African-American Civil Rights Movement | Black Freedom in the us
African American history and Black freedom
The state of being free; liberty; self-determination; absence of restraint; the opposite of slavery Confederate defeat and the end of slavery brought far-reaching changes in the lives of all Southerners. The destruction of slavery led inevitably to conflict between blacks seeking to breathe substantive meaning into their freedom by asserting their independence from white control, and whites seeking to retain as much as possible of the old order.
Emancipation was a momentous experience; to former slaves, it represented autonomy and freedom from white control. Freedom brought waves of migration within the former Confederacy. Newly freed peoples moved to cities or to other plantations, sought out family members from whom they had been separated, and secured legal marriages, sometimes in mass ceremonies. They also formed new institutions. Black churches provided former slaves with spiritual support. Seeking literacy for themselves and their children, former slaves started freedmen's schools. The Freedmen's Bureau and Northern philanthropy helped establish more than 4,000 African American schools and some advanced institutions, such as Howard University in Washington, D.C. In several locales, blacks strove for integrated public facilities. In 1875 Congress passed a Civil Rights Act to bar segregation in public places. Typically, former slaves sought not integration with whites but freedom from white interference.
A paramount black goal was to own land, which signified independence, but Southern whites retained control over the land. Reconstruction did not redistribute land in the South, and most former slaves lacked the resources to buy it. From 1865 to 1866, newly freed African Americans began to sign labor contacts with planters to do field work in exchange for wages, housing, food, and clothing. But they found the new system too similar to slavery, and planters disliked it, too. The labor system that evolved, sharecropping, seemed preferable. Under this system, landowners divided plantations into small units and rented them to blacks for a portion of the crop, usually one-third or one-half. Former slaves favored the new sharecropping system, which provided more independence than the wage system. Planters also appreciated the sharecropping system because they retained control of their land and split the risk of planting with sharecroppers. Owners of large plantations held on to their powerful positions in society.
A major depression in 1873 drove many white farmers into sharecropping as well. By 1880 sharecroppers, black and white, farmed four-fifths of the land in the cotton states. Many sharecroppers were forced into a cycle of debt; rural merchants who loaned money to buy supplies charged high interest rates for the loans and secured them with liens or claims on the next year's crop. Frequently the loans could not be repaid, and sharecroppers fell into debt.
Sharecropping bound the South to easily marketable cash crops that brought in the most income. Southerners did not diversify their crops or protect their land against soil depletion. As a result, the productivity of Southern agriculture declined over the years.
Summary: The meaning of freedom itself became a point of conflict in the Reconstruction South. Former slaves relished the opportunity to flaunt their liberation from the innumerable regulations of slavery.
African-American Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement or 1960s Civil Rights Movement, sometimes anachronistically referred to as the "African-American Civil Rights Movement" although the term "African American" was not used in the 1960s, encompasses social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1954 and 1968, particularly in the South. The leadership was African-American, much of the political and financial support came from labor unions (led by Walter Reuther), major religious denominations, and prominent white politicians such as Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Civil Rights Movement Video, Watch this Civil Rights Movement for kids (Black History)
African-American history is the portion of American history that specifically discusses the African-American or Black American ethnic groups in the United States. Most African Americans are the descendants of black African slaves forcibly brought to, and held captive in the United States( which isn't very right) would become the United States) from 1555 to 1865. Blacks from the Caribbean whose ancestors immigrated, or who immigrated to the U.S., also traditionally have been considered African-American, as they share a common history of predominantly West African or Central African roots, the Middle Passage and slavery.
African Americans have been known by various names throughout American history, including colored and Negro, which are no longer generally accepted in English. Instead the most usual and accepted terms nowadays are African American and Black, which however may have different connotations (see African American#Terminology). The term person of color usually refers not only to African Americans, but also to other non-white ethnic groups. Others who sometimes are referred to as African Americans, and who may identify themselves as such in US government censuses, include relatively recent Black immigrants from Africa, South America and elsewhere.
African-American history is celebrated and highlighted annually in the United States during February, designated as Black History Month. Although previously marginalized, African-American history has gained ground in school and university curricula and gained wider scholarly attention since the late 20th century.
