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Research Related to Racial Equality in US History

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Research has shown that about four-in-ten blacks are doubtful that the United States will ever achieve racial equality (Pew Research Center). This clears any benefit of the doubt that doubts that racial inequality has powerfully shaped American history from its beginnings. There has been many cultural changes throughout history, in which, has helped shape where we are now in today’s society. Due to these events, it has developed art by changing multiple people’s point of view in regards to all the cultural differences within that particular time. With that being said, some evolving elements one could take away from this would be determination and fighting for what you believe in.

Folks in the United States like to think of the founding of US colonies and, later, driven by the quest for freedom, initially through religious liberty and the political and economic liberty. American society, back in this historic era, was completely opposed to letting the slaves live like normal human beings. We live with ramifications through that paradox even today. In the strive for their voices to be heard, blacks have made significant headways in the post-civil right age, socially, politically and economically. But amid all these progress, though persistent and troubling issues of poverty, crime, and unemployment, divorce persisted and other forms of crime continued to harm society back in these times. Between 1930-1960, an average of 25 (the least number is five) black men were executed annually for rape throughout the United States, nearly all in the South, whereas for whites, numbers never increased over four and in most years stagnated at zero or one. Racism was a system of plain legal renunciation of equality to people based on race throughout America until the 1960s.

Starting everything off, the Harlem Renaissance was a huge turning point within this era in time. The dictionary defines the word “renaissance” simply as a “cultural rebirth,” or simply put, ‘a rebirth’ or ‘a revival.’ But in this context, it was merely used as a rebirth or revival through African- American Art. The Harlem Renaissance is a prime example of a cultural and artistic explosion and an African-American cerebral reawakening. The Harlem Renaissance was also affiliated with the New Negro Movement, which was more troubled and associated with the development of a renewed American identity as it was tied in with the separation of the old (Bernard 268-287). The New Negro Movement exerted and described what African Americans fought for and how it made them into who they are within todays society through African-Americans themselves. The New Negro Movement ignited arguments as well as considerations about the affiliation between race and art.

Another big element within this era was the Civil Rights movement, some important figures within that time frame known as Lee Rainwater and William Yancey debated to become explicitly aware, that abolishing legal racism would not produce Negro equality”(Skrentny). In the 1970s, there was an eruption of artistic activity in African-American through literature: about twenty-five novels, major dramatic works, and volumes of poetry were released. This incident was referred by some critics of the second renaissance of black women’s literature, where others consider this moment as the advent of black literary postmodernism (Dubey and Goldberg 566-617). Also during the late 1970s, Two influential books titled Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing (1968) and The Black Aesthetic (1971) were published which encompassed the work of creative artists and intellects who devoted themselves to constructing artistic and cultural works to African-Americans. The list is long, but summarily, Statistics have shown that the United States had eight thousand nine hundred and thirty five black officeholders as at 2000. This was a progressive increase for their culture.

As time progressed, the civil rights movement gained noticeably greater national reinforcement than it held earlier. In the 1950s to the beginning of the1960s, the Federal Government began to support these efforts, consequential in the landmark civil rights legislation within the mid 1960s. The Mainstream art culture movement appealed to the specificity of art by proposing aesthetic separatism, sponsored a nationalistic approach to literature, beheld art as a weapon, and had intentions to withdraw from the dialogue with White society. The bulk of this kind of writing is permeated with race pride. The contributors of the two anthologies included such prominent Black Arts era figures as Amiri Baraka (LeRoy Jones), Sonia Sanchez, Ed Bullins, Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), Gwendolyn Brooks, and others (Daina).

Men like Benjamin Quarles helped with inspiring and teaching of African-American history. Quarles and John Hope used several different methods in order to combine knowledge within black colleges by teaching black history that is now well established in mainline universities. In the 21st century, black history is regarded as mainstream since the gesture made by President Jimmy Carter, it’s celebrated every February in the United States during February. Proponent’s of Black History believes that it promotes diversity, develops self-esteem, and corrects myth and stereotypes (Wikipedia; Ray et al. 149-154), although there is some argument against it. Also, the birth of several contemporary black women writers like Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, continued with several central themes in African-American women’s literary tradition such as female friendship, exploration and discovery of identity, racial abuse and sexual violence, the importance of ancestry. In 1993, Toni Morris won a Nobel Prize by implementing several themes which included an involvement of black women, female friendship, motherhood, clashes between blacks and whites, a black man’s violence, his irresponsibility, immorality, black racism, black people’s inferiority complex, with that being said, their acceptance of the models of caucasion society and stereotypes forced them. This economic/ political awakening of numerous artistic voices had consequential effect and had led to the limelight Political icons like Jesse Jackson (Civil right leader), Douglas Widler , and Moseley-Braun in 1992. With all that being said, the biggest theme that can be taken away from all this is determination and to fight for what you believe in.

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