African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. The use of the term "racism" does not fall under a single definition; the ideology underlying racism includes the idea that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups that are different due to their social behavior and their innate capacities, as well as the idea that they can be ranked as inferior or superior. Historical examples of institutional racism include the Holocaust, the apartheid regime in South Africa and segregation in the United States, slavery in Latin America. Racism was an aspect of the social organization of many colonial states and empires. While the concepts of race and ethnicity are considered to be separate in contemporary social science, the two terms have a long history of equivalence in both popular usage and older social science literature. "Ethnicity" is used in a sense close to one traditionally attributed to "race": the division of human groups based on qualities assumed to be essential or innate to the group.
Therefore and racial discrimination are used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to a United Nations convention on racial discrimination, there is no distinction between the terms "racial" and "ethnic" discrimination; the UN convention further concludes that superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable unjust and dangerous. It declared that there is no justification for racial discrimination, anywhere, in theory or in practice. Racist ideology can manifest in many aspects of social life. Racism can be present in social actions, practices, or political systems that support the expression of prejudice or aversion in discriminatory practices or laws. Associated social actions may include nativism, otherness, hierarchical ranking and related social phenomena. In the 19th century, many scientists subscribed to the belief that the human population can be divided into races.
The term racism is a noun describing the state of being racist, i.e. subscribing to the belief that the human population can or should be classified into races with differential abilities and dispositions, which in turn may motivate a political ideology in which rights and privileges are differentially distributed based on racial categories. The origin of the root word "race" is not clear. Linguists agree that it came to the English language from Middle French, but there is no such agreement on how it came into Latin-based languages. A recent proposal is that it derives from the Arabic ra's, which means "head, origin" or the Hebrew rosh, which has a similar meaning. Early race theorists held the view that some races were inferior to others and they believed that the differential treatment of races was justified; these early theories guided pseudo-scientific research assumptions. Today, most biologists and sociologists reject a taxonomy of races in favor of more specific and/or empirically verifiable criteria, such as geography, ethnicity, or a history of endogamy.
To date, there is little evidence in human genome research which indicates that race can be defined in such a way as to be useful in determining a genetic classification of humans. An entry in the Oxford English Dictionary defines racialism as "n earlier term than racism, but now superseded by it", cites it in a 1902 quote; the revised Oxford English Dictionary cites the shortened term "racism" in a quote from the following year, 1903. It was first defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "he theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are determined by race". By the end of World War II, racism had acquired the same supremacist connotations associated with racialism: racism now implied racial discrimination, racial supremacism, a harmful intent; as its history indicates, the popular use of the word racism is recent. The word came into widespread usage in the Western world in the 1930s, when it was used to describe the social and political ideology of Nazism, which saw "race" as a given political unit.
It is agreed that racism existed before the coinage of the word, but there is not a wide agreement on a single definition of what racism is and what it is not. Today, some scholars of racism prefer to use the concept in the plural racisms, in order to emphasize its many different forms that do not fall under a single definition, they argue that different forms of racism have characterized different historical periods and geographical areas. Garner summarizes different existing definitions of racism and identifies three common elements contained in those definitions of racism. First, a historical, hierarchical power relationship between groups. Though many countries around the globe have passed laws related to race and discrimination, the first significant international human rights instrument developed by the United Nations
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States, it was named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south; the Census Bureau's definition consists of 12 states in the north central United States: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin. The region lies on the broad Interior Plain between the states occupying the Appalachian Mountain range and the states occupying the Rocky Mountain range. Major rivers in the region include, from east to west, the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River, the Missouri River. A 2012 report from the United States Census put the population of the Midwest at 65,377,684; the Midwest is divided by the Census Bureau into two divisions.
