During the dark years of slavery, there were also African Americans who gained their “freedom” in the North. Considering how White Americans treated and viewed African Americans we must question if “black’s rights” actually qualified as freedom. The free blacks in the North, with all their regulations and rules, would definitely not be considered free in the modern day. Freedom is the being able to do whatever you want, and go where you need to in order to obtain security. African Americans were not given these rights; they were segregated, judged, and treated inhumanely. Society didn’t accept them, they were seen outcasts essentially everywhere in the U.S., and the government was afraid of them. Between 1800 and 1860, things were bleak and gloomy. Free blacks in the North faced limited freedoms and a variety of restrictions, politically, socially, educationally/economically, and religiously; however, the restrictions outweighed any possible freedoms they had. One of the many limited rights African Americans had was political, specifically suffrage and jury. Document A shows how little Northern states allowed voting, and even less permitted African American males to participate in a jury process. According to the table done by Leon Litwack, one state allowed jury duty and five states had suffrage, or voting rights, in 1860. This means that only thirty-three percent of African American males could vote, while ninety-nine percent could not …show more content…
This, however, is not fully the case; free blacks could go to school but they couldn’t apply the knowledge they received to a job. Without a chance of using what you learned in school to help society and the country as a whole, there’s really no reason to attend. Just because they had this little right, doesn’t mean they didn’t have many restrictions or limitation in their life that one should not have to
Although African Americans were free, they were treated as less than a white U.S Citizen. Up until 1870, black people were unable to vote. Ulysses S. Grant despised these injustices and made it his presidential goal to fight for civil rights. On February 3, the 15th Amendment was passed giving African Americans the right to vote. This empowered a new collective of people to voice their opinions.
Three constitutional amendments altered the nature of African American rights, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.., shall exist in the United States…”(Section 1 Document D). “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subjected to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens,”(Section 2 Document D). “The right of citizens of the United states to vote shall not be denied,”(Section 3 Document D). Slavery was abolished, they were becoming citizens, and gained the rights to vote. Although these amendments seem great, the whites still found a way to torment free slaves.
Pertaining to the rights of African Americans a new south did not appear after the reconstruction. While they were “free” they were often treated harshly and kept in a version of economic slavery by either their former masters or other white people in power. Sharecropping and the crop-lien system often had a negative impact on both the black and white tenants keeping them in debt with the owner. Jim Crow laws, vigilantes and various means of disfranchisement became the normal way of life in the South. It was believed that white people were superior to black people and when they moved up in politics or socially they were harassed and threatened.
Before the American Civil War happened close to four million African-Americans were slaves. At the turn of the century the Naturalization Act of 1970 allowed only white men to vote. After the Civil War the thirteenth (1865), fourteenth (1868) and fifteenth (1870) amendments were passed, allowing African-American males to vote and have citizenship, which also led to ending slavery. Even after the ending of slavery, there were still some white men who tried to keep white supremacy alive thereby dehumanizing and alienating African-Americans from the mainstream of people. Even after African-Americans were given all their rights, there were still problems with racial segregation.
Before, during, and long after the Civil War blacks were discriminated against in almost every form of life. They had to fight and be patient to be accepted as equals among their white counterparts; this process took form over a long period of time, and after many failures, blacks were truly equal in the eyes of the government. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments which were passed in the late 1860’s were supposed to bring political, social, and economic equality for the blacks; however, this was not the case, while in some facets of life blacks obtained more freedoms they had to wait many years after these amendments were passed to be fully equal to whites. The thirteenth amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
The African Americans were “free” but were still being treated like slaves. They were given rights but had them taken away and were working for very little pay which was unfair compared to how whites were working for more. The blacks couldn’t even own a house or even rent unless they worked for a white man. They couldn’t even work unless it was for some white person or former owner. This is why reconstruction in the south after the civil war was a big
Although technically people of color had the right, white people were making it very difficult to register. When African Americans went to register they would be tested continuously, something white people never had to deal with. Only two percent of African Americans in the south could vote. Before the march from Selma to Montgomery there were many protests to try to gain fair voting rights. One man, Jimmie Lee Jackson was killed at a peaceful protest by a state trooper.
Is it fair that an African American man is sentenced up to life in prison for possession of drugs when Brock Turner is sentenced to only 14 years, later to be reduced to six months for sexually assaulting an unconscious women. The judiciary system are believed to have a high african american incarceration rate as a result of discrimination. At a presidential debate on Martin Luther King Day, President Barack Obama said that “Blacks and whites are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates, and receive very different sentences… for the same crime.” Hillary Clinton said the “disgrace of a criminal-justice system that incarcerates so many more african americans proportionately than whites.”
Post Civil War, African Americans started to gain rights to gain rights, and soon gain rights equal to whites. While there were some people/things standing in their way (KKK, Black Codes), in the end they got what they needed; Equality. Many acts and laws were passed to aid the new rights now held by African Americans, as well as the numerous people willing to help. New Amendments were added to give African Americans rights after the war, all giving them some equal rights to whites. The first of the three added was the Thirteenth Amendment, it gave African Americans freedom from slave owners, and stated that no one could be kept as a slave in the U.S..
During that time, African Americans were not entirely free with all of their desired rights, as they still did not have complete political, economic, and social rights. Back then, African Americans did not have wholesome political rights. According to document A which shows the voting and jury rights of blacks in the north of 1860, only a few states, the New England states, had rights to suffrage. And this was only the male population of the New England region. And of that region, only one state, Massachusetts had jury rights, and that was only gained in 1860.
Even though the government adopted the Voting Rights Act in 1965, African Americans’ suffrages were still restricted because of southern states’ obstructions. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was important for blacks to participate in political elections, but before this act was passed, there were several events led to its proposal. The government gave African Americans’ the right to vote by passing the 15th Amendment, but in the Southern States, blacks’ suffrages were limited by grandfather clauses, “poll taxes, literacy tests, and other bureaucratic restrictions” (ourdocuments.gov). As times went on, most African Americans couldn’t register their votes.
Freedom is a natural right, but in the Civil/Post Civil era, not everyone can take advantage of it. A citizen’s skin color, would have a heavy impact on that person’s outlook on freedom. Society strived for a different view of freedom, some believed freedom was only meant for certain people, however, others would wait their whole life just to receive the opportunity to establish their rights. In “Stanzas on Freedom” by Russell Lowell, it describes a pain that slaves have felt. The law stated that everyone was equal, yet white men have not felt the pain that the black man has lived with their whole life.
It was rough for African Americans in the 1890’s, and though they tried to live a normal easy life they always had obstacles that got in the way. They had thought everything was going good for them with the 13th and 14th amendment being announced. Also The Emancipation Proclamation which stated, on January 1, 1863, "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free" was a speech that actually came out before the 13th and 14th amendment which was the whole reason why those amendments had came out. The 13th amendment stated that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”. This was such a big deal since