How Has Oppression, Resistance and Inequality Changed From the 1800s to Date

How Has Oppression, Resistance and Inequality Changed From the 1800s to Date

In the United States, inequality, oppression and resistance has been a constant part of the society since time immemorial. Inequality is the treatment of people differently based on their race, ethnicity and social class. The United States became united in the year 1865. At this point, the slaves were granted citizenship and integrated into the society. However, soon after, Jim Crow popularized segregation, all the rights the slaves had acquired were withdrawn. Inequality was more severe where the former black slaves were being prevented from exercising their basic rights like voting and access to public facilities. Oppression is where by the segregation is taken a notch higher and the victims are treated in ways that demean humanity. For instance, the black people were given second class status in the society where the white people were free to spite them at will. Resistance is the urge by the people to revolt against the oppression and segregation. The segregation is likely to put a strain to the people being marginalized so much that they form a resistance movement. In the United States, the segregation, oppression and resistance have changed over time where now the African Americans can vote, get elected, study and even work and earn equal salaries as their white counterparts unlike during the times when the Jim Crow laws were enacted in the southern states in the years 1865 and 1866.

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Oppression in the United States was established when the slaves were condemned to a life of slavery for their generations to follow as well. The children of slaves were automatically made slaves as in the chapter three of the book, “Give me Liberty.” Black women were required to pay poll taxes. This was meant to reduce the desire by the women to participate in the voting. The voting rights of the black people were limited and this was a way of ensuring that oppression was passed down generations. This has since changed because there is no slavery today and voting is a right rather than a favor as it was in those years. The oppression of the black people today is frowned upon and can be contested in a court of law. The government today does not take it lightly when people are oppressed. At the same time, today there is more awareness among people on human rights. Whatever happens in the United States is no longer private. It is a problem that the United States citizens can communicate with the outside world and get help in protesting against the practice. The unity of the world today against injustices can be attributed to the development of technology. The incident in Libya today is a clear indication that slavery cannot be practiced today and people allow it. The Jim Crow laws made racial segregation legal in the Southern states where the African Americans were treated as second class citizens. This is the true face of discrimination. The African Americans were taken away from their homes in Africa and when their slavery was abolished they remained in the United States where the Jim Crow laws made their existence difficult.

Segregation in the United States changed and reduced significantly over time to a point where people off all races have near equal opportunities in the society which has since changed how the African Americans and the white people interact. There are no longer places set aside for the African Americans in the trains, schools, work places and other social spaces. The African Americans can now vote unlike during the times when the Jim Crow laws. Black people were not allowed to participate in the militia in Virginia. The status of the slavery was passed down through the mother. This may have encouraged the whites to abandon their responsibilities when they fathered children with black women. The segregation was made a permanent state when in Virginia it was made law. This made it difficult and almost impossible for the former slaves to gain independence. 

The resistance in the United States was hard to achieve and succeed because the black people needed to revolt in order for their rights to be honored as opposed to today where they are fighting against police brutality and judicial injustice. Today the fight by the black people is more modern and the problems they are facing are modern as well. In the 1870s, the blacks needed to resist segregation and the condemnations of their generations to slavery. Bacon was a revolution leader. He took control of the city and led in the abolition of the property qualifications as a voting threshold. When he died these were put back in place and only the rich people could vote. This was a problem that all the people living in Virginia at the time had to contend with regardless of their race. The poor people could not vote even if they were white. After his death, slavery increased. Resistance was bound to start taking place because Virginia passed the laws that ensured that the slaves would never be free no matter what they did. The resistance that led to the freeing of many slaves and the segregation was reversed and racism increased. Today, this has thus changed and the clearest indication was when America had a black president. Additionally, today, black people have achieved milestones and professionals like Ben Carson are recognized. Resistance paid out when slavery was eventually abolished and political freedom achieved after Martin Luther King Junior set people on the path to fight for their rights. He is one of the most famous human rights activist to have ever lived worldwide.

To conclude; the resistance that was put up as a result of the suffering people went through as slaves and people of a different race. The freedom that Americans of all races enjoy today cannot be ignored. The American people are enjoying freedom today as a result of the resistance that was started by the slaves in the 1870s and carried on till the African Americans finally have a right to vote, equal level of education, equal rights to employment and the society is more liberal on human rights. The resistance today is against problems that are there today. The African Americans are not segregated today openly as it happened during that time. People today are more informed and aware that they need to be free as long as they have citizenship. Today, slavery is condemned and is seen as a violation of human rights. During the times when segregation was sky high, the African Americans along with all the other slaves resisted the move to make them permanent slaves. It is important to note how much change has taken place since the 1870s.


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Crews, Ed. 2017. “Voting in Early America.” Colonial Williamsbury. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Euronews. 2016. “US: Barack Obama- The Legacy of First African-American President.” EURONEWS. November 8. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Exodux, Black. n.d. “Recostruction and Its Aftermath.” Forever Free. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Foner, Eric. 2011. Give Me Liberty. W. W. Norton& Company.

Junior, Martin Luther King. 1963. Letter from Birmingham Jail. Document. Birmingham, August.

Kenneth, David. 2017. “What Happened to African Americans During 1877-1920?” Classroom. Accessed December 8, 2017.

Levenson, Eric. 2017. UN Security Cuncil Condemns heinous abuses of Lybian Slave Trade. December 8. Accessed December 8, 2017.

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