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The Lives of African Americans in Satan's Dwelling.

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The Lives of African Americans in Satan's Dwelling Daniel Lim Dr. Sullivan November 3, 2003 Booker T Washington once said, "Cast down your bucket where you are" (Handout). This renowned statement called for whites to work together with blacks in order for mutual progress in society. Not only did they reject this statement in late nineteenth century though the early twentieth century, but they also degraded their treatment to African Americans to an extent that can be described as Satanic. At the close of the nineteenth century, African Americans experienced many social hardships, political suppression, and economic difficulties due to the formation of unequal institutions and the expansion of parallel ideals regarding racial segregation in the United States, especially in the South. Due to the growing social tensions, African Americans felt the implications of a growing sentiment of "separate, but equal". Ironically, this attitude began to change to a "separate, but not equal" belief that coincided with violent activities to African Americans throughout the nation. For example, African Americans faced a structure in prisons called the convict-lease system that mirrored slavery. ...read more.


Thus, African Americans dealt with many obstacles that hindered their movement for social equality. Due to growing animosity, white southerners imposed standards that limited the political freedoms of African Americans. For example, even though African Americans earned the "reputation of law-abiding and law-respecting people" (Washington 20), black disfranchisement occurred by intimidation and terror, which was upheld by the Ku Klux Klan, and the establishment of labor contracts, which included clauses that limited African American's suffrage. Although the implementation of the Fifteenth Amendment gave all male citizens the right to vote, white southerners also instituted literacy tests and the grandfather clause, which excused anyone whose ancestor had voted in 1860. Since many freedmen were illiterate due to a lack of education that they received as slaves and the grandfather clause did not apply to African Americans, white southerners succeeded in creating an oppressive political environment for many African Americans as portrayed in Du Bois's speech where he exclaimed that "the work of stealing the black man's ballot has progressed, and the fifty and more representatives of stolen votes still sit in the nation's capitol" (Du Bois 18). ...read more.


As a result, many African American sharecroppers faced poverty due to soil depletion and land erosion. Due to African Americans' recognition of education as an intrinsic aspect for economic prosperity, they began to emphasize its importance in economic developments as shown in Du Bois's speech where he revealed that "[African Americans] believe in work- [African Americans] are workers- but work is not necessarily education. Education is the development of power and ideal" (Du Bois 19). As Du Boise pointed out, even though work can sometimes result in economic prosperity, work does not guaranteed economic equality. Whereas education not only ensured economic equality, but also created minds, which would bring peace and pursue justice for the African American community. Thus, African American experienced ramifications due to the lack of education, which therefore hindered their economic development. In conclusion, at the close of the nineteenth century, African Americans encountered a growing malice that resulted into social difficulties, political restraints, and economic predicaments. As a result, distraught African Americans throughout the United States reacted to the injustices to their race by forming a crusade to object to the discrimination of African American citizens. Hence, African Americans dogmatically pursued the simple freedoms advocated by Du Bois, Washington, and Wells-Barnett. ...read more.

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