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Africans in America

The first Africans in America landed at Jamestown, VA in 1619. There were about 20 or so. These Africans had been on a ship bound for the Indies when the ship was robbed. The thieves carried their hostages to the shores of America and traded them for food. They became Indentured Servants to the people that accepted them in exchange for the food. They were servants for a few years then given their freedom. This freedom lasted for about 40 years. Then toward the end of this time laws were formed that made most blacks slaves.

The slavery of blacks made them need to organize and defend themselves. The first black organization was the Free African Society. This was the first of many such organizations.

As the number of organizations grew so did their influence. The word was spread and the laws had to be changed. On January 31, 1865 the 13th Amendment was established. This ended slavery. The Blacks cried… Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we’re free at last.

Although slavery was over the blacks still had to fight for the principle of “separate but equal”. Booker T. Washington made a famous speech called the “Atlanta Compromise” which spoke of these truths. The supreme court in 1896 upheld this principle in the ruling on the case of Plessy Vs. Ferguson.

“Separate but equal”. This principle has to be upheld over and over again. “Brown vs. Board of Education” was a ruling by the Supreme Court on May 17, 1954 that stated children could not be segregated at school because of race. This is true for jobs, housing, banking, etc. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other great Americans have fought and continue to fight to see the dream of “separate but equal”.