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AfricanAmericanDiscriminationinAmerica
History
RacialdiscriminationamongallminoritygroupshasbeenaroundforalongtimeinAmerica.Oneof
theseincludesAfricanAmericans.Therehasbeenalonghistoryofracialdiscriminationamongthis
groupwhichhasleadtotheawarenessofthissocialproblem.Millsdescribesthesociological
imaginationwhichtiesintowhyracialdiscriminationisasocialproblem.Thesociologicalimaginationis
howindividualsareconnectedtosociety.Thesociologicalimaginationtalksaboutpersonaltroubles
whichareindividualproblems,andpubliceissueswhichismultipleindividualsthathavethesame
problem.InthiscaseAfricanAmericansaretheindividualsthathavetheproblemofbeingdiscriminated
against.Racialdiscriminationisnolongeranissuethatoneindividualisdealingwith,itisapublicissue
thatallAfricanAmericansaredealingwithwhichmakesitasocialproblem.In1941FullerandMyers
definedwhatasocialproblemwas"aconditiondefinedbyaconsiderablenumberofpersonsasa
deviationfromsomesocialnormwhichtheycherish."Nowthatracialdiscriminationisasocialproblema
numberofindividualshavetriedtoputittoastop.Althoughtherehavebeengroupswhohavestood
againstracialdiscrimination,therehavealsobeenthosewhobelievethatcoloredindividualsdonot
deserveequalrights.OneofthosegroupsiscalledtheKuKluxKlan(KKK).TheKKKwasfoundedby
theveteransoftheconfederatearmyin1865.TheKKKwasthegroupthatwasagainstanyracethat
wasnotWhiteornonprotestantreligions.OneoftheprimarygoalsoftheKKKwastokillAfrican
AmericansandtopreventanyadvancementofAfricaninfluenceinAmericansociety.Eventhoughthe
majorityoftheKKKactivityhasdeclined,therearestillcurrentactivememberstoday.

KKK: Then and Now | National Geographic

Herearesomeofthemaineventsthatshowhowracialdiscrimination
againstblackpeoplecametobe...
1619:SlaveryinAmerica
AfricanslaveswerebroughttoNorthAmericancoloniesbytheEuropeansettlers.Someexpertshaveestimated
closeto7millionslavesthatwerebroughttoAmerica,andwithinthemsomeofthestrongestpeoplefromthe
Africannation.(1)OurcountrywasdependentontheAfricanslavesbecausetheywerethemajorityoftheslaves

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contributingtotheproductionofcropsliketobaccoandcotton.

1861:CivilWar
Thiswarconsistedofelevenslavestatesthatdeclaredtheirseparationfromtheunionwhichthencreatedthe
ConfederateStatesofAmerica.Thiswasanimportantwarforthebeginningoftheendofslaverywherethefirst
slaveswerefreed."Some186,000blacksoldierswouldjointheUnionArmybythetimethewarendedin1865,
and38,000losttheirlives.Thetotalnumberofdeadatwar'sendwas620,000,makingitthecostliestconflictin
Americanhistory,"(2).TheCivilwaralsohelpsshapethefutureforblacksinAmerica.

1865:AfterSlavery
SincemillionsofslavesweregrantedtheirfreedomduringtheCivilWar,the13th,14th,and15thamendments
wereveryimportanttothenewlyfreeslavesbecausetheygrantedthemwithcitizenship,andgrantedthemthe
rightstovotenomatterwhatraceapersonwas.Mostwhitepeoplewerenotokaywiththenewamendmentsso
thewhitepeopleinthesouthcreatedcertainlawsthattreatedblacksunequally.AlongwiththeselawstheKKK
intimidatedandstoppedtheadvancementofblackpeopleinsociety.

