Joana, African Americans today

Hey, you want to know something about African American today? Then you are in the right place. Here are some topics that might interest you. Let´s start with the timeline.

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African American History Timeline 1619-2020:

  • 1619 – First slaves are arrived/ were brought to Virginia (from Africa)
  • 1807 – President Jefferson signs legislation that officially ends slave trade / importation of slaves into the USA becomes illegal
  • 1831 – In Boston, William Lloyd Garrison begins publication of the anti- slavery newspaper „The Liberator“ and becomes a leading voice in the abolitionist movement
  • 1846 – ex- slave Frederick Douglass published the anti- slavery North Star newspaper
  • 1861 – 1865 Civil War (between North and South, ends with a victory for the northern states)
  • 1863 – Abraham Lincoln declares all slaves free (Emancipation Proclamation)
  • 1865 – 1877 – Reconstruction Era: slavery was abolished, African Americans gained citizenship, African Americans get the right to vote
  • 1875 – Civil Rights Act: equal rights for African American in different aspects of public life
  • 1877 – 1965 – Jim Crow Era: white supremacy is re-established, segregation (separate but equal policy)
  • 1948 – President Truman: desegregation of armed forces ( order to end discrimination in army)
  • 1954 – Supreme Court declares segregation in schools unconstitutional
  • 1955 – Rosa Parks – Montgomery Bus Boycott (First signs of Civil Rights movement but one the other hand deep- rooted racism)
  • 1957 – Enforced desegregation of little Rock High School
  • 1963 – March on Washington – Martin Luther King Jr. : „I have a dream“ (speech)
  • 1964 – Civil Rights Act (Martin Luther King Jr. awarded the Nobel Peace Prize)
  • 1965 – Voting Rights Act
  • 2008 – Barack Obama was the first African American president of the USA
  • 2013 – first Black Lives Matter movement
  • 2020 – „I can´t breathe“ – George Floyd, police violence, „Black Lives Matter“ movement

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Now you have a short overview about what has happened over the years. But even today there is a lot of racism and injustice in the world because of that, African Americans still have those problems today.

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General problems:

  • Storm on the capitol was very easy and shocking. Mostly white people went to the riot.
  • The media and the people refer to it as a “protest” which is definitely wrong, it was an attack on the democracy and therefor terrorism.
  • If black people would have done such thing the police would have reacted way more aggressive and violent. It also would have been called a riot or terrorism right away.
  • It is not a secret that Americans are kind of afraid of the police. Black people have it way worse though. The corrupt system and the violence against people of color made that very clear in may too many cases, such as George Floyd or Breonna Taylor.
  • Let’s make an example; you’re speeding on the highway and the police stops you. You are nervous of course, but when you’re black, chances are that you are afraid of your life.
  • Let’s look at TV. There are so many white actors and actresses, producers, hosts, cartoon characters and so on. There are not a lot of African Americans on the TV.
  • People such as Will Smith even refuse to go to big, important award shows like the Oscars. He said that he won’t attend those shows unless they create more diversity when it comes to gender, sexuality and skin color.
  • People of color in general are afraid to take a walk at night because of their skin color.
  • Sometimes their chances on getting a job are influenced by their skin color.
  • In America there are still a lot of statues and museums which are glorifying former slave holders. As a German I can say that I would be very bothered if I would see a statue of Hitler, Goebells or someone like that. But a lot of Americans do not see a problem in those statues which bothers me. To remember the history is so important, but a statue with maybe even false information on them (which happens in America quite often due to their problematic, patriotic teaching system) is the wrong way.
  • As the slaves were freed, the state did not pay them something in excuse, instead they actually paid the former slave holders.
  • Right now in a lot of stores in the USA the aisle for hair products for people of color is being locked. When people ask for the reason the stores state, that due to the corona virus they have to limit their range. For that big companies like Walmart decided to lock those products, which is obviously racist.

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All of those problemes are a sign of the problems that still exist today. Over the years people have come together and fought for the good. Organiations and protests have been founded. For example, two of them are called „Black Lives Matter“ and „Black Is Beautiful“.

