Jamie Smith: The African American Civil Rights Movement

1112 Words5 Pages
African Americans have faced a historical struggle against oppression, discrimination, negative image, and many social issues since their arrival to the United States several centuries ago. African Americans were brought to the United States to serve as slaves and were viewed as insignificant personal property of their white owners. They had absolutely no rights as American citizens and were severely abused both physically and mentally until the rise of the civil right movement which peaked in the 1950’s. The civil rights movement was primarily located in the southern part of the country because this was where the African American population faced issues of racial inequality in education, and lack of political and legal representation was mostly…show more content…
For confidentiality purposes this person will be referred as Jamie Smith. During the Interview Jamie Smith indicated that he identifies himself as African Americans because he is not only American, but is also of African descent. Jamie first realized that he was African American when he was first introduced to the school setting at the age of 5. He noticed that he had a different skin color than the majority of his friends, which he said were Caucasian. Jamie said he has had a lot of both positive and negative experiences of being part of the African American group. Positive experiences that he has had as an African American is the strong sense of friendship that is exhibited within the ethnic group. Jamie stated that once you make friends they will be your friend for life. Negative experiences and aspects of the African American group is that the original African culture is lost through several generations of inhabitance. He says that he wishes he could have more of the original African culture so that he would feel more “Black” and part of the African…show more content…
Jamie himself decided to share several instances where he experienced racism and discrimination himself. When he was in his junior year in high school, he went to Tennessee on a family vacation with his mother and brother. When they stopped at a small village to eat after a long days drive, the restaurant had a large confederate flag right next to the main entrance. Jamie and his family thought that it was still fine to eat there, but as they entered the restaurant, the restaurant owner yelled at them and told them that there would be absolutely no way he would serve “a bunch of Negros.” Jamie and his mom immediately drove away as the younger sibling cried. Another situation in which Jamie experienced discrimination was in the work place. Through high school he worked at a local fast food restaurant in Milwaukee. He said he asked a co-worker what they thought about African American workers and both the manager and the co-worker responded that they are usually lazy individuals that do not follow directions and are always late to work. They did say that Jamie was an exception since he was a great worker, but it still hurt his feeling deep inside knowing that African Americans are generalized and viewed as lazy rebellious

    More about Jamie Smith: The African American Civil Rights Movement

      Open Document