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blackstudies1 - Bianchi 1 Sarah Bianchi Lipsitz...

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Bianchi 1 Sarah Bianchi Lipsitz Introduction to Black Studies 18 October 2007 The Struggle for Equality Since the first (black people) Africans became (forced inhabitants) brought over in chains in terrible conditions of America centuries ago, their lives here have been a constant battle. It is undeniable that circumstances regarding racial equality have made tremendous progress today when compared to the not so distant past when slavery was legalized, lynching was common public festivity, and nearly every imaginable aspect of life seemed segregated. Society has both intentionally and unintentionally been holding people back on the basis of nothing more than the color of their skin, and has forced people of color (to try) take out to do everything within their power to turn around this unfortunate reality. The “five stairsteps” are symbolic of the tools black people in America used to survive. They represent the ways that they took what was meant to oppress them and turned those potentially devastating factors into tools of liberation this is called turning hegemony on its head . The “crossroads” are another symbol of the steps blacks have taken to create a better life for themselves. The “crossroads” are a place that one reaches where one can see in multiple directions and opposite worlds collide – my ta said a crossroads is a meeting of two things . The black people in America have encountered many crossroads since they first arrived here. When the first slave ship docked and its captives were forced onto American soil, they were at a crossroads that
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would forever change their lives and the lives of every generation of individuals to Bianchi 2 follow, leaving behind their old lives and their own personal history to forcibly become a defining albeit negative factor in the history of a new nation. Every important development in the history of blacks involved someone coming to a crossroads in their life. Professor Charles M. Payne composed a profound work devoted to telling the stories of the struggle for freedom in the state of Mississippi, I’ve Got the Light of Freedom . The tales he recounts are often horrific but also reveal strength, and describe the choices made by many incredible individuals when reaching crossroads, and ultimately relate to each and every one of the five stairsteps. His second and third chapters in particular focus on six individuals who were vital to the struggle for freedom: Amzie Moore, Medgar Evers, Aaron Henry, Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and Myles Horton. Each of them came to one or more crossroads in their lives and made decisions that would reshape the lives of blacks in America in some way. (The) take out George Rawick( ‘s) (piece) article , “The Religion of the Slaves,” and Kathy Glass’ article on civil rights leader Anna Julia Cooper, “Tending to the Roots,” are two more writings that delve into similar aspects of the journey to establish equality amongst all races.
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