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Black Lives Matter:

The Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, following the death of Trayon Martin, an African American teenager. He was shot by George Zimmerman while walking to a family friend´s house. The campaign was co-founded by three black women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, as a response to the police killing of Black people. The phrase „Black Lives Matter“ was first used in a Facebook post by Garza after Zimmerman was found not gultiy and it was the inspiration for the campaign. Patrisse Cullors recognised the power of Garza´s words and created the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, the campaign was born. In 2014, Black Lives Matter protested agaist the death of numerous Black and African American people. The following year saw another spate of Black people killed by police officers in the U.S.. They also organised protests to highlight the injustice faced by Black women and transgender. By the end of 2015, 21 transgender people had been killed that year in the U.S.. 2016 Black Lives Matter organised many more protests against police brutality towards Black people. In 2017, Black Lives Matter put their first art exhibition timed to coincide with Black History Month in U.S. In 2018, a study found out that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter had been used nearly 30 million times on Twitter since the first instance in 2013. In Feburary 2019, the rapper 21 Savage was arrested and detainend by the US´s immigration agency, ICE. As a result, Cullors convened a group of 60 high profile stars from the music and entertainment world to advocate for his release. In May, teenager Isaiah Lewis was shot by police and killed. In 2020, major protests were sparked at the end of May following the death of George Floyd. A video showing a police officer kneeling on Floyds neck went viral following his death.

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Black Is Beautiful:

Black is Beautiful is a cultural movement that was started in the U.S. in the 1960s by African Americans. It got its roots from the Negritude movement of the 1930s. Negritude argued for the importance of a Pan-African racial identity among people of African descent worldwide. It aims to dispel the racist notion that black people´s natural features and hair are ugly. The movement also encouraged men and women to accept thereselfs and stop trying to eliminate African-identified. This movement began in an effort to counteract the racist notion in American culture that features typical of Black people were less attractive or disirable that those of White people. It also has a big focus on the emotional and psychological well-being. The movement affirmend natural hairstyles like the „afro“ and the variety of skin colours, hair textures and physical characteristics found in the African American community. Style was always used to relay a bigger message. The Black is Beautiful movement wanted women and men to feel good in their skin.

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Are you still there? Now we come to some people you should know. These people have played an important role in the history espacially for the African Americans.

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Famous people:

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Rosa Parks (1913-2005)

In 1955, a 42-year-old woman namend Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat in the bus to a white person, but she stayed where she was. Rosa Parks actions on the bus resulted in a boycott in the city. Because of this boycott the city was forced to get rid of the law that allowed for segregation on the buses and in many more situations/ places. Her actions marked a big turning point in the young civil rights movement. 

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Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the main leaders of the American Civil Rights movement and the most prominent adocate of nonviolent protest. He is known for his speech „I have a dream“, that was delivered on August 28th, 1963, during the March on Washington. The speech became one of the most defining moments of the Civil Rights movement and one of the most iconic speeches in the American history. For his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 

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Barack Obama (1961-present)

Barack Obama was the first African American U.S. president (2009-2017). While studying at Harvard, he became the first African American to be editor of the Harvard Law Review. He also became a Civil Rights lawyer and a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. In 2009, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Here are some examples of people who have influenced the music over the years

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music:

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Michael Jackson (1958- 2009)

Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. He is called the „King of Pop“ and he is one of the most significant culture figures of the 20th century. Through stage and video performances and his popularized dance moves (moonwalk for example). Jackson is the most awarded artist in the history of popular music. Here are some of his most famous songs: Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, Beat it and Thriller.

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Tyler, the Creator (1991-present)

Tyler, the Creator is an US rapper, record producer and music video director. He rose to prominence as the leader and Co-founder of the hip hop collective „Odd Future“ and has rapped on and produced songs for nearly every Odd Future release. In 2011, Tyler started the clothing company „Golf Wang“ and began hosting an annual music festival named „The Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival“. He runs his own streaming service named „Golf Media“. Here are some of his most famous songs: See You Again, Who Dat Boy, EARFQUAKE and Trouble On My Mind.

