Lasting Effects Slavery Has Had on African American Culture
During the colonial period early American settlers came up with the idea to bring African natives overseas to America and use them as slaves. The white man was higher up than the black man in society at the time because of the color of his skin. Americans consider this the biggest blight on our history.
The shame of this period in our history still continues today for many whites, but many blacks still feel angry and oppressed. With the election of our first black president, we are really showing how anything is possible here in America and that it doesn’t matter what color or ethnicity you are.Slavery finally came to an end in 1865. By this time slaves were escaping and fleeing north where many people were against slavery. African American Scholar Michael Eric Dyson once said “The effect of slavery continues to exert its brutal influence in the untold sufferings of millions of everyday folk. ” Basically Dyson is saying that slavery has and still is currently effecting everyday people today specifically blacks. If you were to drive through any city today I believe that the effects of slavery are very clear in housing, jobs, and schooling.The white man is still known as the high-class while the black man still struggles. Take a drive through the ghettos and projects and most of the people you will see are minorities including African Americans. In “The Ethnic Myth”, Stephen Steinberg writes, “ghettos are nothing less than the shameful residue of slavery. ” Many scholars blame slavery for the pathologies in the black community such as homelessness, single-parent households, and youth violence. More radical views claim, “Slavery is a constant reminder of what whites in America might do. Now I wouldn’t go as far as Mr. Steinberg and say that “ghettos are nothing less than the shameful residue of slavery”, but they do resemble, in a small way, how life was around slavery. Some argue that African heritage was passed on, through the generations as one form of rebellion against then oppression brought by slavery. African American culture today is made up of religion, music, family and art, and it is a fact that African American culture has influenced white culture in many ways.One of the most historical cases in African American history is Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Basically this case is a consolidation of several different cases from Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware. Several black children sought admission to public schools that required or permitted segregation based on race. The plaintiffs alleged that segregation was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. In all but one case, a three judge federal district court cited Plessy v.Ferguson (an earlier civil rights case that segregated races on trains) in denying relief under the “separate but equal doctrine. ” On appeal to the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs contended that segregated schools were not and could not be made equal and that they were therefore deprived of equal protection of the laws. This case broke the first segregation barrier in African American history. The base issue of the case was that: is the race-based segregation of children into “separate but equal” public schools constitutional? The final ruling of this case was: No.The race-based segregation of children into “separate but equal” public schools violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment and is unconstitutional. This made lead way for the future black and civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa parks. Slavery caused this whole debate and if we never had anyone stand up for their rights, this whole world would be a mess. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” Martin Luther King Jr. ived by what he said and looking at his life you can see that he took many blind steps towards the dark all for civil rights. He changes society in ways only imaginable and led a life of love, peace, and protest. It cannot be disputed that slavery has affected our culture today, both black and white. Although 145 years may seem like a long time, the wounds of slavery on America are not yet healed and our country is still young and the passage of time will bring change, as it historically does. We can only hope that all of us as a country work towards a future as one without oppression.