The East North Central Division includes Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, all of which are part of the Great Lakes region. The West North Central Division includes Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, several of which are located, at least within the Great Plains region. Chicago is the most populous city in the American Midwest and the third most populous in the entire country. Other large Midwestern cities include: Columbus, Detroit, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Cleveland, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Des Moines. Chicago and its suburbs form the largest metropolitan statistical area with 9.9 million people, followed by Metro Detroit, Minneapolis–St. Paul, Greater St. Louis, Greater Cleveland, Greater Cincinnati, the Kansas City metro area, the Columbus metro area; the term Midwestern has been in use since the 1880s to refer to portions of the central United States. A variant term, Middle West, has been used since the 19th century and remains common. Another term sometimes applied to the same general region is the heartland.
Other designations for the region have fallen out of use, such as the Northwest or Old Northwest and Mid-America. The Northwest Territory was one of the earliest territories of the United States, stretching northwest from the Ohio River to northern Minnesota and the upper-Mississippi; the upper-Mississippi watershed including the Missouri and Illinois Rivers was the setting for the earlier French settlements of the Illinois Country and the Ohio Country. Economically the region is balanced between heavy industry and agriculture, with finance and services such as medicine and education becoming important, its central location makes it a transportation crossroads for river boats, autos and airplanes. Politically, the region swings back and forth between the parties, thus is contested and decisive in elections. After the sociological study Middletown, based on Muncie, commentators used Midwestern cities as "typical" of the nation. Earlier, the rhetorical question, "Will it play in Peoria?", had become a stock phrase using Peoria, Illinois to signal whether something would appeal to mainstream America.
The region has a higher employment-to-population ratio than the Northeast, the West, the South, or the Sun Belt states as of 2011. Traditional definitions of the Midwest include the Northwest Ordinance Old Northwest states and many states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase; the states of the Old Northwest are known as Great Lakes states and are east-north central in the United States. The Ohio River runs along the southeastern section while the Mississippi River runs north to south near the center. Many of the Louisiana Purchase states in the west-north central United States, are known as Great Plains states, where the Missouri River is a major waterway joining with the Mississippi; the Midwest lies north of the 36°30′ parallel that the 1820 Missouri Compromise established as the dividing line between future slave and non-slave states. The Midwest Region is defined by the U. S. Census Bureau as these 12 states: Illinois: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Indiana: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state Iowa: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River state Kansas: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Michigan: Old Northwest and Great Lakes state Minnesota: Old Northwest, Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Lakes state Missouri: Louisiana Purchase, Mississippi River, Missouri River, border state Nebraska: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state North Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, part of Red River Colony before 1818, Great Plains, Missouri River state Ohio: Old Northwest, Ohio River, Great Lakes state.
The southeastern part of the state is part of northern Appalachia South Dakota: Louisiana Purchase, Great Plains, Missouri River state Wisconsin: Old Northwest, Mississippi River, Great Lakes stateVarious organizations define the Midwest with different groups of states. For example, the Council of State Governments, an organization for communication and coordination among state governments, includes in its Midwe
The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was an American form of entertainment developed in the early 19th century. Each show consisted of comic skits, variety acts and music performances that depicted people of African descent; the shows were performed by white people in make-up or blackface for the purpose of playing the role of black people. There were some African-American performers and all-black minstrel groups that formed and toured under the direction of white people. Minstrel shows lampooned black people as dim-witted, buffoonish and happy-go-lucky. Minstrel shows emerged as brief burlesques and comic entr'actes in the early 1830s in the Northeastern states, they were developed into full-fledged form in the next decade. By 1848, blackface minstrel shows were the national artform, translating formal art such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. By the turn of the 20th century, the minstrel show enjoyed but a shadow of its former popularity, having been replaced for the most part by vaudeville.
