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Using your race, ethnicity, and gender write a paper explaining your liberties

if you lived in the US between 1877 and 1928.

The time period between 1877 and 1928 proved to be a revolutionary
period of social, economic, and political transformations in American
history, especially for African American women like myself. As an African
American woman in this time period, I find myself in a country that is
coming off the heels of a civil war that has literally divided the country in
half. Slavery in the United States has officially come to an end with the
ratification of the 13th Amendment. The 14th Amendment to the constitution
is ratified, defining that I am in fact a citizen of this country and invalidating
the ruling of the Dred Scott Case, which ruled that blacks were not citizens.
A series of Reconstruction acts have been passed to ensure that the south
abides with the law of the land and ensuring the civil rights of the
emancipated blacks in the south. The 15th amendments does not give black
woman any suffrage rights but black men now enjoy the right to vote and in
the year 1877 reconstruction finally comes to an end. Even though the
government has tried to provide an effective integration of blacks into
society, their efforts are proven to be useless. After the withdraw of federal
troops from the southern states at the end of Reconstruction in 1877, white

southerners resume state governments and quickly defy the reconstruction

laws designed to protect the rights of the emancipated African Americans.
State governments throughout the southern United States used their political
influence to legalize the discrimination of African Americans; these laws
come to be known as the Jim Crow laws.
The Jim Crow laws and subsequent black codes proved to be a
digressive moment for African American history. The laws were
implemented in the south with the end goal of drastically restricting the
rights of the freed blacks and encouraging racial segregation amongst the
blacks and the whites. The accomplishment of racial segregation between
these two groups led to the forfeiture and abuse of civil liberties for men,
women and children of my color. Every aspect of my life in American
society was affected by the Jim Crow laws including the unalienable rights
given to me by the constitution of the United States. Even though the
Fifteenth Amendment gave all men the right to vote, the southern states used
various policies to prevent African Americans men from voting. Some of the
many tactics they deduced included whites-only primaries, where blacks
were excluded from primaries. Literacy tests required African Americans to
pass extremely difficult tests that, even if you did manage to pass, would be
submitted to pro-segregation white officials for grading. Poll taxes were

used to scare off black men by requiring them to pay a fee when they do not
have much to begin with. Grandfather clauses proved to be the worst
offender amongst these hindrances to our civil liberties. The grandfather
clauses called that if a persons grandfather were eligible to vote previous to
1867, he would then be exempt from the literacy tests and other
impediments. And because no African American could vote till the passing
of the 15th Amendment in 1870, they had to bypass the difficult and
impossible obstacles put in place.
Voting was not the only tactic used by pro-segregation whites to
suppress African American liberties. Several Supreme Court decisions also
undermined the civil rights amendments passed after the civil war. Plessy v.
Ferguson is a Supreme Court case in 1896 where a man named Homer
Plessy was jailed for sitting in a prohibited all-white section in a railroad car.
Plessy was standing up against the unjust laws, which separated railroad
passengers by given races. After being jailed the case climbs up the courts
until it is finally presented into the Supreme Court. Plessy plead that
segregation was constitutionally unjust, but the courts ruled in favor of
whites in the south. In Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court held that the state
government could segregate public transportation and this ruling
consequently validated the separate but equal doctrine, that the south had

adopted, as constitutional. This entailed that African Americans could be

required to be in separate spaces from their white counterparts, including
public transportation, restaurants, and accommodations like schools and
hotels. All this was considered constitutional as long as the accommodations
for the whites and the blacks were considered equal. But they were never
equal because blacks would always get the dingy and second-hand
accommodations. The Jim Crow laws robbed us African American men and
women of our rights, which were given to us with the 13th, 14th, and 15th
amendments, but subsequently were being enjoyed by our white neighbors.
The Jim Crow laws would terrorize black men and women for a
century. The force of the Jim Crow laws and the malicious polices of the
southern government left African Americans, who shouted FREE AT
LAST when finally free from the hands of their planation owners, now
defeated, weak, and without a voice. The laws caused a degeneration of civil
liberties for people like me all over the United States. The Jim Crow laws
literally stripped people of my race of the liberties and equality they finally
thought they had. This time period in history made it very difficult for
people like me to utilize freedom of speech without serious risk to their
livelihoods and their life in general. Many African Americans, like myself,
lost their lives as a result of this malicious discriminatory and segregation