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Stevie Wonder (1950-present)

Stevie Wonder is an American singer, songwriter, musican and record producer. A prominent figure in popular music during the second half of the 20th century and he is one of the most successful songwriter and musican. He has won 25 Grammy Awards and an Oscar. Wonder is one of only two artists and groups who have won the Grammy for Album of the year three times as the main credited artist, along with Frank Sinatra. Here are some of his most famous songs: Happy Birthday, Superstition, Living for the City and Isn´t She Lovely.

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Kanye West (1977-present)

Kanye West is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter and fashion designer. He has influential in the 21st-century development of mainstream hip hop and popular music in general. He uses his art to connect with individuals and to discuss a wide-range of matters focusing on relationships, politics, equality and race. He has conjured up his career to focus on the future. Here are some of his most famous songs: Stronger, Runaway, Gold Digger and Heartless.

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You have finished my entire blog!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you!

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sources:

  • Timeline Link:
  • https://www.nps.gov/saga/learn/education/upload/African%20American%20History%20Timeline.pdf (12.01.2021 13:46)
  • https://blog.socialstudies.com/a-timeline-of-african-american-history-in-the-united-states (12.01.2021 13:53)
  • picture: https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2009/african_american_history/(14.01.2021 14:26)
  • General problems Link: https://samharris.org/racism-and-violence-in-america/ (14.01.2021 14:32)
  • Black Lives Matter Link:
  • https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/reports/a32728194/black-lives-matter-timeline-movement/ (13.01.2021 17:42)
  • picture: https://www.theblacklightzone.com/Black-Lives-Matter-Fist-Poster-24×36 (14.01.2021 14:29)
  • Black Is Beautiful Link:
  • https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200730-the-birth-of-the-black-is-beautiful-movement (15.01.2021 13:29)
  • picture: https://marketplace.zibbet.com/digital4u/black-is-beautiful-black-history-month-hair-word-black-mixed-svg-black-svg-black-girl-svg-i-love-my-roots-svg-black-history-svg ( 15.01.2021 14:17)
  • Famous people Link:
  • https://totallyhistory.com/biography/famous-african-americans/ (15.01.2021 16:13)
  • Rosa Parks Link: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/Rosaparks.jpg (15.01.2021 16:42)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Link:http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/martin-luther-king-jr-the-man-and-the-movement/2008/04/02/gIQAGXzFMJ_gallery.html (15.01.2021 17:02)
  • Barack Obama Link: http://theseptemberstandard.com/u-s-president-barack-obama-perfect-gentleman-gq-cover/ (15.01.2021 17:02)
  • music Link:
  • Michael Jackson Link: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Michael_Jackson (16.01.2021 15:21)
  • Tyler, the Creator Link: https://best-music-and-songs.fandom.com/wiki/Tyler,_The_Creator (16.01.2021 15:58)
  • Stevie Wonder Link: https://www.entertainmentandsportstoday.com/stevie-wonder-key-of-life-award-next-month/ (16.01.2021 16:12)
  • Kayne West Link: http://www.laut.de/News/Kanye-West-Bizarre-Aussagen-ueber-Sklaverei-02-05-2018-14673 (16.01.2021 16:41)

6 comments

  1. Lukas Dudek sagt:

    The blog is very well structured. Also, the way the blog is written relates very well to the reader. Very good blog.

  2. Kian Lenkeit sagt:

    I realy like the Timeline! It‘s the first text with stuff like this I guess.
    very good structure

  3. Tabea Kelting sagt:

    I Sound that very good that you Adresse the Readers at the beginnig. And I like how you structured your Text.

  4. Enrico Esser sagt:

    That was a lot, but we’ll structured and well written. I like how much effort you put into this

  5. Laura Frahm sagt:

    The article has a good and informative overview. The timeline gives the reader general information and each area is explained individually. The problems of the african americans are told and illustraded with an example. The past of the african americans is taken into account and the current situation becomes clear.

  6. Lena Preuß sagt:

    Wow Joana, i love your text! It has a very good structure and I enjoyed to read it. You have so much information in there, but like that that we understand it very good! Good Job 😉

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