The Black Experience in America

The Black Experience in America

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Project Gutenberg's The Black Experience in America, by Norman Coombs This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org ** This is a COPYRIGHTED Project Gutenberg eBook, Details Below ** ** Please follow the copyright guidelines in this file. ** Title: The Black Experience in America The Immigrant Heritage of America Author: Norman Coombs Release Date: July 1, 2008 [EBook #67] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA *** THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA Published electronically by its author, Norman Coombs, and Project Gutenberg. (C 1993) by Norman Coombs This text is claimed under copyright to protect its integrity, and therefore you are required to pass it on intact, but you may make changes to your own copy. This text may be shared in whole or in part so long as this header is included. It may be quoted freely so long as its authorship is properly credited. As the book is out of print, the author has chosen to make it freely available. We want to know of any mistakes you find, so we can correct them in text editions to come. Send corrections to Norman Coombs. His email addresses are: NRCGSH@RITVAX.BITNET or internet NRCGSH@RITVAX.ISC.RIT.EDU. Neither Prof. Hart nor Project Gutenberg nor Norman Coombs has any official connection with the University of Illinois. This text is based on the original publication: THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA The Immigrant Heritage of America By Norman Coombs Publisher: Twayne, (c 1972) Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction (omitted from electronic version) PART ONE From Freedom to Slavery 1. African Origins The Human Cradle West African Empires The Culture of West Africa 2. The Human Market The Slave Trade Caribbean Interlude 3. Slavery As Capitalism The Shape of American Slavery North American and South American Slavery Slavery and the Formation of Character Slave Response 4. All Men Are Created Equal Slavery and the American Revolution Slave Insurrections Growing Racism Part Two. Emancipation without Freedom 5. A Nation Divided Black Moderates and Militants White Liberals Growth of Extremism 6. From Slavery to Segregation Blue, Gray, and Black Reconstruction and Its Failure The New Racism 7. Racism and Democracy Fighting Jim Crow Making the World Safe for Democracy Urban Riots The Klan Revival Part Three. The Search For Equality 8. The Crisis of Leadership The Debate Over Means and Ends Booker T. Washington: The Trumpet of Conciliation W. E. B. DuBois: The Trumpet of Confrontation Marcus Garvey: The Trumpet of Pride A. Philip Randolph: The Trumpet of Mobilization 9. The New Negro Immigration and Migration Harlem: "The Promised Land" The Negro Renaissance Black Nationalism 10. Fighting Racism at Home and Abroad Hard Times Again The Second World War The U.S. and the U.N. 11. Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience Schools and Courts The Civil Rights Movement 12. The Black Revolt Civil Disorders Black Power Epilogue Notes and References (omitted from electronic version) Bibliography (omitted from electronic version) Index (omitted from electronic version) Preface During the last several years, the study of American history has turned a new direction. Previously, it emphasized how the various immigrant groups in America shed their divergent heritages and amalgamated into a new nationality. More recently, scholars and laymen alike have become more sensitive to the ways in which these newcomers have kept aspects from their past alive, and there is a new awareness of the degree to which ethnicity continues as a force within America. Most of the original settlers were British, Protestant, and white. Many of the later arrivals differed from them, in one or more ways. History books usually depicted these new waves of immigrants as assimilating almost fully into American society. However, recent writings have put more stress on the ethnic diversities which remain and on the rich variety of contributions which were made to the American scene by each new nationality. This volume depicts the immigrants from Africa as one among the many elements which created present-day America. On the one hand, they differ from the other minorities because they came involuntarily, suffered the cruelties of slavery, and were of another color. All of this made their experience unique. On the other hand, they shared much in common with the other minorities, many of whom also felt like aliens in their new land. Throughout most of American history, political power has been held tightly by the white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant majority. Historical presentations which stressed the political component, thereby tended to leave the later immigrants in the background. However, because these newcomers did not assimilate fully into the mainstream of America, they maintained some of their ethnic identity and made fresh and unique contributions to American life. A socio-cultural approach to history, through highlighting society and culture rather than politics, brings these minorities into proper focus. This study of Afro-Americans seeks to describe the character and culture which they produced for themselves in America. It also points to the many important contributions which they have made to American cultural life. The spotlight is on what they felt and thought, on the attitudes they developed, and on their increasingly vocal protests against the unfair treatment which they believed was directed at them. Besides taking a socio-cultural approach to the subject, this book is deliberately interpretive rather than being merely a narrative of events. It is reasonably brief in the hope that it will appeal to interested laymen. At the same time, it contains a number of footnotes so that either scholars or laymen, wanting to check their thoughts against the interpretation presented here, can readily use this book as a guide to further reading. (Note the footnotes are not in this electronic version.) If at times the treatment of the white majority seems harsh, it is because, in my opinion, it is still necessary for Americans to take a long, cold look at the chilling facts which have too often been ignored. Yet, times and people do change. Race relations in America are not today what they were a century ago. The progress of history may not be the wide highway moving steadily and smoothly upward as many have believed, but the racial picture in America has altered and will continue to do so--sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Nevertheless, it is only by knowing ourselves that we can intelligently face our crises. I hope that this volume will assist the reader as he struggles with this difficult task. Norman Coombs September, 1971 Acknowledgements I would like to express