In From Slavery to Freedom (2007), it was said that “the transition from slavery to freedom represents one of the major themes in the history of African Diaspora in the Americas” (para. 1). African American history plays an important role in American history not only because the Civil Rights Movement, but because of the strength and courage of Afro-Americans struggling to live a good life in America. Afro-Americans have been present in this country since the early 1600’s, and have been making history since. We as Americans have studied American history all throughout school, and took one Month out of the year to studied African American history. Of course we learn some things about the important people and events in African American history, but some of the most important things remain untold which will take more than a month to learn about.
The Fight for Freedom and RightsOrder now
When Afro-American’s came to America in hopes of having a better and easier way of life, and after they arrived it was a totally opposite of what they expected. The following are a couple events that took place in different locations for the fight for freedom and right. The first is Bloody Sunday; which took place in Selma, Alabama. This particular event was the march of black activists from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Thomas-Samuel (1996) stated that “In 1965, Alabama state troopers and local deputies stopped and clubbed black activists as they marched peacefully….” (para. 1). These people just wanted to make a point by marching from one city to another and they got beating just for it. Next is the fight for desegregation in Central High School, Little Rock, Ar. On September 25, 1957, nine courageous students better known as Little Rock Nine went to Central High in hope of furthering their education peacefully. Francis pointed out “……after the infamous 1957 standoff in Little Rock, Arkansas, only 1 percent of southern black students attended school with whites” (n.d., para 5.). Upon their arrival they were struck with the reality of how the other students wanted them out of their school. In the History of Little Rock Nine, it was stated that “Their action not only mobilized a Nation to insure that access to a quality education was granted to all Americans, but they helped to define the civil rights movement” (para. 1).
Denmark Vesey was a household servant for Captain Joseph Vesey; which won the lottery in the year 1800. When Denmark won the lottery he paid for his freedom and started his own carpentry business. In a brief bio, Denmark Vesey, it was said that “In 1822 he was accused of being the leader of a secret plot to rebel against whites, a plot that supposedly involved 9,000 slaves or more than two years of preparation” (para. 1). After being accused in July of 1822 he was executed.
Harriet Tubman was born on a plantation in Maryland in 1822. She decided to escape from enslavement and fight for her freedom after her owner, Edward Brodess died. She finally escapes using the Underground Railroad and made her way into Philadelphia. In Philadelphia she worked and saved all her earnings up so that she could free her family. Larson stated “From 1850 to 1860, Tubman conducted between eleven and thirteen escape missions, bringing away approximately seventy individual, including her brother, parents, and other family and friends, while also giving instruction to approximately fifty more who found their way to freedom independently” (2004, p.1).
African Americans take their culture very strongly and seriously, and they have worked very hard for what they have. The Harlem Renaissance was the major culture movement that took place in Harlem, New York City; which lasted from the 1920’s on into the mid- 1930’s. Many Afro-Americans moved up north to Harlem so they could have a better life. Among these people there were musician, poets and artist, and with their talents capturing the hearts of many. Afro-Americans also have a great love for food, and they made a living providing food services to everybody. Afro-American did not only cook the food but they grew the food also; which that where marketing trading came along. The Afro-American cook food and distributed food around to their neighbors, and it became one of the major interactions with the whites. In the late 1960’s the term “soul food” came to surface; which was the name people gave the food prepared by the Afro-Americans. The Afro-Americans came well known because of their culture and still remain famous for it.
African American history has been lost, and the history that is present has not fully been acknowledged by people in America. Some of the things that I mention in this paper I have never heard of, and the things that I did know of from school was not the whole story. As an Afro-American I would have love to know more about my history and want my children to learn as much about their history in the future. As Chandler said “This is our heritage. This is our history. Remember it. Celebrate it. And understand that our history is our future” (n.d, para.23).
Chandler, Cassandra. M. (n.d.). Crossing color lines and fulfilling dreams: Why do we keep celebrating Black History Month? Retrieved September 17, 2007 from The Black Collegian Web site: http://www.black-collegian.com/african/colorlines305.shtml
Francis, David. R. (n.d.). The Effect of Brown v. Board of Education on Blacks’ Earnings. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from the National Bureau of Economic Research Web site: http://www.nber.org/digest/dec05/w11394.html
Thomas-Samuel, Kalin. (n.d.) Selma: Where visitors can walk the walk. Retrieved September 30, 2007 from CNN Web site: http://www.cnn.com/EVENTS/black_history/travel/selma/index.html
Larson, Kate. C. (2004). Bound For the Promised: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from Web site: http://www.harriettubmanbiography.com/index.html
Denmark Vesey. (2007) Who2?. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from Web site: http://www.who2.com/denmarkvessey
From Slavery to Freedom: African in the Americas. (2007). Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from Web site: http://www.asalh.org/
Harlem Renaissance (1997-2007) Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from Web site: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566483/Harlem_Renaissance.html/
Harlem Renaissance. (2007) The Columbia Eletronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from Web site: http://www.factmonster.com./ce6/ent/A0822748.html
History of Little Rock Nine. (1999) Little Rock Nine Foundation. Retrieved October 7, 2007 from the Web site: http://www.littlerock9.com/