Black Movement In The 20th Century

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During the twentieth century, there was a significant change in predominant representations of and beliefs about the nature of Afro-American identity. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, blacks were almost always seen as inherently rural. According to this view, Africans were living in or recently emerged from the jungle. American Negroes were slightly different, having been domesticated and trained to do farm work. The most natural and best place for Negroes was on the farm; blacks did not yet understand civilization, would not be able to handle life in a modern city, and would be out competed in the workforce by the more adept and urban whites. In the twentieth century, however, black identity in the United States became naturalized as urban. At this time, “urban” and “black” became code words for one another-“urban” radio means radio stations that play music predominantly by black artists, the “Urban League” advocates on behalf of Afro-Americans, and so forth.
The change occurred not only in representations but also affected the self-identity of Afro-Americans. Perhaps as a result, the environmental justice movement has generally been linked to urban struggles, particularly in regards to Afro-Americans. It is important to recover some of the history that has been obscured by this shift. The urban identity of blacks today hides important aspects of black experiences and cultural perspectives. Afro-Americans have rural roots and have traveled along wild routes
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