The Marginalization of Black People in the United States
What would happen if black people had power since the beginning of the slave trade? Unfortunately, African Americans have always struggled throughout history with racism in the United States. Leaders who have been marginalized have used resistance strategies against the oppression of the United States and empowering themselves so their future generations do not suffer the same obstacle as they did. Marginalized communities best accomplish societal change by using resistance strategies of economic boycott, voter registration, and self-empowerment.
This paper will examine three main case studies, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the Black Panther Party, in order to better understand how African Americans have gained power in an oppressive society through various resistance. Marginalized means being separated from society without an active voice and getting judged because of your personality. Some marginalized groups include African-Americans, and undocumented immigrants and poor people. African Americans have been looking for desegregation and equality for a long time especially in the south. Undocumented people are marginalized because they don’t have papers in the US they do not get the same opportunities as others do. Poor people are not treated the same way rich people get treated they are discriminated because of their balance is not the same as the rich people. These groups have been struggling for a long time in the United States since the beginning of the slave trade the groups have been looking for equality. These groups are struggling against inequality because they don’t have enough power. Some of the ways these marginalized groups gained power are by protesting for their rights and get people attention that will help them make a change. In the United States, one marginalized group that has been fighting for power since the founding of this country have been African Americans. They have been captured in their homeland where they were born in Africa. In the face of extreme oppression, African Americans have been resisting.
One historical example, where African Americans resisted, was The Amistad Revolt (1839). Many African were captured in their Island while slavery was already illegal many Spanish started trading items for humans. A group of 53 Africans was kidnapped and sold into Spanish slave trade from Cuba however in the boat called the Amistad a slave named Cinque broke out his chains and released the other Africans. The slaves were angry because they were taken from there home so they resist by killing most of the crew of the Amistad. (The Amistad Revolt 1839) As you can see people have been resisting for a long time and fight for their freedom. A boycott is an economic resistance strategy that was extremely effective in the fight against segregation on public buses in Montgomery, Alabama because black bus riders had economic power as a majority of bus users. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a civil-rights protest during which African Americans refused to ride city buses in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest segregated seating. According to the President of the Women’s Political Council, Jo Ann Robinson, “Mayor Gayle, three-fourths of the riders of these public conveyances are Negroes. If Negroes did not patronize (use) them, they could not possibly operate. More and more of our people are already arranging with neighbors and friends to ride to keep from being insulted and humiliated by bus drivers” (Robinson, WPC). This quote shows that Jo Ann Robinson demonstrates to the mayor that black people also have power. If all the black people refuse to take the bus, then the bus companies will make less money and decline. According to this quote, Montgomery black riders, have power because if they do not take the bus the mayor would not be able to make money from the riders. The people that take the bus the most are black women. In this quote, black women, are marginalized because they always get insulted and discriminated by a bus driver. The reason why that happens is that black women take the bus the most because they work in white people houses this type of work required them to take the bus it is a faster way to arrives.
Jo Ann Robinson introduces a resistance strategy, economic boycott, meaning that black women refuse to participate and ride the buses, which will make the economy go down. The resistance strategy, Economic boycott, contributes to societal change because black people realize that they have their own power and they can use it to change the lives of future children so they do not suffer the same thing that their grandparents did suffer. Black people did not change all segregated places in the US I believe that it was just the beginning of the process. As we can see black people had to come up with their own strategy to start an end of segregation. Voter registration is a political resistance strategy that was used in Mississippi during the 1964 Freedom Summer in order to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi as we know Mississippi has more black people than white people it was the perfect place to start the Freedom Summer. This political resistance strategy of voter registration was effective because black people started to gain political power in order to fight for your right you need to be able to vote for a person that supports your community. Black people had been cut off from voting since the turn of the century due to barriers to voter registration and other laws. According to the Co-Founder of The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Fannie Lou Hamer testified at the Democratic National Convention in 1964, she said “All of this is on account of we want to register, to become first-class citizens.
And if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives are threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?” (Hamer). This quote shows Fannie Lou Hamer is wondering about how we heard that they call this country the land of the free and the home of the brave but while black people are struggling this in this country they are taking away their freedom and rights. Police brutality against black citizens happens daily whenever black people are getting arrested. According to this quote, black people, have power because they are the most in the state of Mississippi white people and the government are afraid of seeing black people voting, white people do not want to see any change they already have power. In this quote, black people are marginalized because they are getting threatened every day they receive a call from white southerners from Mississippi that they will get killed or get attacked if they go to register. As we know many people will be afraid to try to register which makes them powerless. Fannie Lou Hamer introduces a resistance strategy, Political power, and participation, meaning that they all have a right to vote and participate in any event that involved all Americans. If we are living in a country where there are two or more races the government should not only have one party it should also let black people vote because we all have the same right. The political resistance strategy, voter registration, contributes to societal change because 170000 black people participated and registered they have the right to vote for any politician that will change their lives.
The Black Panther Party is a great example of the resistance strategy of self-empowerment. The Black Panther Party was an organization that was here to patrol African American neighborhoods to protect residents from acts of police brutality it started in Oakland in 1966. The founders of the black panther party are Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Elbert Howard they started this organization for self-defense of minority communities against the US government. “Black Power is giving power to people who have not had the power to determine their destiny”. (Huey P. Newton). According to Huey P. Newton, he’s one of the leaders of the black panther party. He is trying to say that those who have not had power yet black is giving them power so they can control their own future not what others want for them. According to this quote, black power means that black people are taking control of their own lives, setting goals and making choice for themselves. White supremacy (white power) means white people having control of society and have the belief that they are superior to all those other races. Especially the black race that they believe they should dominate. Huey P. Newton introduces a resistance strategy, Self-empowerment means that black people are no one’s puppet we are living in this world the same way other people and we will not let any race take control of our futures lives the black panther party want to give the black community their freedom and let them decide for themselves.
The societal change that The black panthers want to see in the United States of America is their right so they could determine their own future in the United States. The director of the FBI will likely say that the Black Panther Party is becoming a threat in the United States and we need to stop them. One quote supporting the counterclaim is “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”( Hoover) This quote supports the counter-claim because the director of the FBI wants to see the end of the black panther party and he is saying that we should try to ban the black panther party before they become a danger in our country. This is an understandable concern, however, the argument of The Black Panther Party is stronger because their organization is not only here to protect black people against police brutality, they also looking for opportunities for their communities. A quote that supports my original claim is “ we want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace”. (10 point program)The Black Panther Party is no threat in the United States they want to be leaving in a humane way the same as the white people are living in the country. This quote supports my original claim because the FBI director is accusing The Black Panther Party of being a threat in the country while the organization is looking for opportunities for their community.
As we can see the director of the FBI is wrong for accusing the Black Panther Party of example the KKK are white people or white supremacy who are here to treated black civilians the director of the FBI has never said a word about that they are a danger this prove you that The government want to end The Black Panther Party because of the power that they were gaining in the United States. Marginalized communities best accomplish societal change by using resistance strategies of economic boycott, voter registration, and self-empowerment. Bus Boycott helps people get power by not consuming money for a company that has no respect for you. Voter registration gives people the power to be able to vote for a leader that will support their community. Realizing you have the power to change society yourself (self-empowerment) gives people power not to only stand for yourself to stand with people that are struggling with the same problem as you go through. These strategies are important today because it helps us come up with our own strategies to stand against an oppressive society.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below