African Americans In The 1800s Essay

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In the beginning of the 1800s, most African Americans in the South were trapped in the boom of the cotton industry under slavery. Early on, slavery was considered a “necessary evil”, but in 1831 John C. Calhoun coined slavery as the popularized “positive good”. African Americans were confined in bondage and barely had a chance at freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 essentially prohibited the escape of slaves, while the decision made in Dred Scott v. Sandford practically legalized slavery everywhere in the United States. All slaves were finally freed when the 13th Amendment was passed and ratified after the Civil War. Throughout Reconstruction, the African Americans progressed to gain citizenship and suffrage. African Americans faced prejudice…show more content…
For instance, the anti-black advocates at St. Landry Parish in Louisiana established rules for their congregation through the means of black codes that restricted the rights and livelihoods of African Americans (Doc 2). Previous to the creation of black codes, slave codes were established, while after Jim Crow Laws were created; all served the purpose to discriminate against the African American race and regenerate white superiority. There was a slave code, black code, and a Jim Crow Law that prohibited intermarriage between whites and blacks; proving to be one of many similar restrictions between the three sets of rules. This shows how there was a social continuity in the lives of African Americans in the South in that they continued to experience restrictive discrimination against their race. Furthermore, social, racial discrimination continued through physical violence. Lucy McMillan, a scared and terrorized African American woman, testified that the Ku Klux Klan was going to beat her and burn her house solely because she was “going to have the land” (Doc 4). This shows how African Americans in the South face social continuity due to the constant racial discrimination they faced through physical violence and
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