“We Can Do Better”: The Civil Rights Revolution

During the 1950s, the American Way for Blacks in the south remained “Jim Crow,” a system of segregation that included separate schools, separate water fountains, separate coastlines, and separate public facilities. They could not vote for the president, marry white people, sit next to each other in public transportation, attend colleges and universities, or even shop for clothes in retailers. As a matter of fact, past the burden and humiliation prowled brutality. Ladies and gentlemen who misbehaved could have expected the full force of the law and ruthless vigilantes such as the Ku Klux Klan or the White Citizens Council to be turned against them. It included an enormous amount of confidence to stand up to that substructure.

Individuals such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King were crucial figures in the American Civil Rights Movement, which resulted in the implementation of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments many years after they were passed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned isolation in open foundations and separation in business. As Hoffman claimed, “it broadened equivalent assurance under the law to all residents, including, startlingly, ladies” (348). The Civil Rights Act of 1965 ensured all adults the option to vote, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 denied segregation in housing.

One of the most influential writers lived in an age of anti-colonial liberation struggle under French frontier rule. This individual, whose name is Frantz Fanon, was born on the island of Martinique. Many people may notice a comprehensive exhibit of verse, brain research, reasoning, and political hypothesis drawn in his work and its impact across the contemporary world. He distributed a unique critical position in the course of his life: “Black Skin, White Masks.” Fanon mentioned different problems of the period when he lived. Vital issues of his time, including language, gender, race and racism, religion, and several others, illustrate this the best. His thought process was shifted away from theorizing Blackness toward a broader, more formidable theory of colonialism and visions of postcolonial society due to his involvement in the Algerian revolutionary conflict.

A historical examination, “Black Skin, White Masks,” is one of the complex ways in which Blackness, as one of the identities, is compiled and discussed. In the book, Fanon is capable of interrogating complicated structures of the psychic side of Blackness. He employs psychoanalysis to describe black people’s emotions of vulnerability and powerlessness. Moreover, the perception and prospect of white people as having an underground fear of educated blacks were illustrated by Fanon.

He mentioned that the school segregation and its horrendous influence on black children had to be dissolved. It was one of the most crucial aspects of that period when he lived because “education is really a key to being able to create economic success for lots of communities” (Jessica Kim 00:10:18-00:10:23). Additionally, black children suffered from mental trauma when they were revealed to concepts of criminal black people that eventually became established in their individual and behavioral ideas. Overall, this viewpoint was intended to keep Blacks in a subordinate position within a colonial system.

In conclusion, concepts of the collective unconscious and collective catharsis are the basis of his work. It contains brief psychoanalyses of colonized black people. Thus, this book proposes black people’s inability to fit into the social and racial norms authorized by racists who were among colonizers at that period. Additionally, Fanon’s work is deeply connected with a vast majority of revolutions which is associated with civil rights and were mentioned in the essays. He expressed his skepticism about the false pretense of a philosophy modeled after white people.

Works Cited

Hoffman, Elizabeth C., and Edward J. Blum. ““We Can Do Better”: The Civil Rights Revolution.” Major Problems in American History Documents and Essays. CENGAGE Learning, 2017, pp. 348-69.

“HIST 371 Civil Rights Revolutions.” YouTube, uploaded by Jessica Kim, 2021. Web.

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