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The People Who Fought To End Slavery In The United States Of America

Introduction

America’s political thought circles around the idea that Americans engage in three traditions or languages of disclosure for the interpretation of the language experience: liberalism, biblical thought, and republicanism. These are further interpreted in two languages: radicalism and conservatism. Philosophers, orators, and writers who have narrated the history of each period each have a different point of view and the theories they have provided always lead to debates and long conversations with the people who have always tried to get this nation out of the crisis.

Douglass, while delivering a speech in 1852 before a gathering of people who were fighting to end slavery in the United States of America, asked the audience how it was legal for the white men and women of the United States to make the law designated black men and women of the United States as their property? Frederick Douglass is known as the person who always worked to end slavery in the United States and was a person who always fought for the rights of African Americans.

In 1963, Malcolm X, being the spokesperson and the leader of the people of Islam, gave a remarkable speech while presiding over a rally in Michigan in response to Douglass’s 4th July speech. His speech was all about the nationalist philosophy about the black, and after his speech, he was known as a person who openly criticised the civil rights movement. During his speech, he said, “I am not talking to you people as a person who is very patriotic, nor a person who is very proud of being American. I am talking to you as a person who is a victim of the Americans and a person who doesn’t like Americanism. He said that I was not talking about Americanism; instead, like many other African Americans, I also aim to be victimized by this Americanism. From now on, you will see me as a person who will always fight for the rights of the African Americans and declare that I don’t consider myself as an American anymore”( Douglass, 1852).

Discussion

Many of the governments failed to see that by keeping the people enslaved, poor and uneducated just for the sake that if they get educated, then they will not allow us to keep them enslaved. Thus denying them the opportunity to benefit from the government system.

If, ever in the history of the United States, blacks in America were treated as equal to whites, the country would have seen major breakthroughs in almost every field of life. As we all know, throughout the history of the United States, black men were always treated as the slaves of white men, and black women were treated as the slaves of the women of white men; chances for the growth of blacks in society were vanished by the whites. Although injustice has been done to blacks not only in the United States but also in the whole world, the achievements and contributions towards the world by blacks definitely cannot be counted.

Douglass 4th July Speech And Malcolm’s Response

The 4th of July is also known as the Independence Day of America. On this day, back in 1776, thirteen colonies gained independence from the United Kingdom and ultimately formed the United States of America. The famous speech by Douglass was themed on the meaning of the 4th of July to an African American slave in the United States. ( Douglass, 1852) Douglass criticized the American government by saying that you want an education that should be universal, but your education system is not providing equal rights to all the people in your country and is a system that is dreadful and barbarous. According to him, on the day of independence in 1776, everybody got their independence except African Americans ( Douglass, 1852).

Malcolm is known to be the nation’s leading spokesperson (Malcolm, 1963). While delivering his speech, he said that we are Africans, not Americans. Americans do not consider us to be one of them. According to them, the biggest problem of America is the black people. The only reason America is having a problem is the reason that they do not want us here in the United States.

According to my perspective, the speech given by Douglass rotated the whole scenario of the political environment. He was one of his kind who raised his voice for the rights of a particular group’s struggle and said that the rights given to them were contradictory and against the rules and laws of the United States. I think that Douglass’ struggle enlightens the arguments before the writer and the reader that what was promised by America for all the citizens and what is being done to some minorities are totally opposing realities. Blacks were not given independence on the 4th of July; instead, they were kept enslaved. On a serious note, independence is not something that will be presented to you on a silver plate by your opponent, but you have to fight for your independence. If you do not do that, you will always be crushed like the blacks till the movement started by their leader, especially Martin Luther King Jr.

I think that Malcolm’s speech was all about uniting African Americans as a single unit and forgetting all of their differences to fight against the cruel culture of America so that they could become a single unit and stay in America as a single nation. I think that he tried to persuade the black people that the whites were not a part of their family as they always tried to keep them enslaved. The use of first-person language in the entire speech was a successful weapon used by him to get the attention of the people and encourage them that this was their fight.

Both of these are considered legends among the blacks even decades after their death, which shows that the work they did was of much importance and also that their beliefs were much more powerful. Their death cannot take out their teachings and beliefs from the hearts of people. Both Douglass and Malcolm had the same goal for their work, but their way of working and methodologies were quite different from one another, yet they became successful in achieving what they wanted.

Washington’s Response To Malcolm’s Speech

One of the most dominant intellectuals that African Americans ever had in the 19th century is known as Booker T. Washington. He encouraged the blacks about racial solidarity, self-help and accommodation (Washington, 1895). He encouraged the blacks that, for the time being, they have to accept the discrimination that is being done by the blacks on the basis of colour. He said that a time will come when they will be uplifted against the whites, so they have to wait for the right moment, and for that, they have to accept this discrimination.

Washington and Malcolm both worked a lot for African Americans’ welfare and are undoubtedly known as the heroes of black people (Malcolm, 1963). The ideologies that both of these men presented are controversial, but these ideologies are most cited by African Americans. The work that both of these men have done is even prominent for the African Americans of today’s era. According to the speeches that both of these made, we can realize that the key elements that were required for the development of the African American nation were the same in their minds.

Washington thought that it was an opportunity for the benefit of all, i.e., the black community and the nation as a whole, whereas Malcolm thought that we could only succeed in this real war if we became successful in telling the whites the truth. To gain what is ours, we have to fight back with the whites.

The work done by both Washington and Malcolm can be said to be a test for the confirmation of the American civil religion. As Malcolm said, there is a need for unity among the people to fight against the whites; it was no doubt a test for all African Americans as to what they would do in this situation. (Washington, 1895) Whether they will get united by setting aside all of their disputes or not for the welfare of their whole community.

Whites were crushing the African Americans under slavery, and basic human rights were not given to the blacks. As a result, there was a need for a person who could raise awareness among the blacks about their fundamental rights and tell them that they were not meant to be kept enslaved. They are free like any other citizen of the United States. Washington and Malcolm are the persons who are remembered as the heroes of African Americans as they gave awareness to the people. There is also a name which cannot be forgotten whenever we talk about abolition, which is Martin Luther King Jr., who led the blacks from the front end in the war against slavery (Washington, 1986). There was no other hidden agenda in this movement and in all the speeches that these leaders gave.

Malcolm, Washington, Douglass, and Martin are considered to be the biggest intellectuals of African Americans. These people work hard for the betterment of the blacks. They all experienced the dilemma that the blacks were facing according to their own perspectives and the situations that they faced during their period. Each one of them was a visionary leader, but their lives were ended either by assassination or through natural death when the ideas in their minds were still evolving.

Conclusions

African Americans have always contributed a lot to the United States, but despite their efforts in the development of the country, they were always surpassed, and their rights were crushed by the whites of the United States. Since the independence of the United States, the blacks were kept enslaved by the whites, and they didn’t have access to basic fundamental rights. To raise awareness about their rights, many of the leaders came up and presented their philosophies to the African American community. Out of which the most famous are Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Booker T. Washington. These are the people who work hard to present their philosophies to the people and give them awareness. Thus, as a result, these people are still remembered as heroes by the African Americans, and their ideologies are a way to success for the blacks, although they have been passed from this world decades ago.

References

Douglass, F. (1852). What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, 1, 1818-1836.

Washington, J. M. (1986). The essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: HarperOne.

Washington, B. T. (1895, September). Atlanta Compromise Speech. In Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. Georgia (Vol. 18).

Malcolm, X. (1963). Message to the Grassroots. November, 10, 78.

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