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social stratification of african americans

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SOCIAL STRATIFICATION OF AFRICAN AMERICANS Social stratification is not an isolated phenomenon. It is a result of series of events, incidents, protests and struggle. Race, class and gender have always been some of the key pillars on which stratification rests as Andersen and Collins (1998) noted, "Race, gender, and class are interlocking categories of experience that affect all aspects of human life. . . and are indeed the basis for many social problems." (p.3) African Americans have had to face an uphill task in the American society to achieve equal status which I am afraid is still a dream. But they have come a long way since the days of slavery and their current status in American society can be best illustrated with a brief overview of historical changes. Slavery of the first and most painful prejudice that African Americans had to face when they came or were forced to come to the United States. Slavery was inconsistent with the ideals incorporated in the Constitution and yet it was allowed by the founding fathers because they wanted to preserve the Union at all costs. ...read more.


Finally in 1960s, African Americans did something meaningful to effectively curtail discrimination and get civil rights- they launched the civil rights movement which later made monumental advances in the United States during the 1960s under the leadership of people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The bus boycott played a significant role in the Civil rights Movement as Roberta Wright wrote, "It helped to launch a 10-year national struggle for freedom and justice, the Civil Rights Movement that stimulated others to do the same at home and abroad." It was quite surprising that even one century after the official abolition of slavery, black people were not allowed to vote. When in 1950s, new job opportunities emerged and the employment rate increased dramatically, black community was again hit with ugly realization that they were not being treated equally, and they came to the conclusion that Civil rights policies in the past had failed to give them equal opportunities and thus Kennedy administration was forced to pass the civil rights bill in 1963 that paved the way for Civil Rights Act of 1964. ...read more.


has defined profiling as "the process of analyzing various aspects of violent crime to derive a set of hypotheses about the characteristics of an unknown assailant. The ultimate goal of profiling is to assist in the successful apprehension and conviction of the perpetrator" (p. 475). These people are seen as a threat and the law can at least keep an eye on their activities. These people also usually turn out to be blacks. This is clear and obvious case of racial prejudice. "There is racial profiling on our streets, highways and in shopping malls. Along with Hispanic youth, black persons are treated more severely than white teenagers at every step of the juvenile justice system. According to last spring's report by the Youth Law Center, blacks are six times more likely than whites to be sent to prison by juvenile courts, and demonstrably more likely to be tried as adults, and, of course, more likely to receive the death penalty." (Strickland, 2001) The country we are so proud of has not exactly been an ideal place for African Americans. The society has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of blacks by treating them unfairly in many arenas and by subjecting them to such biased practices as racial profiling. ...read more.

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