Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A New Dawn For America

It is just amazing

Yes the polls suggested it

And yes the campaigns alluded to it

But now it is a reality, it is just an amazing truth

The american people have by a landslide chosen an African American as their next leader!

You may not realize how ground breaking this is but a little look at history

First African American slaves arrive in Virginia in 1619 and slavery was first legalized in 1641.

Slavery carried on for 2 centuries and was eventually abolished in 1865 by the passing of the thirteenth amendment to the United staes constitution

The picture is of an african slave with keloids [raised scars] on his back as a result of whipping by his supervisor

The majority of the slaves came from the west coast of Africa

During the American war of independence, initially both the revolutionaries and the loyalists recruited black slaves into their armies.

However for a short period, George Washington put a ban on recruiting black soldiers. However due to man power shortages He lifted the ban in 1776

The loyalists promised there fighting black men their freedom but on losing the war, the americans declared all slaves 'property' to be returned

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation, freeing all slaves in the southern states.

In 1865 the thirteenth amendment was passed abolishing slavery in the united states and the fourteenth amendment 3 years later granted full american citizenship to all african americans.

1870 saw the passage of the fifteenth amendment which meant that for the first time, African Americans men could vote.

Despite winning there freedom, African americans still had the battle of equality to fight
There was the era of segregation
Every thing from restaurants to water fountains to cinemas had the separate entrances and separate waiting rooms for black 'coloured' and white

In 1955, the practice was for black people to sit at the back of the bus and to get up and give up their sit for any white person that did not have one

Rose Parks was the third woman in records to refuse to give up her sit when asked to by the bus driver

This was not a woman of great social status but one who had worked as a domestic and a hospital aide

Living in a house that often witnessed a klan parade, it is not surprising that she became involved in the civil rights movement and was secretary to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People [NAACP]

Her refusal to give up her sit on the bus in 1955 sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which ran from December 1 1955 to December 20 1956

The Boycott was lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a Baptist minister who achieved international renown for his civil rights activities

Dr. Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel peace prize for working for an end to racial segregation and racial discrimination through non violence and civil disobedience in 1964. At that time he was the youngest person ever to win the Nobel prize

On the steps of the Lincoln memorial on August 28 1963, Dr. King delivered a speech which has subsequently been labeled one of the greatest speeches of our race

In this speech he says

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Today, The American People elected an African American, Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States

No comments: