The wealth gap between African Americans and whites has been a distressing element of American life since the end of slavery. African Americans have been afflicted with debt and a segregated economy since the post-Reconstruction era to the advent of ghettos in the 1960s to today. One aspect that has helped African Americans has been the creation of African American banks. Though they have been fraught with slow progress in creating capital, they nonetheless offer hope for social and economic justice. American leaders from Booker T. Washington and W.E.B DuBois to Martin King, Jr. and Malcolm X to Joe Biden have and will labor to make them a critical component of African American economic success and vitality.
Kamala Harris, the nominee for vice president of the United States, is a good fighter for her African American people. Throughout her commendable rise as an African American woman prosecutor, San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney General and a United States Senator, she has advocated for African American social and economic justice.
In America and across the world, we were angry and horrified by the killing of Floyd. His senseless murder laid out for every one to see the grave inequality and violence toward African Americans by American police. The peaceful protests are vital and should usher in meaningful reform.
The following is an essay I wrote for my favorite professor James Goodman at Harvard College. It reflects the beginning of my journey writing about human rights.
The history of the relationship between feminism and the struggle against racism has been one of paradoxes—of cooperation and diametric opposition, of growing together and splitting apart, of hopeful beginnings and bitter endings. In the mid-nineteenth century, many women enlisted as volunteers in the abolitionist movement because they saw parallels between the oppression of slaves and their own plight as women. Through their involvement in the crusade, they garnered their consciousness as an oppressed group and began a campaign for women’s rights. Blacks and women supported the cause of both groups throughout the Civil War. During the campaign to pass and ratify the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, however, some women’s rights leaders not only withdrew their endorsement of the freedman’s cause but sabotaged it and its recent gains. In order to bolster their stagnate movement, suffragists played on the racist fears of Americans and argued that their vote was a crucially needed to counter the freedman’s newly-won vote. Thus, the cooperative effort of white women and blacks to end their respective oppressions crumbled into a competitive fight in which white women used racism to gain their feminist ends.