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Black Americans as second class citizens

Info: 957 words (4 pages) Essay
Published: 4th May 2017 in History

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It is certainly true about the statement about Black Americans being the second class citizens. During the 1945-55 periods the black Americans suffered many problems. There are 3 significant factors which are related to many other factors. These 3 factors are Social, Political and economical, where black Americans were treated as second class citizens. In the social factor, black Americans were facing increase in segregation. Within this significant factor, it closely relates to other factors such as Jim Crow laws; a specially made up law for segregation amongst whites and black Americans because they believed in white supremacy, Lynching; brutally beaten and tortured subject to no protection from any forces and this relating to the Ku Klux Klans; who were a major threat to the lives of many black Americans because of them leading the Lynching processes. On the other hand, the political factor account black Americans not having the right to vote is a major factor. And finally the economical factor consist of black Americans being unemployed and even if they had work, the wage was a huge doubt. Furthermore when investigating in depth we should also consider the regions these happened in, like the Northern and the Southern states.

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The Social factor relates to the Segregation that many black Americans faced in both Northern and Southern states. However there was little legally enforced segregation in the Northern states when comparing to the Southern states. The “Jim Crow” laws meant the restriction of black Americans using white Americans facilities, such as restaurants, schools, transports and many others. This law became legal due to the famous court case of “Plessy Vs Ferguson”, a black American who challenged “Jim Crow” laws. Supreme Court ordered that separation was acceptable if they are equal, but this was not true. It seemed that a lot of things happened in the Southern states than the Northern states.

Range of people believing in this supremacy enforced the “Jim Crow” laws to be enforced through the Southern states, hence this closely linking to Lynching. Lynching was flooding and a severe threat to the black Americans. This method was led by the organisation called Ku Klux Klans. They were a group who strictly believed in defending the White supremacy. They targeted Black Americans who showed any mark of disrespect towards white people. However this wasn’t the case, black people were severely beaten or tortured even if they weren’t in contact or disrespectful to the whites. So therefore when concluding we can clearly see that the Social factor includes many other factors which hints that black Americans still remained second class citizens. Black American having no equality in the American society affects their living standard of life. The standard of life was slightly different in the southern states to the Northern states, were in the South blacks were more put off and put down hard.

The other factor is the Political factor. Many blacks were restricted to vote. However under the terms of the 15th amendment, all citizens of the United States of America were allowed to vote, hence the black Americans too. But, this was not the case in the Southern states they somehow found ways to disenfranchise the local black population. When comparing to different states, we can say that in the North states, it was easier for black Americans to vote. Whereas in the south, literacy tests we used to restricted the black Americans to fail, because majority of the black Americans were not highly educated. Furthermore, the whites intention of the test to make them fail, so it was definitely that the blacks were not going to pass it as the tests were put to most difficult level. As a a result, black Americans were disenfranchised. This wasn’t discrimination but it is a way to stop them from gaining access to the American facilities. So therefore we can clearly identify that black Americans remained the second class citizens throughout America, but some blacks were had a much better life in the Northern states compared to the southern states. But still remaining second class citizen did not change.

Finally, the economical factor is also a factor which is a major in subject for black Americans being the second class citizens throughout the period of 1945-55. Black Americans in the south worked in Agriculture, in the North black people were working in industrial jobs. This is because during the world war, thousands of black Americans moved to great industrial cities in order to work in the war industries. The economic boom of the 1920’s also attracted blacks to the North. Hence from the world war period black Americans migrated to the north, where they offered industrial works. The working conditions were much better than the southern states, where they got paid less compared to the North. Salary was better nevertheless they were paid on average only 50% of the pay of white workers. So therefore this suggests how black Americans remained the second class citizens. However people’s lives were better in the north but were paid on average 50% compared to the white workers, so some discrimination process in the working industry.

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In conclusion, we can clearly observe the hardships that the black Americans faced. They remained the second class citizens throughout America, but black Americans lives were better in the Northern states compared to the South. Not having the right to vote, being severely threatened and beaten to death, underpaid in the north resulted in the lives of black Americans as second class citizens in the society.


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