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The Issue of Segregation and Discrimination of African Americans Before and After The 1954 Brown Decision
Dátum pridania: 20.03.2004 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: maja.bevi
 
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 1 578
Referát vhodný pre: Stredná odborná škola Počet A4: 5.5
Priemerná známka: 2.98 Rýchle čítanie: 9m 10s
Pomalé čítanie: 13m 45s
 
The ‘peculiar institution’ of slavery was one of the topical questions in American politics during the first half of the nineteenth century. The issue of the position of black Americans in American society can be dated back to 1619 when the first black American had arrived in America. In 1661, slavery was institutionalized in Virginia. Blacks had been enslaved before this year, only their status was converted from de facto slavery into slavery de jure. In that early period, “religion served to identify different racial groups.”1 Since 1667, when Virginia declared that converting to Christianity did not alter the person’s condition of servitude, we can see the beginnings of the division based on the concept of race. Hence, race is clearly a cultural construct.
In this written work I would like to discuss the situation of African Americans before and after the Supreme Court’s decision in the case Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1954. In that moment, for the first time in American history, a decision was made, which could be regarded as the beginning of the future strong anti-segregationist movement. I do not want to claim that the movement against racial discrimination did not exist before 1954, but it was the year of 1954, when African Americans started to fight the discrimination more intensively.
I find it vitally important to inform the reader about the situation that preceded the Court’s decision; therefore I have included a short historical preview where I am discussing the period between 1865-1954. After the brief introduction, I will continue analyzing the principal point of this essay in its main body.
The strives of African American people to end their bondage culminated after the Civil War, when in 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was passed. It resulted in gradual abolition of slavery in most Southern states, after they had ratified the amendment in their constitutions. Another two constitutional amendments dealt with the specific issue of rights. The Fourteenth Amendment specified the issue of citizenship, and provided all citizens ‘equal protection under the law’. The Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed the right to vote for all citizens ‘regardless of race, colour and previous condition of servitude’. It is self-evident that all these constitutional changes must have been widely opposed in the South.
 
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Zdroje: Brinkley, Alan, et. el. American History: A Survey, Vol. II. New York: 1991., American Epoch: 1936-1985., Kronika ludstva. Bratislava: Fortuna Print, 1992., Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. Boston: Little Brown and Co., 1993.
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