Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

African Americans 1865-1940, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 832

Essay

Introduction

It is ordinary to believe that, following the Civil War, African Americans commenced on a consistent, if uneven, trajectory of moving toward equal status as citizens. The reality is different; if slavery was abolished, the deeply rooted racial bias that enabled slavery to begin with was still very much an active force, and would be well into the mid-20th century. Moreover, this bias, fueled by expressions of it in the major spheres of living, created an exponential effect.  As economic issues and concerns generated political response, so too did the entire culture reflect a disregard for African Americans in more social arenas, such as sports.  These three factors of economics, politics, and leisure come together to illustrate the mass discrimination of African Americans following the Civil War.

Argument

Sharecropping provides evidence of how the South maintained distinctly discriminatory practices that denied African Americans economic opportunities after the war. In one sense, the defeat of the Confederacy triggered a chain of liberating events, such as the granting of full citizenship status to all Americans regardless of race.  Such measures, however, were consistently tempered by the innate barriers blacks faced in that most fundamental source of independence: earning a living.  With the rise of sharecropping, what essentially occurred is that a feudal system, mirroring slavery, simply took the place of slavery.  The difference this time was that poor whites were as victimized by it as blacks, for in sharecropping the farmer pays for the right to work the land, which they do not own.  Theoretically, a sharecropper could purchase land, but the realities of the situation were that, after the landlord was paid, there was never money left for such an investment.  In fact, most sharecroppers remained in cycles of perpetual debt to the owner (Shultz  284). The cycles affected whites as well: “Sharecropping kept both black and poor white Southerners…locked in a kind of debt peonage until after World War II” (Schultz  550). Nonetheless, it was an economic system also clearly in place to repress black progress.

As economics became an instrument in keeping African Americans an oppressed minority, the political aspect of black repression in the years following the Civil War mirrored the intent.  Essentially, the average or poor white Southerner was disenfranchised after the war.  The status they shared with the wealthy, ruling elite of the South was gone with the Union victory, so this population was fearful of losing both its self-worth and means of survival.  The Democratic party seized on this opportunity to assure that population that the racial hierarchy from before the war would still be in place, and no white need worry about being supplanted by a more prosperous, or even equal, African American (Schutlz  265).

Virtually every system in place in these years worked to deny the African American anything resembling a political presence or social status.  This was as true of the North as it was for the South as, again, pressing concerns regarding government corruption and rebuilding the economy eclipsed equality issues.  In the Grant administration, for example, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 would seem to have been a landmark.  However, the legislation still permitted segregation in the school system.  Moreover, and crucially, addressing actual cases of racial discrimination was not provided for by the Act, which translated to its being largely ignored nationally (Schultz  264).  This was a law, essentially, with no enforcement behind it.

Given these critical presences of discrimination in both the national economy and the sociopolitical structure, it was inevitable that racial injustice would further spread to strictly social arenas, such as sports.  Here,  African American baseball provides a template of widespread, segregationist practice.  Before 1920, in fact, there were no official, African American teams, even as many outside of the league system were noted as exceptional (Tygiel  382).  Then, even when a black identity was created in the form of professional leagues, the goal nonetheless remained one of working toward inclusion within the white spheres, which could only happen when sufficient, and only black, achievement emerged.  Exposure, too, perpetuated the issues here.  On one level, mainstream newspapers rarely covered black baseball, just as most white fans did not attend black games.  At the same time, the likely audience for these teams, the African American community, was either unable to afford tickets or working on the Saturdays when games were usually played (Tygiel  387).

Conclusion

If African Americans were on the road to equality after the Civil War, the road would be long and rough.  Sharecropping, marginally better than slavery, still ensured a form of black servitude, as governmental and political movements still allowed for rampant discrimination. This bias was then reflected in tightly segregated baseball.  It may be seen, then, that economics, politics, and leisure  illustrate the mass discrimination of African Americans after the Civil War.

Works Cited

Schultz, Kevin M. HIST: Student Edition.  Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

Tygiel, Jules. “Unreconciled Strivings: Baseball in Jim Crow America.” Mosaic of America, Vol. II, Ed. Hartzell, Larry. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2002-2007.  380-401. Print.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Human Trafficking, Research Paper Example

Human trafficking is definitely one of the most severe problems in contemporary society. “Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people – mostly women and children –are [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1058

Essay

Alternatives to Imprisonment, Essay Example

What alternatives to imprisonment exist to deal with non-violent criminals who are repeat offenders? The populations of prisons around the world and United States in [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

Immunity, Essay Example

What is meant by immunity? What are types of immunity? How does it work to insulate a defendant from criminal prosecution? “In legal contexts, immunity [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 259

Essay

Unappreciated Heroes, Essay Example

Though viewed by many as a great bastion of upward mobility for the black people and other minorities, the United States armed forces have not [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1445

Essay

Hepatitis C, Essay Example

In fact, Hepatitis C is a liver disease, which is caused by Hepatitis C virus, so called HCV infection. “HCV infection sometimes results in an [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 710

Essay

Plato’s The Apology, Essay Example

Plato’s The Apology is a description of the speech, which Socrates makes at the trial when charged with not acknowledging the gods accepted by the [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1264

Essay

Human Trafficking, Research Paper Example

Human trafficking is definitely one of the most severe problems in contemporary society. “Annually, about 600,000 to 800,000 people – mostly women and children –are [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1058

Essay

Alternatives to Imprisonment, Essay Example

What alternatives to imprisonment exist to deal with non-violent criminals who are repeat offenders? The populations of prisons around the world and United States in [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 270

Essay

Immunity, Essay Example

What is meant by immunity? What are types of immunity? How does it work to insulate a defendant from criminal prosecution? “In legal contexts, immunity [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 259

Essay

Unappreciated Heroes, Essay Example

Though viewed by many as a great bastion of upward mobility for the black people and other minorities, the United States armed forces have not [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1445

Essay

Hepatitis C, Essay Example

In fact, Hepatitis C is a liver disease, which is caused by Hepatitis C virus, so called HCV infection. “HCV infection sometimes results in an [...]

Pages: 3

Words: 710

Essay

Plato’s The Apology, Essay Example

Plato’s The Apology is a description of the speech, which Socrates makes at the trial when charged with not acknowledging the gods accepted by the [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1264

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!