Publié le 23/04/2022

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« RACISM IN THE USA There is a terrible contradiction in the history of the USA : how can a country claim freedom and human rights for the whole planet in theory, and show so many current issues regarding racism in practice, especially towards the Afro Americans ? Could it be the result of 2 centuries of slavery, as well as the civil war that has torn the country in 2 in the nineteenth century? We have to bear in mind that until the middle of the twentieth century, it was considered as normal and usual in the USA to have racist opinons on Afro-Americans. We could assume that the election of the first Black President, Barack Obama would have been the sign of a deep change in mentalities but unfortunately, it has not been the case. In order to try to understand this contradiction, I will remind some historical facts in a first part, and in a second part I will refer to the legacy of this history on nowadays situation. First of all, among all immigrants who settled in America, the Afro Americans are the only ones who have not chosen to go there.

They have been taken from their original African countries as from the seventeenth century, in order to be sold as slaves and to work in cotton, tobacco and sugar cane plantations.

These plantations were located in the South of America. The civil war took place as from eighteen sixty one until eighteen sixty five.

One of the reasons for this civil war was the different positions between the North and the South of America regarding slavery.

Indeed, the South states named « the Confederation » were in favour of slavery whilst the North states named « the Union » were against slavery. At the end of the war, in December eighteen sixty five, slavery has been abolished in the whole country, which allowed about four million afro-americans to get their freedom. Unfortunately, the end of slavery did not mean equality between white and black people. Indeed, until the years nineteen fifties, the living conditions of the afro-americans have been barely improved.

They were gathered in ghettos and they were suffering from many discriminations. For instance, public places were separated : benches for white people and others for black people, as well as stores for white people and others for black people.

It was the same situation for waiting rooms in train stations, in trains, in buses.

Schools were also separated. It was nearly impossible for Black people to have access to university. This system based on discriminations between white and Black people is called racial segregationism.

It has ended thanks to the civil rights movements in the early nineteen sixties and the ratification of the Civil Rights Act by Congress in nineteen sixty four. The most famous leaders who helped improving the civil rights for Black people were Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Martin Luther King is known everywhere for his phrase "I had a dream".

He was a pastor who created a movement to claim for the equality of the races.

Still, his actions were always nonviolent.

Non-violence was his means of resistance.. »


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