The words "all men are created equal" were written into the Declaration of Independence, however, those words fall upon deaf ears in America if you were born black. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation declared "all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thencefoward, and forever free," yet still did not mark the end of slavery. It virtually went ignored and led to the 13th Amendment which states "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States..." The ratification of the 13th amendment in January of 1865 was intended to represent a new beginning in America where blacks could reap the benefits of an equal America where their chances of success would increase. That ideology was met with swift opposition and led the Democratic Party creating the Ku Klux Klan in December of 1865. 

In 1870, multiple black men were elected into Congress, and, within 1 year Congress took action against the KKK and passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, which labeled them a terrorist organization. As blacks began to flourish in America, the ideology of an equal society wasn't feasible, and the racism began to show its face throughout America on a local level. Jim Crow laws were implemented to prevent black growth, symbolizing the beginning of a new form of slavery. After 75 years of Jim Crow, the civil rights era came marching in with Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Malcolm X. The fight for civil rights was on, and it was gaining momentum with every speech, vote, and protest. 

The tumultuous tales of the 1950's and 60's include stories of sit-ins, marches, protests, riots, and integration. Although blacks had the right to vote since 1865, there were many laws in place to keep blacks from actually making it to the polls. After George W. Lee was assassinated for voting and persuading other blacks to do so as well, it was clear that further action was necessary to ensure black voters could vote without fear. The Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were implemented to further amplify the point that the Jim Crow Era was over. 

As the calendar flipped to the 70's and 80's, the black power movement began to take a back seat. Fighters like The Black Liberation Army and The Black Panthers were viewed as extremists by other blacks who were now appeased with integration. As a new generation was born, the ideology of yesterday was forgotten, crack was on the streets, hip hop was taking shape, and black men were becoming million dollar athletes and movie stars. Individualism became more important than the collective community which has led to an every man for himself mentality.  

The 2008 election of Barack Obama symbolized the end of systematic racism in the White House, but not necessarily in America. The disproportionate number of black males incarcerated vs their white counterparts, recent police shootings of black males vs white males, and drop out rates indicate that systematic oppression continues, and the popularity of Donald Trump's rhetoric is further proof that America is still not ready to tackle the issue of race.  #News #Immigration #Government