Background information: To describe the African American experience throughout the course of United States history, African American writer Margaret Walker once stated, “Handicapped as we have been by a racist system of dehumanizing slavery and segregation, our American history of nearly five hundred years reveals that our cultural and spiritual gifts brought from our African past are still intact” (On Being Female, Black, and Free; Essays by Margaret Walker, 1997).
Indeed, the African American experience has been a dual story of oppression and resiliency. From the Atlantic slave trade of the 14th-19th centuries to present-day inequalities, African Americans have consistently suffered the injustices of racism and white supremacy despite significant strides towards equality. Through this suffering, however, African Americans have forged strategies for survival and resistance; yet one of the greatest challenges of studying the African American experience is reconciling the history of anti-black oppression with the history of black resistance.
This assignment asks you to examine both the impact of racism on African American lives, and the strategies that Africans have devised to make life more livable in the face of racist injustice.
We have divided the African American experience into four broad chronological eras, from slavery to the civil rights movement (the era of 1970s-present is excluded because our class did not cover this part of the African-American experience):
1.) The Middle Passage and early American Slavery (pre-1793);
2.) Antebellum and Civil War America (1793-1865);
3.) Reconstruction and the Age of Jim Crow (1865-1941);
4.) Civil Rights and Black Power (1941-1970);
Assignment: Select one of the eras listed above. Write an essay of 3-5 pages in which you discuss specific challenges African Americans have faced in regards to racism and white supremacy as indicated by the era you have chosen and the specific ways in which African Americans have demonstrated resistance and resiliency to these obstacles.
Instructions: Your essay must include the following components:
1. An introductory paragraph providing an interpretation of Margaret Walker’s quote along with an overview of the topic.
2. Transition to the body of the essay; indicate the era you have chosen; then, for the era you have chosen, first describe and discuss, with examples, the categories of racial oppression blacks faced during that era. Then, examine the ways in which African Americans demonstrated resiliency and resistance to these obstacles. You are free to interpret notions of resistance as you choose. For instance, you may focus on acts of political resistance, like the organization of slave revolts, the quest for black voting rights, the pursuit of political office, or the establishment of anti-racist social movements. You may also focus on African American culture by examining the development of family life and community, religious worship, or the creation of art and literature. Accurate names, dates, and events must also be included.
3. Your concluding paragraph should summarize your ideas about this topic. It should present your conclusions about the dual role of racism and resiliency in the era you have chosen, and the continued impact of racism and African American resiliency on race relations in the present-day United States.
4. Your essay will need to include references to at least four materials—this may include book chapters from our textbook/ articles/books/ films/documents from instructional resources given to you on Bb—studied and discussed in your class during the semester. You may include additional materials from other sources, if you choose. But, the four cited materials from your course are a minimum.
WRITE ABOUT ” 1.) The Middle Passage and early American Slavery (pre-1793)” which is the first era option in the divided era. So please do not write any thing about the rest and focus in the middle passage era.. MAKE SURE TO WRITE AFULL 3 PAGES,, NOT 2 PAGES AND HALF.
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