Essay On African American Freedom

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African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross episode titled “Into the Fire(1861-1896)” underlying theme is freedom--mental freedom versus physical freedom. Within this theme, freedom is loosely described. There is no strict idea of freedom, which is depicted in the documentary. As shown in the documentary, the meaning of freedom was challenged after the Civil war. If “freedom” meant more than justice to the slaves, prior to 1861, then it was not achieved. “Freedom”, defined, is the state of not being enslaved. Historian and narrator, Henry Louis Gates, explains that “the promise of America was always land.” Therefore, not only did slaves want physical freedom,slavery’s abolishment, but “forty acres and a mule”(or land) and other factors such as voting…show more content…
It was partially due to the former “social death,” a concept in Slavery and Social Death, that slaves were given made America used to blacks having misrepresentation. Some blacks were used to given into White Supremacy post-war, which was no different from giving into a slave master’s authority. Well into the Jim Crow era if 1877-1954, in despite of activism, blacks still followed patterns of mental enslavement by allowing segregation to control their action. They were, like a slave, separated from society. The abolishment of slavery only aided the physical condition of African Americans and according to the documentary, some former slaves still continued to work as slaves, meaning freedom had no meaning to them. I, likewise, always thought freedom was as easy thing to adjust to when a person is enslaved, but America’s centuries of slavery makes freedom an odd idea. This only complicates my understanding of what “freedom” meant to former slaves. I do not know if it meant “land,” “voting rights,” etc because it is an ambiguous term that I have related with justice. Similarly, I do not know whether slaves wanted mental freedom or physical
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