History of Race in the U.S.
By Nadra Kareem Nittle, About.com Guide
- The Fight for Civil Rights
- Honoring the Past
- Issues and Controversies
- The Recent Past: History in the Making
The Fight for Civil Rights
African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans are some of the minority groups in the United States who have fought for civil rights in their respective communities and nationwide. Find out the unique challenges that certain ethnic minority groups faced when challenging discrimination in a variety of sectors. Learn which individuals and organizations emerged as trailblazers during the Civil Rights Era.
- The Asian-American Civil Rights Movement
- The Chicano Movement: Brown and Proud
- The National Urban League: An Overview
- Whitney Young Biography
Honoring the Past
What’s the best way to honor those who fought against racism and for civil rights for all Americans? It depends on who you ask, of course. Learn why it took several years for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to be recognized as a federal holiday and why some Americans, even blacks, object to Black History Month. Others, meanwhile, fully support marking off calendar days as a way to honor trailblazers of color.
Issues and Controversies
The legacy of racism in the United States continues to generate controversy. An event as seemingly mundane as Thanksgiving raises complex issues for Native Americans and anti-racist activists. Is it offensive to celebrate this “holiday” that some argue kicked off the decimation of America’s indigenous peoples? Meanwhile, a practice such as affirmative action launches an entirely new debate. Conservatives argue that affirmative action isn’t the best tactic legislators can use to right the wrongs of our nation’s racist past. Learn about the events that led to affirmative action’s creation and decide for yourself.
- Thanksgiving: A Day of Celebration or Mourning for Native Americans?
- Key Events in Affirmative Action's History
The Recent Past: History in the Making
In recent years, people of color have made strides in all facets of American society—be it in politics, film, music or athletics. Reflect on how the America of yesterday is morphing into a pluralistic society in which minority groups face fewer limits than ever before in accomplishing their dreams. The current events of last month, last year and last decade are shaping the country into an entirely different entity than the one in which our grandparents came of age.