Race and Equality in America: A History

Published: May 5, 2022
Race and equality have been hot-button topics in America for centuries. From the days of slavery to the civil rights movement to the present day, there has been a long and often fraught history between these two concepts. In this essay, we will explore some of the landmark moments in this history and discuss how race and equality are still relevant issues in our society today.

A Brief History

One of the earliest instances of inequality in America was, of course, the institution of slavery. Slavery was not only an economic system but also a way to maintain a hierarchy of power based on skin color. Blacks were considered inferior to whites and were subjected to brutal treatment, often being bought and sold like property. It wasn't until 1865 that slavery was finally abolished in America with the signing of the 13th Amendment. However, even after emancipation, African-Americans were still treated as second-class citizens. They were denied fundamental rights like voting and were segregated from whites in every aspect of life, from schools to public transportation to even water fountains. This segregation was codified into law with the Jim Crow laws.

The Fight Against Jim Crow

The fight against Jim Crow was long and arduous, but it eventually led to significant changes in our society. One of the earliest and most influential figures in this fight was Rosa Parks, who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person in 1955. This act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted for 381 days and resulted in the integration of buses in Montgomery, Alabama. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another major victory in the fight against inequality. This landmark legislation outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination. The Civil Rights Act was a significant step forward in the quest for equality in America.

Your Voice is Important

Despite these legislative victories, race and equality remain contentious issues today. While there is no longer overt discrimination based on race, institutional racism still exists in many areas. Minorities are more likely to be stopped by police, pay higher interest rates for mortgages, and generally face barriers to success that whites do not. Racism also plays a role in sports, as evidenced by recent controversies over racist comments made by prominent athletes like Donald Sterling and Jason Kidd. However, there are signs that things may be changing for the better. More people of all races are becoming aware of and speaking out against injustice, which can help create real change in our society. In this way, everyone has the power to fight for equality, regardless of their skin color. So use your voice and stand up for what you believe in - together, we can make America a more equitable and just society for all.

Join the Fight!

There are 30 million Christians in the United States who don't use their voice to change policy. But your voice does matter. Especially when a million of us speak at once to those that have the power to change things — the policymakers in this country. And the policymakers have told us the number one thing that changes their position regarding issues is when a constituent from their district mails them a signed note. So sign for Million Voices and use your voice today. Together, we can make a difference.