1896:Segregation
Blackpeoplewereconsidered"equal"towhitepeopleinthesociety,buttheywereseperatedbytheircolor.This
wasdonebypublicplacespostingsignsthatweredesignatedforwhitepeopleorcoloredpeople.Forexample,
publicrestroomshadsignsoutsidethatwereforwhitepeople,andaseperatebathroomthatwasforblackpeople.
Theconditionsofthesepublicplaceswereconsidered"equal"butfrompictures,thereisevidencethattheplaces
designatedforblackpeoplewereinbadconditionscomparedtotheplacesdesignatedforwhitepeople.

Segregationwasagoodexampleofthedefinitionforoppression.SusanneBohmerandJoyceBriggsdefined
oppressionas"attitudes,behaviors,andpervasiveandsystematicsocialarrangementsbywhichmembersof
onegroupareexploitedandsubordinatedwhilemembersofanothergroupsaregrantedprivileges."Duringthe
periodofsegregationAfricanAmericansweretheoppressedgroupbecausetheyweren'tgiventhesamerights
andopportunitiesaswhitepeople.Whitepeopleweretheprivilegedgroupbecausetheywereabletodoanything
theywanted.Therewasthewholeconceptofseparatebutequalandthateventhoughplaceswereseparatedby
thecolorofskin,theywere"equal".Therealityisthattheywereseparatedbythecoloroftheirskinandthey
werenotgiventhesameopportunitiesorprivilegesasthewhitepeople.Blackpeopleweretheoppressedgroup
andstillaretoday.

1909:N.A.A.C.P
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"ThemissionoftheNationalAssociationfortheAdvancementofColoredPeople
istoensurethepolitical,educational,social,andeconomicequalityofrightsof
allpersonsandtoeliminateracialhatredandracialdiscrimination,"

TheNAACPwasoneofthefirstgroupsthatformedtofightforequalrights.Itwasfoundedin1909duetothe
eventsoflynchingandcrimecommittedagainstblacks.Sobothblacksandwhitescametogethertodiscusshow
tofightforequalityandjusticeforblacksinAmerica.Thiswasthestartoftheassociationwhichisstillactive
andoneofthestrongestassociationsforblackpeopleinAmerica.

1954:BrownVs.BoardofEducation
Thiscasewasa"landmarkdecision"whichstartedtheintegrationofschoolsbecauseracialsegregationinpublic
schoolsviolatedthe14thamendment.Thiscasewasnotsimplyaboutchildrenandeducationbutitwasa
productofhumaninclinationtojudgeanddiscriminateagainstcoloredpeople.TheBrowndecisionwasinspired
andfireduphumanrightsstrugglesinAmerica.

1960:SNCC

AgroupofblackcollegestudentsatA&TUniversityinNorthCarolinawererefusedservicebywhiteservers,
blackstudentsrefusedtoleavethecounterasasilentprotest.Thisinfluencedothercollegestudentstodothe
same,thiswasthestartofStudentNonviolentCoordinatingCommittee.ThestudentNonviolentCoordinating
CommitteewasfoundedbyJohnLewiswhoplayedabigpartintocivilrightsmovement.JohnLewisspokeat
themarchonWashingtonandhealsocoordinatedthefamousmarchfromSelmatoMontgomeryfortherightto
vote,thisdayisalsoknownas"bloodySunday".TheSNCCwasagroupofcollegestudentsthatprotestedand

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practicednonviolence.Theyalsohadworkshopstoteachblackpeopleonhowtoregistertovoteandeducate
themoneverythingaboutvoting.

1964:CivilRightAct
Thisactprotectedcitizensfromdiscrimination,mainlyAfricanAmericansbyprohibitingsegregationinschools,
publicplaces,andemployment.Thisactalsoallowedequalvotingrightsthefollowingyearin1965byeliminating
thebiasedregistrationrequirement.

1992:RodneyKing
RodneyKingwasanAfricanAmericanwhowasthevictimofpolicebrutalitybytheLApoliceofficers.Thiswas
caughtonvideoandairedontelevisionwhichraisedoutrageintheblackcommunity.TheRodneyKingcase
madeallthenationalnews,atwhichpointinfluencedotherAfricanAmericanstospeakuptoendthisbrutality
usedagainstthem.