The Myth of Black Freedom in the U.S
To some of us the transition from slave to citizenship by those Africans brought in chains to these shores for economic exploitation and horrific abuse ended with the "Emancipation Proclamation". To others its' end might have been marked by "Brown v. Board of Education", or by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Those of somewhat more insightful bent may have said that the true emancipation occurred when Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. In my view, as much of an impact as all those milestones (and more such as Jackie Robinson i.e.) made to American consciousness, Black people in the United States clearly still lack the benefits and rewards of citizenship. I would go further and say that in the United States, at this time; most Black people still suffer the degradation and challenges brought about by both institutional and emotional racism. This is not to say that in our country other groups, such as Latino's and Native Americans are free of oppressive prejudice, but to assert that given their history in this country Black people are slotted into the bottom of the economic and social ladder and are still struggling to obtain even those most minimal of rights that most Americans see as their birthright.
The African American Struggle for Freedom
In United States history, a free negro or free black was the legal status in the territory of the United States of an African American person who was not a slave. The term was in use before the independence of the Thirteen Colonies and elsewhere in British North America until the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865, which rendered this distinction irrelevant.
African American Civil Rights Movement 1955-1968
Black Freedom Fighters Who Gave Their Lives
The Fight for Equal Rights
The Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a long and deadly fight for racial equality. African Americans chafed at being deprived of basic human rights throughout the country, and particularly in the Jim Crow south. Fed up and united, these excluded Americans were vocal and physical, putting their bodies on the line in the violent struggle for equality.
The path toward respect and full citizenship was littered with black freedom seekers killed in the act of pursuing fundamental American ideals. This gallery celebrates the accomplishments of ten slain heroes.
Black Female Freedom Fighters Who Deserve to be honored
Famous Freedom Fighters
African Freedom Fighters
Albert John Luthuli, the president of the African National Congress, was an African politician and teacher.
Nelson Mandela – Led the struggle against South African apartheid even while in prison and become President soon after his release.
Desmond Tutu worked to end apartheid in South Africa.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman president of the African nation, Liberia, bringing the country change and hope.
Helen Suzman bravely stood up against apartheid and was the first female South African Minister of Parliament.
Joseph Ki-Zerbo works to help Africans retain control of their country's agriculture.
Kofi Annan is an honored freedom and peacemaker hero.
Marcus Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Himself Jamaican, his goal was for those of African ancestry to return to Africa and redeem its greatness.
Ndeh Ntumuzah was a remarkable Pan-African spirit who was one of the leaders of one of the foremost Pan-Africanist liberation movements in Africa, the Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC).
Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of Ghana known as the foremost proponent of Pan-Africanism in the latter half of the 20th century.
Patrice Lumumba was a Congolese independence leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo after he helped win its independence from Belgium
Abdel Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of modernization, and socialist reform in Egypt together with a profound advancement of pan-Arab nationalism
Frantz Fanon is known as a radical humanist thinker on the issue of decolonization. His works have incited and inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.
Walter Rodney was a prominent Guyanese historian and political activist
African American Freedom Fighters
Angela Davis – Leader, author, and professor who has fought for decades for human rights.
Bob Marley was not only a famous musician and humanist, he was a Pan-African freedom fighter
Bobby Seale co-founded the Black Panthers along with Huey P. Newton
Booker T. Washington – Born a slave, he later established the now famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which became the paragon of education for African Americans. Vocational education, frugality, self-reliance, and learning an employable trade for the world of work was the Tuskegee model.
Frederick Douglass – One of America's most respected and well-known African American orators and abolitionists, he became a trusted advisor to Abraham Lincoln. He preached about the enslavement of African Americans, but he also demanded world justice.
Frances Ellen Watkins was a prolific author and poet who devoted her life to speaking out against slavery.
George Washington Carver – Once a kidnapped slave baby, George Washington Carver found freedom in learning everything he could about the world around him. He said, Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.;
Harriet Tubman - Escaped slavery in 1849 and dedicated her life to freeing other American slaves. Harriet Tubman became the most famous of the Conductors of the Underground Railroad.
Huey P. Newton was political and urban activist who founded the Afro-American Association and co-founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Ida B. Wells – Mistreated for not giving up her seat on a railroad car for whites only,; Ida Wells turned from teaching to journalism, bringing exposure to lynching including exposing the names of people responsible for lynchings to bring about justice and fair laws.
