Free «African American Studies» Essay Sample

Since Columbus discovered America and the white people began occupying it, the state of the black race population became worse. White people started to infringe upon Indians and African Americans` rights. From the second half of the XX century, African Americans started a movement to defend their rights and freedoms. The bright examples of these attempts were: the implementation of welfare reform legislation No Child Left Behind, Afrocentric movement, Millennium Marches, Barack Obama`s defeat on the president`s elections.

The 43rd President of the United States of America George W. Bush passed the law “No Child Left Behind”on January 2001. The main objective was to improve educational system in the USA. The major points of NCLB were: strengthening of accountability, development of school`s choice for students` parents, making the flexibility of schools and constant checking of students` reading skills better (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). Strengthening of accountability carries test`s implementation on the profile subjects, for example, mathematics and reading. The main goal of the parents’ choice of public school for their children was to improve knowledge. The district should provide all the necessary financial services, so student can easily change school. Children from low-income families could take part in Early Reading First Program (U.S. Department of Education, 2002).

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Welfare reform “No Child Left Behind” has not accomplished the desired effect. The tests that were held at schools showed that they did not give proper education for students (USA Today, 2012). The main reason of the failure was that Federal Government needed only results, but did not pay attention to the human factor. If we compare Hispanic and Afro-American students at schools, Hispanics have more fundamental knowledge (USA Today, 2012). Ideological and political needs prevent this reform from realization. The Center on Education Policy claims that most schools will not achieve federal standards until 2014 (USA Today, 2012). There is no unanimous view nowadays on the question of NCLB effectiveness.

Furthermore, Afrocentricity can be described as a movement developed among Afro-Americans. It became popular in the early 1980s. The major goal of this movement is to find methods of making Black Studies the full valued part of the world history and do away with European monopoly on African literature (Conyers, 2003). The African community tries to receive the patent on the publications presented by authors from their community. According to the Afrocentric movement, the identity, heritage and culture are the main things to be preserved (Conyers, 2003). Overall, Afrocentricity is an attempt to impede the globalization process by creating literature masterpieces. Nowadays there is no common idea on Afrocentricity among the Black Community. There are opponents and supporters of this movement. Opponents are afraid of European counteraction.

The Millennium Marches took place on 30th of April, 2000. These Marches lasted for two days. The gay and lesbian people of different races from all over the world gathered together to demonstrate from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol. The basic idea of this demonstration was to unite homosexuals to show who they were. The Millennium Marches were not a success as they did not fight for any political idea. The major goal of these Marches was to weak up unity in the minds of people and pay attention to the problems of Afro-American Women (Sullivan, 1998). Louis Farrakhan, the representative of the organization the Nation of Islam, has been controversial. Firstly, he had homophobia. Secondly, though the Nation of Islam was the religious-social organization of the black community, it did not believe in the success of the Marches (Sullivan, 1998).

Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential elections and became the 44th President of the United States and the first Afro-American President in the history of the USA (Kerwick, 2008). He represented Democratic Party on those elections. His opponent was John McCain, the representative of Republican Party. There are different factors of Obama`s victory. Firstly, he was perspective young politician, supported by media (Kerwick, 2008). John McCain was 72 years at that time, while Barack Obama was 47 years old. Secondly, McCain refused to struggle for victory with him, as Barack Obama was black. This fact made the Republicans to be racists. Thirdly, Obama`s “spiritual mentor” was Wright, who strongly supported him during elections (Kerwick, 2008). The USA policy needed neo-conservative and progressive man on the political stage in 2008.

To sum up, Afro-American community from the second half of the XX century started to struggle for its equal rights with white people of the USA. Though the demonstration “Millennium March” did not achieve any visible results, it united Afro-Americans. Obama`s victory in the presidential elections in 2008 gave the hope for this nation to bright future.


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