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The Identity Of The So Called Negro

1079 words - 5 pages

In the quietness of unfair racial discrimination lurked an unquestionable desire to taste the realities of justice, fairness, and freedom. African-Americans were alienated and divided in a way that forced them to lose the essence of they were as a collective body. An identity was ascribed that presented African-Americans an imbecilic and inferior race. They were given an undesirable identity; one encased in oppression. Webster dictionary defines identity as the “condition or character as to who a person is.” Without having a sense of identity, the true nature of the person is lost. The African-American was lost in America. They were forced to assimilate with the masses, assuming ...view middle of the document...

Many African-Americans lost their lives and fought courageously during the Second World War. Knowing they gave their lives to this country on the premise of freedom and justice for all, yet they were denied equality in their own communities was an uneasy reality for many Southern blacks to accept. African-Americans no longer wanted to resign to their “second class status in” society. Southern black masses were prepared to rise above this relegated status and were ready to press forward to freedom. The idea of being free superseded any fears or reservations regarding reprisal or repercussion to their actions. What more could have been done to them, which had not already been done? What more could have been taken which had not already been stolen? The sheer essence of their being had been stripped away. But this was changing in the wake of a rousing new consciousness; the “black consciousness” the voice of liberation theology. The Black Consciousness movement was a “revolution in consciousness that encompassed all black institutions, including the Black Church.” This movement was a much needed awakening in the conscious minds of Black people. For years they were subjected to dehumanizing tactics, which resulted in self-loathing. Collectively, Black people had immense dislike for everything which resembled that of the African. We were a “people who hated our African characteristics.” Our hue made us prisoners, confining us to an existence marked with an inferiority complex. African-Americans felt inadequate and helpless as they turned to white American to define who they were. A shift in perspective in the 1950’s and 1960’s summoned a change in the mentality of the Black community. Their consciousness was roused with a “revolution” undertone. The people wanted change. They wanted an identity that no longer made them feel like hostages in a foreign land. They longed for an identity embracing their history and culture while propelling them to their rightful place in society. There was also a rousing sense of solidarity which could be found in the heavily populated urban areas. The oneness of mind and body ushered in many social and political movements. It was this consciousness which served as the platform for the cry for civil rights. “The civil rights movement was anchored in the Black Church” led by the...

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