2001:FirstAfricanAmericanmaleandfemaletobecomeSecretaryofState
ColinPowell,aVietnamveteranandfourstargeneralU.S.Armygeneralbecamethefirstsecretaryofstateunder
GeorgeW.Bush.ThiswasthefirsttimeanAfricanAmericanwasholdingoneofthemostimportantpositionsin
theU.S.government.Heiswellrespectedamonghispeersandveryinfluentialinthegovernment,atonepoint
hewasalsoconsideredapossiblepresidentialcandidate.Aftergivinghisresignationin2004,thepositionwas
giventoCondoleezaRice,whowasaforeignpolicyadviserandheadoftheNationalSecurityCouncil.Rice
becamethefirstAfricanAmericanwomentoserveassecretaryofstate.

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2009:BarackObama
OnJanuary20,2009,BarackObamawasinauguratedasthe44thpresidentoftheUnitedStatesheisthefirst
AfricanAmericantoholdthatoffice.

RoleofInstitutions
Aninstitutionis"theorganizationofasetofvaluesandnormsthatestablisheshowweattempttomeetourbasic
needsasasociety."Institutionstrytomaintainthestatusquoandkeepingthingsinsocietythesameaswe
knowit.Wewillbefocusingonthreespecificinstitutionsthatplayapartincontributingtoracialdiscrimination
againstAfricanAmericans.
Colleges:Collegesconstructplanstohaveacertainpercentageofblackstudentsthatwouldgetacceptedin
theircollege,thisisstilldiscriminatingagainsttheotherblackstudentswhomightbeasqualified.Eventhough
collegesarenotsupposedtousequotastheyaretryingtodiversifythecampus.Thischancehasbeengivento
blackstudentsthroughAffirmativeActionwhichcausesdiscriminationagainstblackstudentsincolleges.
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Media:Weseeinmediathatblacksinmoviesareportrayedassportsfigures,musicallytalented,gangrelatedor
liveinpoverty.Moviesareshownwhereblackpeoplestillusethe'N'wordvigorouslywhichmakesitseemlike
itsokaytosayitwithintheblackcommunity.Medianeedstostoppromotingmoviesthatusethe'N'wordeven
thoughitsnormaltousewithintheblackcommunity.Audiencesneedtoseeadifferentimageforblackpeople
becausemajorityoftheonesshowninthemoviesarenegativewhichcausesdiscriminationagainstblack
people.Anotherimportantpartofmediaisthedailynewsshows.Newschannelsoftenshedslightonthe
negativeaspectsofblackpeopleorthecommunitytheyliveinwhichcausesstereotypesthatallcommunities
withblackpeopleorotherminoritiesarebadcommunitiesthatofteninvolvegangviolence,drugdealing,
assaults,rapes,andpoverty."Chapter5showshowlocaltelevisionnewsportraysblacksinurbancommunities
withalimitedpalatethatpaintsaworldapparentlyoutofcontrolandrepletewithdanger."ThebookTheBlack
ImageintheWhiteMind:MediaandRaceinAmericabyRobertM.EntmanandAndrewRojeckidiscussesthe
historyaboutblackpeopleinthemediaandhowitinfluenceswhatotherpeoplethinkoftheblackcommunity.

Work:Dependingontheemployer,majorityofthemtendtohirewhitepeopleforwhitecollarjobsbecauseblack
peoplearelesseducatedandconsideredlowerclass.Blacksusuallyendedupgettingbluecollarjobswhereless
educationisneeded,andarerequiredtodomorelaborwork.Blacksarealwaysassumedtohavelesseducation
becauseoftheircircumstances.Thisshowsthatdiscriminationagainstblackpeopleareputinbothwhiteand
bluecollarjobs.Affirmativeactionplaysaveryimportantroleintheworkforceaswelltoavoiddiscrimination
againstblacks.

