The black Americans who are mostly referred to as Negros are the African inhabitants who found their way to America during the slavery period. African chiefs sold them in exchange for finished goods and weapons. The American slave dealers used strong and able African men to provide labour and handwork in farms and other fields. The fact that they were bought from their motherland made them face very harsh treatment from the Americans. They were seen less than a human being and more than animals. However, several black legends like DuBois, Washington and Martin Luther King spoke and wrote about the problems their race faced and the fought for the freedom of black people in America. I read through their works of literature, and it was clear that black people had no rights as American citizens and they were misused and underrated. The whites did not consider giving them a token of appreciation even after they worked for them for many years.
The work of Washington is an example of the black Americans who were able to liberate themselves from slavery by being educated. Despite the hardships that the black people faced such as lack of basic need, education or even land, some of the were able to struggle and get educated which is the main key to success. When a Negro was educated, as I read in Up from Slavery, they could get better jobs other than working on the farms for the whites (Washington 14). Washington is a good example of a black child who grew in the real black environment as he says that he never knew his father. His mother was a cook in white man’s farm, and she used to steal food to feed her family. Such women are symbols of the challenges that were faced by black women. They were forced to sleep with their employer which is a form of rape, and they gave birth to children who did not have fathers. Most of the black fathers died in submission to the whites and even wars.
Children who were born from such circumstances faced a lot of problems as their mother was the only breadwinner. Their mothers had to toil day and night to at least get them food. The role of women as homemakers is altered to the breadwinner at this stage, and the women struggle to provide for their families (Washington 34). Other needs like shelter, clothes and shoes were not a priority as Washington notes that his first pair of shoes was made from wood and was very uncomfortable. Under contrary, the white owners would have paid the slaves better wages to look after the children they gave them, but they did not. However, Washington is an example of black kids who were able to struggle and change the face of black people. He is one of those who worked hard to prove the whites that even black people could be better than farm workers. He underwent every type of challenge to be educated and later he was able to be a teacher and marry an educated woman who together they brought up a bright family.
In The Souls of Black, Dubois also explains the experience of the blacks after the period of reconstruction. It is during this period that America began to be industrialised, and everybody was after material wealth and possession and wealth. He explains how skilled labour was needed in the industry and thus the need for the black people to get the skills to get jobs aroused. Black men as explained by Dubois had a lot of skills from the exploitation in the slavery, but they needed to be trained again through education to work in the industries (Du Bois 24). Dubois introduces a new phase of the black people in America. They were at last given a chance to work with the white people in more decent jobs. It is also the period of development of religion in the black people culture. Due to the submission they faced from the whites, black people had only God to turn to, and therefore religion was upheld greatly by most of them.
The speech that Martin Luther king made is still memorable up to date because he gave black people morale to fight on. He acted as the voice of blacks as he spoke out the submission and exploitation of black people by the whites. He says that the Negroes are on an island of poverty in the midst of seas of wealth to symbolize how the white people were wealthy but still could not help their fellow brothers because of the difference in the skin colour (King 13). He talks about his dream that he dreamt white people are seeing the black people as brothers and sisters and living together without discrimination. The dream of justice by Martin Luther king shows that the blacks were still in slavery indirectly to the whites, they had no rights and freedom.
In conclusion, I would say that in the next 50 years, due to the progress the African American have made since independence, they will dominate America. I stand by this argument because the black Americans have directly got involved in the industrialization progress and thus they have the skills needed, unlike the whites who have the theory. It is also right to say that black people have made it in proving that they are worth to be listened and treated fairly as per the constitution. Indeed, Martin Luther dream has come true as the whites and blacks are working together in recent days.
Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt, and Brent Hayes Edwards. The souls of black folk. Oxford University Press, 2008.
King, Martin Luther. I have a dream. Edizioni Mondadori, 2015.
Washington, Booker T. Up from slavery. Penguin, 1986.
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