Sociology of Race and Ethic Relations

Two replies or critical comments to other students’ postings. These replies should have a minimum of 150 words each. Read each student posting and provide a critical comment for each one.

Student 1

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Racism has been alive for centuries. Many laws were created to separate blacks from whites. These laws gave African Americans no rights and segregated them from whites and portrayed them as animals and slaves. One of the most famous laws against African American people were the Jim Crow laws. These laws were created by the government against black people. These laws were legal and social restrictions meant to separate blacks from whites in most contexts. This discrimination was one of many injustices African American people had to face in the 1800s and 1900s.

The Jim Crow laws existed mainly in the South. These laws affected the African Americans because they were treated like animals.  They were not allowed contact with Caucasian people. They had to use separate rail carts, separate facilities, and many other major and practical things. They were deemed not important and were treated unfairly.  African Americans tried to resist these laws by trying to escape to the North, where they believed freedom was. Although there were freedom for African Americans from these laws in the North, some Caucasian people were not to content with them trying to leave the South to find freedom. If some whites saw African Americans trying to escape to the North, they would lynch them because they felt as if they did not deserve a better life. Some African Americans faced severe punishment which included death, but some were successful in making it to the North and living a free life.

W.E.B Dubois and Booker T. Washington were two prominent leaders in the African American community. Both had different ideas on how to deal with oppression and how to progress. Washington believed that his community should deal with the discrimination and elevate themselves through hard work and technical skills. He believed his community should focus on industrial and farming skills to achieve respect from the whites and become proper citizens of the United States of America. Dubois believed his community should not stand for oppression and fight for their rights as human beings. He believed in secondary education as a way to persevere through all the injustices they faced. In my opinion, Dubois’s idea of political action is the idea I resonate the most with. Fighting for something that is not right and is immoral is the best route to success. Washington wanted his community to continue facing discrimination in hopes of climbing the imaginative social ladder and being accepted down the road by their oppressors. This is an immoral idea for me personally.  Without the African Americans fighting for their rights, I believe things would probably still be the same as back then when they faced unethical injustices and prejudice.


Student 2

In the U.S, African Americans have dealt with slavery to being free, but still not considered human beings in White Americans’ eyes. After slavery was abolished , segregation took into affect. According to the textbook, segregation was “the physical separation of two groups, often imposed on a subordinate group by the dominant group”.(pg 22). These groups of course consisted of African Americans and white Americans. Although African Americans were free, still they weren’t privileged. They couldn’t be around white people, cause of their race and skin tone. Which meant separate school, water fountains, bathrooms, restaurants and let’s not forget how African Americans were forced or sit on the back of the bus. Last but not least , what about the killings of our African American people in the United States , due to lynching in order for the white supremacy to try and keep control over African Americans. Question is how did segregation began. The lynching of African Americans that later lead to “JIm Crow” is the answer. Jim Crow was southern laws passed in the late nineteenth century that kept African Americans in their subordinate position.(pg 171). This law gave white people authority.


After reading the “Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” , I’ve learned that this was a huge period African Americans were lied to and in order to win their freedom , they would have to fight. I read the oddment “Segregation in the U.S Government (1913) and gained the knowledge of how Democratic candidate t the time, Woodrow Wilson promised fairness and justice for African Americans if elected. But as I mentioned , African Americans were lied to and had to fight for themselves and each other for equality and full freedom. I go on to say this , because Wilson lied to Black community. “Wilson changed his tube. He dismissed 15 out of 17 Black supervisors who had previously appointed to federal jobs and replaced them with whites.” This caused Blacks throughout the country to be segregated or dismissed from federal positions. This situation aimed a reaction out of W.E.B Du Bois, in which he criticized Wilson , during “The Crisis”. This lead to the NAACP activists campaign to force Wilson to back off from segregating the federal government. This shows an example of how African Americans were willing and weren’t afraid to fight. This is also an example of why I favor with W.E.B Du Bois over Booker T Washington. In my perspective, both men were natural born leaders but had an different interpretation of how they should lead the Black community. I believe their upbringing may have had a lot to do with it as well. Du Bois background was he attended many university and even taught at one, and also he was the first African American to earn his PHD from Harvard. As for Washington , he was born into slavery and was “allowed” to attend school while working as an servant. Although Washington was a very educated man, I believe since he was born a slave, he always had the interpretation that African Americans was to accept their “position” in society. While Du Bois on the other hand disagreed with Washington. This is why I agree with Du Bois , because he knew his rights of what he and fellow African Americans in the community deserved, and wouldn’t settle for less.

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