laws. But many would rise and not be defeated and fought hard to prove
separate could never be equal. Men like W.E.B Du Bois founded social
reformation groups like The National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People to bring about social change. People like Du Bois,
motivated people of my race to stand up for their rights and fight even
though their lives were in great danger most of the time.
Because the Jim Crow laws mandated that African Americans to use
separate and inferior facilities than their white counterparts, many African
Americans in the south, faced hostile and life-threatening social, economical
and political hardships in everyday life. This prompted a migration in the
early 20th century of an estimated 500,000 African American southerns. This
was a time that justice in the south did not extend to African Americans like
myself so many people of my color migrated to the north for the hope of
equal protection under the law and a brighter future than those of violence
and extreme poverty in the south. This Great Migration, as its known to be
called, transformed social, political, economical cultures of black men and
women in the United States. Migrating to the north affected African
American social liberties because many social problems would come about
after the large influx of African American in northern social life and
economy. The African Americans that had moved to the north lived less than

prosperous lives as some had hoped. Problem rose with increasing

competition with other migrants and northern whites for employment in
labor jobs and living spaces. This caused many of my people to live in
ghettos or poor slums of people of like race. The migrated African
Americans were forced to live in extremely impoverished conditions that
made them easy targets to violent crimes and diseases. This competition of
livelihood caused strife between the races and this just led to more racism
and prejudice that they experienced in the south. More problems arose when
business owners would hire migrated southern because they worked for less
pay and could be used as strikebreakers if the white union workers ever
decided to go on strike. This made the northern white man in the workforce
easily replaceable and this did not sit well with the whites in the north. Black
people rights started being compromised with segregated housing and
residential areas, mimicking the Jim Crow doctrines that haunted them in the
south. This proved to many blacks that racism was not just a problem in the
south, but also a problem of a country. African Americans experienced the
same hindrances to civil liberties that they experienced in the south an it was
starting to seem as if there was no place for the black man. Though it was
not all bad for these migrated blacks. Many African Americans used this
change as a positive way to change their lot in life and took the opportunity

to find work in factories and some even started new business and were
A few years after the Great Migration begins, the United States is
forced to declare war on Germany in 1917 and this propels American
involvement in World War I. During World War I the United States
experienced many changes that changed the life of many African American
men and women. Some changes included the influx men and women,
colored and white into the American workforce. The Americans who stayed
behind, instead of engaging in combat, found wartime opportunities in the
north with the booming of the industrial economy during the war. Even
though black woman were especially limited to domestic jobs, large amounts
of black men entered into the labor industries like manufacturing and
automobile. Many African Americans, migrants or not, decided to join the
efforts to help America win WWI in 1917. Even though there was a great
divide in the black community who thought African Americans should even
fight along side the country that has been so malicious and cruel to them.
Despite the fact, many African Americans still rose to the occasion to defend
the country.
African Americans tolerated an excessive amount of racism during
their time served in the military. Civil liberties in this time were greatly

compromised with racial abuse and violence. Blacks were assigned to lowrank positions even though they fought just as hard as the white soldiers.
Some African Americans saw these ill treatments as just another route that
white people have used to undermine the black man but some saw an
opportunity to prove their patriotism and loyalty to a country they believed
was rightfully theres. They hoped to mark their place as equal citizens in a
nation that has yet to acknowledge the fact. Even though these men were
given low-rank jobs, such as workers, meal aides, and laundry men, these
seemingly minuscule jobs benefitted the war effort a great deal. Black men
showed impressive efficiency and dedication with 24-hour shifts unloading
of supplies for the soldiers and making sure they had all they needed to fight
the Germans. These accomplishments aided many African Americans to
climb up the ranks and get the respect of their white counterparts.
Black women also experienced a great increase in civil liberties during
WWI. Women contributed a great amount of service to the war even though
they did not contribute in battlefield combat. Because many men were
drafted or they voluntarily subjected themselves for the war, women had to
take on many of the job positions previously deemed for men. Women left
their domestic roles and contributed to the war efforts by serving directly in
aid work in military branches and some held down the American economy

by taking on jobs in industries and factories. During this time, more than a
million women worked in labor jobs all over the United States.
Unfortunately the increase in liberties would be short lived. After the Treaty
of Versailles was signed in 1919 women would be forced to leave their
newly found jobs and freedom to return back to the domestic jobs that they
once had. Returning male workers did not want to compete with woman for
jobs that were once solely theirs and the court system sided with the men.
Though this seemed to be a major setback for women at the time, in 1920
the 19th Amendment grated women the right to vote and women could now
influence public policy and ultimately their lives.