African American Racism and Resistance

1683 Words7 Pages
Throughout the course of United States history, the experience of African Americans has taken many big turns. Through these turns, African Americans have managed to hold on to culture and ways of life that stem from their very roots. Margaret Walker, an African American writer, once said, “Handicapped as we have been by a racist system of dehumanizing slavery and segregation, our American history of nearly five hundred years reveals that our cultural and spiritual gifts brought from our African past are still intact.” The fact that Africa American people have managed to hold on to such gifts and culture is a true testament to their resiliency in the face of oppression. Over the years, few races have faced the same level of struggle and sacrifice as those of African American people. Many still face injustices of racism even in today’s world, where major inhumane actions such as slavery are largely a thing of the past. I interpret Margaret Walker’s quote in a variety of ways. First, I think she goes out of her way to point out the struggles of many African Americans in an elegant and unique way. The dehumanizing of slavery and segregation is something that I believe has happened many times. It’s easy to study these subjects time and time again and become numb to the fact that real people had to suffer through such conditions. We should all remember to use our full range of empathetic emotions when studying and thinking of anyone who has been through racist oppression such as slavery or segregation. Secondly, I think Margaret commends African Americans as she rightly should for being able to hold on to the important cultural and spiritual gifts from old. As we know, African Americans have battled through a history of rough racial prejudice and harsh times. But just how did this begin? To answer this question we must look at what I believe to be one of the most
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