African- Americans

Africans were slaves in the United States in the 1600's. The change from African Americans being slaves to the first black president was a slave but progressive time. In 1787 slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory . The U.S, Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808. In 1793 Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor. In 1820 The Missouri Compromise bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri. In 1831, Nat Turner an enslaved African-American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of followers launch a short, bloody, rebellion in Southampton County,Virginia . The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws. In 1857 The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.1865 is a major year in terms of setting the slaves free and giving them some freedom. In March Congress establishes the Freedman's Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks. In May the Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates. December 6th the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery. From 1865- 1866 a series of Black codes are passed by Southern states, drastically restricting the rights of newly freed slaves. In 1968 two major events happened; Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship. Individuals born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including those born as slaves. This nullifies the Dred Scott Case (1857), which had ruled that blacks were not citizens..In 1870 Fifteenth Amendment  to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote. Plessy vs. Ferguson: This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.  Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball's color barrier when he is signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers by Branch Rickey  in 1947.In August, 1955 A young black boy, Emmett Till, is brutally murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is attended by about 250,000 people, the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital. Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The march builds momentum for civil rights legislation on August 28,1963. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964; which prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin  On April 29, 1992 the first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African-American Rodney King, On November 4,2008, Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president of the United States, defeating Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain. February 2, the U.S. Senate confirms, with a vote of 75 to 21, Eric H. Holder Jr. , as Attorney General of the United States. Holder is the first African American to serve as Attorney General.

Stereotypes of African- Americans

Stereotypes of African Americans formed after slaves became free and were fighting for civil rights. Sports stereotypes have a real effect in the real world. Major sport stereotypes are that African American are naturally athletic without putting in any dedication or hardwork.  Most employers are not concerned with employees’ natural athletic abilities, so stereotypes of African-Americans being athletically superior for the most part do not help Blacks in the real world (Gane- McCalla). In football African- Americans are encouraged to play other positions besides the quaterback because that position requires the most intelligence. Two of the past three Superbowl winning coaches have been African Americans, which prove the stereotypes wrong that American Americans do not have intelligence for higher positions.