Afroamerican Essay Research Paper The American people

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Afroamerican Essay, Research Paper The American people have a serious identity crisis. It?s rare while in the country to hear someone say that they are American. People say that they are Irish, Scottish, German, Italian, African, English, West Indian, etc. Often people are a combination of these. For black Americans it becomes even more complicated. Many want to identify as African but others would never dream of such a thing because it?s so foreign to them. I was speaking to a man at a party I had at my apartment. He was telling me about how he plays African drums, traveling around to different towns and performing. He had even been to my part of Cape Cod, Wellfleet. I asked him if he was African and his reply was vague. He couldn?t really say yes but he wasn?t about to say

no. I thought that maybe he was second generation and that his parents were born there so I asked if his parents were African. He said, ?well I can?t really say no, you know what I mean. It had come up earlier that I was An Afro-Am major and after that point as far as he was concerned we had some kind of connection. I was glad that it never became my turn at 40 questions. I am BI-racial and people react to that differently than others. To some it?s a scar on my blackness being that I?m also half-white. To some it ain?t no thing black is black even if your not 100%. Of course finding a person whose 100% of anything these days can be a challenge. In the states if you are a small part black then you are black. We have this system, thanks to the good old days of slavery where no

matter how white you looked and no matter how much you resembled the master?s children, you were still black enough to be a slave. In other parts of the world the tables are turned. If you are even a small percent white then that?s what you are. The past thirty years have seen many changes in the lives of black people in America. With the civil rights movement and the black power movement forcing changes in the sixties. My generation lives a different life than most of our parents did and they lived a very different life than their parents. Many people in my grand parent?s generation were able to take advantage of the booming steel and auto industry at least in the urban areas. There were certain jobs that blacks were perfect for. Jobs involving hard labor and any kinds of jobs

that no one else wants such as cleaning the sewers, slaughtering pigs and other distasteful jobs. Before the 60?s blacks were almost solely employed in the domestic areas cooking and cleaning (for women) and in the hard labor fields (for men). With the civil rights movement came a new awareness of the blatant prejudices that Americans held and a realization of how the racism overflowed into everyone?s social and economic life. Blacks were underrepresented in every aspect of life. With the passing of the 1954 civil rights act and the demonstrations that followed slowly things began to change. Finally the oh, powerful federal government was setting standards for the way that black people were to be treated, in public and in the work force. Obviously the government can?t force

people?s minds to change but in the public sector they had a lot of control. Government contracts were used to wheel and deal. Those companies who hired blacks in large numbers received contracts. Those who didn?t tended not to. So now what do we have? We have a large number of African Americans getting jobs that in the past were impossible. Jobs opened in large corporations that offered room to advance up the ladder. At times in order to get hired you had to have a skill but other times you were hired to fill the quota and taught to work as the time went on. Collins speaks about how blacks were hired as a means of control. If your working your not out on the street protesting. Within a corporation black people may be promoted to manage a large group of blacks that were working.