Consequences
WehaveseenandheardmanycasesorstoriesofdiscriminationagainstblackpeopleinAmerica.Therehave
beensomeuntoldstoriesbeforeracialdiscriminationbecameasocialproblem.Noweveryblackindividualhas
therighttospeakuponcetheyfeelliketheywerediscriminated.Wewilllookatoneofthemostrecentcasesof
racialdiscriminationagainstblacks.
"HenryLouisGatesJr.,aprominentHarvardscholarofAfricanAmericanhistory,wasarrestedathishome in
Cambridge,Mass.,lastweekbyanofficerinvestigatingareportofaburglaryinprogress.Althoughchargesfor
disorderlyconductweredropped,theincident hascausedastirovertheissueofracialprofiling."NewYork
Times
Thisisagoodexampleofhowtheclaimsmakershaveshedlightonracialdiscriminationasasocialproblem.

GetyourWikispacesClassroomnow:(https://www.wikispaces.com/t/y/classroomswitch/banner/1/)theeasiestwaytomanage
yourclass.

HarvardProfessorHenryLouisGatesJr.
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Obama: Cambridge Cops "Acted Stupidly" In...

Thisincidentsparkedotherracialprofilingcasesthatoccurredinthepast.ItalsoremindedtheAmericansociety
thatracialdiscriminationstillexistsinAmerica.AswecanseeinthevideowherePresidentObamatalksabout
thisissueonanationalnetwork.ManybelievesincePresidentObamawaselectedthatwehaveovercomeracial
discrimination,butfromProfessorGates'arrest,itisclearthatAfricanAmericansarestilltargetsofracial
discrimination.

PotentialSolutions
Therearemanypotentialsolutionsthatcaneliminateracialdiscrimination,butitwilltakealotoftime.Westated
abovealready,someorganizationsthatformedaroundtheideaoffightingracialdiscrimination.Onesolutionthat
wouldreallyhelpisawareness.GroupsliketheNAACPandSNCCareaformofawareness.Mypotentialsolution
issimilartotheseorganizations.Thisorganizationwouldbeopentoanyonethatiswillingtoparticipateand
wantstofightforequalityforall.Afterthisorganizationisputtogether,theycouldgotodifferentschoolsfrom
elementarythroughcollegeorafterschoolprogramsliketheboysandgirlsclubsandteachstudentsaboutracial
discrimination.Thesevisitstotheschoolswouldincludelessonsonhowracialdiscriminationstarted,examples
ofpeoplethatexperiencedracialdiscrimination,andhowtheydealtwithit.Anotherimportantpartofthis
awarenessandteachingsolutionIwouldwanttoinvolvethestudentsandhavethemshareanykindof
experiencesinvolvingdiscriminationorinequality.Thereasonforhavingstudentssharingthierexperiencesisto
showthattheyaren'tdealingwiththisontheirown,otherpeoplehaveexperiencedittoo,andtheycanrelateto
eachother.Afterdoingthelessons,andsharingexperienceswithoneanother,everyonewillbrainstormtheirown
kindsofsolutionsthattheycanperformeverydaytominimizeracialdiscriminationeachdayoftheirlivessothat
onedayitcanbecompletelygone.Thissolutionwouldhelpsolvetheissueofracialdiscriminationintheaspect
ofsocietyandindividuals.Theindividualsarebeingtaughtthatracialdiscriminationisasocialproblemandthey
candosomethingeverydaytohelpgetridofit,andthatithowitturnsintothesocietyaddressingtheissue
becausethereismorethanjustoneindividualthatistryingtofixthisproblem.
EveryindividualhasavoiceinAmerica.Thesearesomeofthevoicesthathelpothersrealizepeople'sproblems
ormakethemawareofthesituation.Thisisoneofthesolutionsthatshouldbeusedtomakeeveryoneawareof
GetyourWikispacesClassroomnow:(https://www.wikispaces.com/t/y/classroomswitch/banner/1/)theeasiestwaytomanage
howminoritieslikeblackpeoplearestillfacingdiscriminationinAmerica.Eachindividualcanmaketheirpersonal
yourclass.
storiesheardthrougharticles,books,magazines,internet,ormovies.Overall,themediahasahugeimpacton
thesedifferentbranchesofnetworks.Mediacouldbebothpositiveornegative.Thepositivepartofmediais
showinghowblacksarestillbeingdiscriminatedagainstinAmerica,suchasbeingpulledoverbythepolicefor
beingblack.Thenegativepartofmediaisthatmostofthemoviesarestillshowingblackpeopleinvolvedin
gangsandviolence.Thesearesomeofthestrongestimagesshown,andcouldleaveahugeimpactonothers
whenitcomestodecisionmaking.Thesedecisionscouldbeusedwhenitcomesdowntohiringblackpeople,or
acceptingthemincolleges.Experiencingdiscriminationondailybasiscouldchangethatindividualinmany
differentways,eitherbeingviolentordepressed.Thereforediscriminationstoriesneedtobetoldandhearingtheir
storiesfromindividualscouldmakeahugedifferenceinthissociety.

