black studies 169

black studies 169 - Madison Jesseman Black Studies 169...

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Madison Jesseman Black Studies 169 Winter Quarter-2011 3-16-11
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The United States of America is looked at by most of the world as a land of opportunity. A place where people of all races can have equal chances to achieve greatness and the much desired “American Dream.” Although America does embrace such ideology much more than other parts of the world, it is far from perfect. There are still conflicts involving race happening every day, and all across the nation. However, things are much better than they used to be. During the late 1800s, the America we know today was a much different place. Even after Blacks helped build the countries economy and helped in the Civil War effort, racist attitudes were seen day-to-day. President Abraham Lincoln stated that the civil war might not have been a victory if not for the effort put in by African American soldiers (Glory, 1989). Not only did they strengthen the Northern army in numbers, but they scared the southerners idealistically as well. Southerners had been afraid of slaves rising up and fighting back in the many previous years (Franklin, 1994, p.3). One would assume that due to the role black soldiers played during the Civil War that they would be treated more like free men, and less like slaves. This, unfortunately, was never the case. During the Civil War, Blacks were treated just as unfairly as ever before, despite the contributions and sacrifices they were making for the nation. Racism and segregation were an everyday occurrence, and there was no governing body to prevent it from happening. The nation needed the help of Blacks during the Civil War, but was unwilling to acknowledge their contributions while they took place. I argue that Blacks entered the army in hopes of fighting alongside white men and being treated as equals. Instead, Blacks faced racism and segregation just as bad, if not worse, than before the start of the Civil War. Because of these mistreatments, Blacks moved towards an abolition democracy in hopes that the 2
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government would start meeting their needs. In the historical movie “Glory,” starring Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, the 54 th regiment of the Civil War is looked at. This certain regiment is the first military group of all black soldiers. Throughout the movie, it is obvious how much worse the country treats Blacks than Whites. The Blacks who lived at this time both in the movie and in real life are met with racism and segregation at every turn of their lives. They often must live in fear of racist acts that can easily turn violent (Johnson, 1/24/11). There is little to be done about this however, because the white commanders with high rank in the union army show little interest about the 54 th regiment and how well they are being treated. It is up to the soldiers to struggle towards an abolition democracy in order to secure their natural rights both during and after the war. Personal struggles, racism, death, and segregation are all themes looked at closely through the film. We get to
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course BLST 169 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

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black studies 169 - Madison Jesseman Black Studies 169...

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