased in the course of the twentieth century.

Overall, there are several trends identified in the readings. First of all, in the course of American history, the government was rather unwilling to change its attitude toward black people. Only their political activism and unanimity enabled them to achieve a higher status within American society.

Nevertheless, one should note that unofficial racism may still exist and it may affect the lives of African Americans. The questions identified in the readings are vital for understanding social or political issues relevant to American society because the population of the country grows in part because of immigrants who may come from different regions of the world.

Works Cited

Cashmore, Ellis. “African Americans”. Encyclopedia of Race and Ethnic Studies. Ed. Ernest Cashmore and Ellis Cashmore. New York: Routledge, 2008. 231-232. Print.

Levinson David and M. Ember. “African Americans.” American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation, Ed. David Levinson and Melvin Ember. New York: Macmillan 1997. 255-262. Print.

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