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OnepotentialsolutionthatalreadyexistsisSojourntothePast.SojourntothePastisa10daytripthattakes
placeinthesouthatthekeyplaceswheretheCivilRightsMovementtookplace,itisaretracementoftheCivil
RightsMovement.Thisisaverygoodpotentialsolutionbecauseittakesstudentsonthetripandthestudents
gettophysicallyexperience,see,feel,andhearabouttheCivilRightsMovementandhowracialdiscrimination
stillexiststoday.ThestudentsthattakethetripgettomeetkeypeoplefromtheCivilRightsMovementlikeJohn
Lewis,MinnijeanBrown,ElizabethEckford,andmanymore.Thestudentsgettohearfirsthandstories,and
experiencesfromthepeoplethatwerealiveandpresentatthetimewhenracialdiscriminationwasviolentand
veryscarytoface.SojourntothePastisaverygoodpotentialsolutionbecauseithasaboutthreetripsperyear
withstudentsfromdifferenthighschools.Thisisapotentialsolutionbecauseslowlyovertimemoreandmore
studentswillhavegoneonthistripandwillwanttohelpintheendingofracialdiscrimination.

Sojourn to the Past

Citation:
a)http://www.history.com/content/blackhistory (1)(2)
b)NAACP:http://www.naacp.org/?gclid=CJf4l_W_2ZwCFSn6agodHCqNPg
c)SNCC:http://www.ibiblio.org/sncc/
d)Entman,RobertM.andRojecki,Andrew.2000.TheBlackImageintheWhiteMind:MediaandRacein
America.TheUniversityofChicagoPress
e)Mills,C.Wright.1959.TheSociologicalImagination.OxfordUniversityPress.
f)Goodnough,Abby.2009.HarvardProfessorJailedOfficerIsAccusedofBias.NewYorkTimes,July20.

.Warren,PatriciaFarrell,Amy.TheEnvironmentalContextofRacialProfiling.FloridaStateUniversity.Journal
Volume623,5263.2009.
King,C.Richard.NurturingRacism:TakingRaceandKids(Popular)CultureSeriously.WashingtonState
University.Volume9.2009.

GetyourWikispacesClassroomnow:(https://www.wikispaces.com/t/y/classroomswitch/banner/1/)theeasiestwaytomanage
Seaton,K.EleanorYip,Tiffany.SchoolandNeighborhoodContexts,PerceptionsofRacialDiscrimination,and
yourclass.

PsychologicalWellbeingAmongAfricanAmericanAdolescents.DepartmentofPsychology,Univ.ofNorth
Carolina.Volume38.2009.

Contributions
Sinceourgroupconsistedofonlytwopeoplewedecidedtosplittheworkevenlyineachsection.
ByAmyGutierrezandSahandChini

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