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UB BIO 201LLB - AAS Reflection 3

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The African American ParticipationWhen African Americans were imported to America by Europeans, they had no choice but to be slaves. As the progress moved forward, some of enslaved people became free and educated. In 1861, the Civil War was the bloodiest event in the history of the US where people fought over the issue of slavery. In the textbook “The African American Odyssey” Chapter 11, it says that African American rushed to volunteer for the army but they were not permitted to enlistbecause the 1792 law barred them from bearing arms. President Lincoln believed that victory was tied directly to the issue of slavery and he decided to write Emancipation. There were some consequences due to this decision. Thereby, this document shows that when the African American joined the Civil War, risking their own life, white people still discriminated black people. The future of slavery was tied to the outcome of the Civil War. According to the book, “...we are ready to stand by and defend our Government”, ”for the sake of freedom, and as good citizens; and we ask you to modify your laws, that we may enlist”1 Black people asked for permission to go to war in order to fight against slavery. These words really made me think because I did not know before that the enslaved people wanted to volunteer and join the army by themselves. It is common knowledge that war always means death, fear, anger, and tears. Black people knew about it and knew what was awaiting them, and I have incredible emotions that theywere ready to fight with courage and bravery in the face of gunfire and death. African Americanssaw the Civil War as a chance to win freedom and pick up dignity. 1Hine, Darlene Clark., William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. The African-American Odyssey: Combined Volume. Boston: Prentice Hall - Pearson, 2011.2 "Remembering the Harlem Hellfighters." National Museum of African American History and Culture. May 09, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2019. https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/remembering-harlem-hellfighters.President Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all the slaves in the Confederate states, and African Americans began to join the army. Here, they were faced with challenging circumstances. White people still regarded African Americans as objects, not equals, and not a part of the polity. Many white soldiers believed that the former slaves would not be brave enough to fight in battle but black people showed the opposite. Also, in July 1863, there was the New York City Draft Riot in which Irish men were disappointed and angry that federal officials prepared to select the first men for military services since black people and rich white people were out of the draft. Thus, they attacked black people and destroyed churches and housesof abolitionists. During this draft riot, a lot of black people were killed by white men. I believe white people were really mad and they thought that their political leverage and economic status was rapidly declining as blacks appeared to be gaining power. But was this true? Black people always subjected to violence, discrimination and since they received freedom, it did not mean that they were equal to white people.In conclusion, After Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, black soldiers were officially allowed to participate in the war. But they faced a lot of circumstances that white people did not want to accept them into the army and society. They were beaten, killed and discriminated by white people. African American were not honored for fighting in the Civil War, which continued to be the case until World War I, where one of the most renowned units of African American combat troops was the “Harlem Hellfighters” — heroes whose stories had largely been forgotten.The unit was refused permission to participate in the farewell parade of New York’s National Guard, known as the “Rainbow Division,” because “black is not a color in the rainbow.”2 Also, 1Hine, Darlene Clark., William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. The African-American Odyssey: Combined Volume. Boston: Prentice Hall - Pearson, 2011.2 "Remembering the Harlem Hellfighters." National Museum of African American History and Culture. May 09, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2019. https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/remembering-harlem-hellfighters.some white soldiers refused to serve with black people which shows discrimination and racism. We know that a lot of people do not come back from the war and this parade is important for soldiers since they are going to fight for their country and it can be the last day in their life. We must also honor the heroes of the past who fought against inequality and racism in order to bring about the world that our modern generation can enjoy and continue to develop.1Hine, Darlene Clark., William C. Hine, and Stanley Harrold. The African-American Odyssey: Combined Volume. Boston: Prentice Hall - Pearson, 2011.2 "Remembering the Harlem Hellfighters." National Museum of African American History and Culture. May 09, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2019.


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