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African American

In: Historical Events

Submitted By bigcoop187
Words 1373
Pages 6
The Civil War brought significant changes for African Americans, as they were freed from slavery. However, rather than achieving complete legal, political, and economic equality during the Reconstruction Era, which lasted from the end of the Civil War until 1877, African Americans continued to be second class citizens. As will be argued in this paper, African Americans experienced hardship and significant discrimination after 1877 due to racist laws, social, economic, and educational inequality; however, as laws and cultural sentiments about blacks changed during the Civil Rights Era, African Americans today have more political, economic, and educational opportunities than ever before. On the following pages, this paper will trace the path of African Americans to equality by discussing salient events in African American history from 1877 to the present. Significantly, as the author believes, while progress has been made since the nineteenth century, complete equality remains elusive even today for many African American men and women. The end of slavery did by no means lead to the immediate equality of African Americans in American society. The years after the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era, were characterized by wide-spread discrimination against African Americans. In the South, so-called Jim Crow laws effectively barred African Americans from having very basic civil liberties. Public and social life in the South but also in other places in the United States, was strictly segregated which not only created social and political inequalities but also barred many African Americans from having access to educational and economic opportunities (Mathieu, 2009). It is hence not surprising that many African Americans fled the South and migrated North in search of a better life. Mathieu (2009) maintains that the first wave of migration to the North immediately started...

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