Love and Inequality Discussion
Discussion Assignment: Love & Inequity By the late 1880s, the pursuit of racial equality, once a promising venture in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Reconstruction Amendments, was fading fast. The majority of white Americans, along with the federal government, had effectively abandoned black Americans, leaving them subject to the laws and social hierarchies put into place by white supremacist local and state governments. This would be evidenced in the mostly regional practices of violent lynching and Jim Crow discrimination, and would culminate in the federal recognition of racial inequality by the Supreme Court in its Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896. Leaders within the African American community debated the proper approach to achieving civil, political, and economic equality. W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington were among the most prominent voices, each having very different views from the other. Perhaps a lesser-known, but still great voice of the black community was the Reverend Emanuel K. Love, who was born into slavery, freed by emancipation, and witnessed the inequalities that persisted in the decades that followed. On the 25th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Love gave a speech that challenged the black community to reevaluate their ideas of not only who had been most responsible for their freedom from slavery in the past, but who was most responsible for delivering to the black community the full fruits of freedom and equality in the future. In this assignment, you will read Love’s speech (Oration by Rev. E.K. Love) in its entirety and answer the questions Written Response Questions: To earn full credit, be very specific and detailed in your responses. 1. Write a paragraph that effectively summarizes Love’s speech and its main points. 2. According to Love, what significance do black women have in the black community and how should black men act on behalf of black women? 3. According to Love, who is ultimately responsible for ensuring black equality and what must be done in order to accomplish that equality? 4. According to Love, how should the black community view political parties and what if anything should political parties be trusted to accomplish on behalf of black Americans? 5. Do you feel that Love’s viewpoint is valid in today’s America? In other words, are his views about the needs of the black community and the type of approach necessary in order to achieve equality still applicable today? And what about party politics? Many Americans have become more loyal to their respective parties than they are to each other as fellow Americans. Do political parties improve life for Americans? And can either political party (Democrat or Republican) be counted on to improve life for impoverished and historically marginalized black communities? If not, why not? If so, how should that be accomplished?