John Lewis has worked for civil rights for all for over 40 years.
Josephine Baker , popular African American dancer in France, fought for civil rights and freedom against the Nazis.
Malcolm X – Malcolm Little known as Malcom X, was a warrior in the fight against racism.
Martin Luther King Jr. – "I Have a Dream" was his civil rights speech that moved the world
Marian Wright Edelman is one of the country's leading advocates for children, Founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF)
Medgar Wiley Evers worked to end racism in America. His murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar.
Rosa Parks made history when she refused to sit in the back of the bus.
Sojourner Truth – Preacher, lecturer, and abolitionist. Though she was illiterate, she became a masterful orator and traveled across the country, preaching on "a mission of truth."
Susie King Taylor was a pioneer in the struggle for African American women's rights.
W.E.B. Dubois was a leading 19th century writer and scholar.
Asian Freedom Fighters
Aung San Suu Kyi - Has dedicated her life to freeing Burma from a repressive dictatorship and creating democracy without violence.
Aung San Suu Kyi Under House Arrest Even as Myanmar Honors her Father
Newly Released Democracy Icon Aung San Suu Kyi Vows to Continue Fight for Human Rights
Bhagat Singh an Indian freedom fighter who gained support when he underwent a 64-day fast in jail, demanding equal rights for Indian and British political prisoners
Kailash Satyarthi is determined to end child labor practices around the world.
VIDEO: Kailash Satyarthi : The New Heroes
Liu Xiaobo is a Chinese literary critic, writer, professor, and human rights activist who called for political reforms and the end of communist one-part system
NEWS: Nobel Peace Ceremony Goes Ahead
with Empty Chair for Winner, Liu Xiaobo
NEWS: Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Jailed Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo
Mahatma Gandhi – used non-violence to free India from British rule.
Jawaharlal Nehru – First Prime Minister of independent India who played an important role in India's freedom struggle
Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta is Kerry Kennedy's hero because of his human rights work in East Timor.
Kim Dae Jung, the fifteenth President of Korea is mainly known for his opposition to and lifelong struggle against the authoritarian rule in Korea.
Mohammad Hatta was a central figure in Indonesia's fight for independence.
Qasim Amin was a forerunner in the fight for women's liberation in the Islamic world.
Quaid-E-Azam helped to create the nation of Pakistan and obtain significant political rights for Muslims
RAWA promotes women's rights through non-violent action.
Reverend Peter Nguyen Van Hung works to end human trafficking of Vietnamese women workers and brides.
Sardar Patel was one of Mohandas Gandhi's closest associates
Subhash Chandra Bose was India's most visionary and fierce activist in the pre-independence era.
Tunku Abdul Rahman – Founding Father of independent 'Malaysia'
The Dalai Lama is the religious leader of Tibet and an emblem of Tibet's hopes for freedom.
Asian American Freedom Fighters
Art Miki founded the National Association for Japanese Canadians to help redress Japanese rights lost during WWII.
Fred Korematsu bravely protested the Japanese-American internment.
Richard Aoki: The Japanese Black Panther – the only Asian American member to attain a formal leadership position.
Native American Freedom Fighters
Black Elk: Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux, wrote the famous Autobiography, Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
Black Hawk was the fiercest and most powerful opponent of the English
Cochise – Apache leader who held out against the American invasion.
Chief Joseph - Led the Nez Perce tribe in an effort to keep its homeland.
Chief Pontiac defended the Great Lakes Region from the invasion and occupation of the British Troops.
Crazy Horse bravely fought for the freedom of the Sioux Nation
Geronimo was a great military and spiritual leader of the Apaches, who led the last great Native American uprising.
Hiawatha – formed the Five Nations of the Iroquois confederacy.
Osceola led the Seminoles in their battle for independence.
Red Cloud led the Sioux people in Red Cloud's War, the most successful war ever waged by a Native American against the US military.
Russell Means is famous speaker for the American Indian Movement (AIM) and advocate for matriarchy
Sitting Bull was a holy man and a Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux medicine man. He was famous for his premonition of winning against Col. Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn, which came true.
