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Free Blacks In The North Essay

928 words - 4 pages

Have you ever wondered if there was a middle ground between being free and being a slave? The arrival of the first Black Americans to the USA in 1619 triggered a dark period of slavery that lasted until the end of the Civil War. The nation began to divide itself into two groups; free states and slave states. Though the black people who lived in the free states weren't slaves, they were denied certain rights. Free blacks in the North had many restrictions in their life, but they were given few freedoms in the areas of political, social, and economic rights.
In particular, the political freedoms that were given to the freedmen were rigged to prevent them from properly using their rights, but ...view middle of the document...

Though they were denied the right to take on an active role in government, some freedmen could still vote and own land, thus retaining their political rights.
The social rights of black people were restrained to their own race for the most part. For instance, Makay observed America and wrote during his travels about the prevalent feeling about African Americans in the North, "...he shall not be free...-to mingle with us in the concert room, the lecture room, the theatre, or the church, or to marry with our daughters" (Doc. B). It displays a view of the North from an unaffiliated point of view. The white people refused to allow the blacks to mingle with them, judging them as inferior. However, it also reflects the white people's need to remain the dominant force. Though blacks were not free to openly mingle with whites, they could still socialize with each other. Furthermore, the picture in Document D depicts a gathering in Cincinnati, Ohio worshiping inside a church (Doc. D). As stated in the note, the church was also used in community, allowing them to evoke their social freedom. They aided runaway slaves and stood up for reform, exercising their right to voice an opinion and hear what their fellow people were saying. Even though social freedoms of the black people were undoubtedly restrained, they were still allowed to mingle with those of their own race.
African Americans found it difficult to use their economic rights, but it was still possible. For example, a young African American who was at the top of his class said in a speech, "Where are my prospects? To what shall I turn my...

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