Tecumseh united other Indian tribes and they battled the Americans
Caucasian American Freedom Fighters
Abraham Lincoln was a U.S president who fought for the abolition of slavery while keeping the country united.
American diplomat, who on February 6, 1778, finally negotiated the Treaty of Commerce And Defense Alliance with King Louis XVI, the turning point of the American Revolution.
Betty Williams is the President of the 'World Centers of Compassion for Children' and the Chairperson of 'Institute for Asian Democracy'.
Clara Shortridge Foltz was the first woman to practice law in California.
Deborah Sampson dressed as a man so that she could fight in America's Revolutionary War.
Eleanor Roosevelt was a champion for freedom and devoted her life to gaining rights for others
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a pioneer in the movement for women's rights.
Emma Lazarus was an advocate for immigrants' rights and wrote the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
Emmeline Pankhurst fought tirelessly for women's suffrage, and succeeded.
George Washington led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War against the Kingdom of Britain
Inez Milholland Boissevain lived a brief but spectacular life dedicated to women's suffrage.
John Adams worked as hard for peace for the United States as he did for its independence.
Lydia Maria Child wrote brilliantly to advocate for the abolition of slavery.
Mary Harris Jones worked to free men, women, and children from industrial slavery
Paul Revere risked his life for the freedom of the American colonies.
Ralph Bunche known for the formation and administration of the United Nations, won Nobel Peace Prize (1950)
Robert F. Kennedy was a voice for the powerless and advocate for human rights.
Roger Nash Baldwin – Helped found the American Civil Liberties Union
Susan B. Anthony led the early Women's Suffrage Movement.
Thomas Jefferson helped the American Colonies achieve independence from Britain.
European Freedom Fighters
Alexander Nevsky - Medieval Russian prince who saved Russia from the Teutonic Knights (old Russian movie made about him in the 1930s)
Albert II, King of the Belgiums – In World War I, Germany over ran 99% of his country. Through shear will he held what was left of the army together to hold on to the remaining 1% until victory was achieved.
Fadela Amara is recognized throughout France as a champion of women's rights.
Francisco Madero – led the overthrow of the Mexican dictator Díaz.
Jan Žižka – Bohemian czech freedom fighter general – was mostly blind during final victories
Michael Collins – IRA hero who led Southern Ireland to freedom (Liam Nieson movie)
Robert "Rob Roy" Roy Mac Gregor – Scottish hero who brought down corrupt English officials. Two movies about him.
Inge Sargent is a Burmese princess devoted to human rights for all.
Lech Walesa – Known For his Struggle as Trade Union Activist and Human Rights Activist, won Nobel Peace Prize 1983
Moses led the Jews from slavery and gave them religious laws.
Oskar Schindler saved almost 1200 Jews during the Holocaust.
William Wallace was a freedom-fighter for Scotland and Ireland in the early 1300s.
Winston Churchill was one of the first to recognize and warn others of Hitler's danger to freedom and human rights.
Yasir Arafat is the founding father of Palestinian nationalism, also considered the godfather of 20th century terrorism.
Yitzhak Rabin helped form the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians and the Peace Treaty with Jordan. Won the Nobel Peace Prize (1994).
Latin, Central and South American Freedom Fighters
Augusto Sandino was a Nicaraguan revolutionary and leader of a rebellion against the U.S. military
Camilo Torres dubbed the "revolutionary priest", founder of the National Liberation Army (ELN), a Colombian left-wing guerrilla group
Cesar Chavez - A tireless advocate for migrant farm workers. and founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW).
Che Guevara – Argentine Marxist revolutionary major figure of the Cuban Revolution
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is known as the 'Mandela of Cuba' because he bravely defends the rights of Cuban citizens.
Emiliano Zapata – Father of the Zapatistas, he was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution
Jose Marti is considered the father of Cuba's battle for independence.
Farabundo Marti was a social activist and Communist leader in El Salvador.
Fidel Castro is a revolutionary figure and former Prime Minister of Cuba who served the country from 1959 to 1976 and gained a reputation of an anti- capitalist who openly refuted the American dominance in Asian countries
Oscar Arias Sanchez – Famous for helping end Civil War in Central America and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987