The form survived as professional entertainment until about 1910. The genre has had a lasting legacy and influence and was featured in a television series as as 1975; as the civil rights movement progressed and gained acceptance, minstrels lost popularity. The typical minstrel performance followed a three-act structure; the troupe first danced onto stage exchanged wisecracks and sang songs. The second part featured a variety of entertainments, including the pun-filled stump speech; the final act consisted of a send-up of a popular play. Minstrel songs and sketches featured several stock characters, most popularly the slave and the dandy; these were further divided into sub-archetypes such as the mammy, her counterpart the old darky, the provocative mulatto wench, the black soldier. Minstrels claimed that their songs and dances were authentically black, although the extent of the black influence remains debated. Spirituals entered the repertoire in the 1870s, marking the first undeniably black music to be used in minstrelsy.
Blackface minstrelsy was the first theatrical form, distinctly American. During the 1830s and 1840s at the height of its popularity, it was at the epicenter of the American music industry. For several decades, it provided the means. On the one hand, it had strong racist aspects. Although the minstrel shows were popular, being "consistently packed with families from all walks of life and every ethnic group", they were controversial. Integrationists decried them as falsely showing happy slaves while at the same time making fun of them. Minstrel shows were popular before slavery was abolished, sufficiently so that Frederick Douglass described blackface performers as "...the filthy scum of white society, who have stolen from us a complexion denied them by nature, in which to make money, pander to the corrupt taste of their white fellow citizens." Although white theatrical portrayals of black characters date back to as early as 1604, the minstrel show as such has origins. By the late 18th century, blackface characters began appearing on the American stage as "servant" types whose roles did little more than provide some element of comic relief.
Similar performers appeared in entr'actes in New York theaters and other venues such as taverns and circuses. As a result, the blackface "Sambo" character came to supplant the "tall-tale-telling Yankee" and "frontiersman" character-types in popularity, white actors such as Charles Mathews, George Washington Dixon, Edwin Forrest began to build reputations as blackface performers. Author Constance Rourke claimed that Forrest's impression was so good he could fool blacks when he mingled with them in the streets. Thomas Dartmouth Rice's successful song-and-dance number, "Jump Jim Crow", brought blackface performance to a new level of prominence in the early 1830s. At the height of Rice's success, The Boston Post wrote, "The two most popular characters in the world at the present are Victoria and Jim Crow." As early as the 1820s, blackface performers called themselves "Ethiopian delineators". Blackface soon found a home in the taverns of New York's less respectable precincts of Lower Broadway, the Bowery, Chatham Street.
It appeared on more respectable stages, most as an entr'acte. Upper-class houses at first limited the number of such acts they would show, but beginning in 1841, blackface performers took to the stage at the classy Park Theatre, much to the dismay of some patrons. Theater was a participatory activity, the lower classes came to dominate the playhouse, they threw things at actors or orchestras who performed unpopular material, rowdy audiences prevented the Bowery Theatre from staging high drama at all. Typical blackface acts of the period were short burlesques with mock Shakespearean titles like "Hamlet the Dainty", "Bad Breath, the Crane of Chowder", "Julius Sneezer" or "Dars-de-Money". Meanwhile, at least some whites were interested in black dance by actual black performers. Nineteenth-century New York slaves shingle danced for spare change on their days off, musicians play
Charles Barney Hicks was an African-American advance man, manager and owner of blackface minstrel troupes composed of African-American performers. Hicks himself was a talented minstrel performer who could sing and play challenging roles such as the minstrel-show interlocutor or endmen. However, he was most interested in the business side of minstrelsy. Over the course of his career, he worked with most successful black minstrel troupes as manager, owner or both; the white-dominated minstrel market proved hostile to a black owner, Hicks had to travel abroad or manage for white owners in order to make a reliable living. Both white and black rivals came to respect him. One observer in 1891 wrote, "This man Hicks was a dangerous man to all outside managers and they all were afraid of him." In 1912, Hicks was the sole African American listed on M. B. Leavitt's list of "best known advance agents during the last fifty years". Hicks's first major accomplishment was the key role he played in 1865 to form Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels.
He served as the manager and performed with them during a tour through the Northeastern United States in 1865-6. Hicks and company became the first black minstrel troupe to have a successful season. Hicks left Brooker and Clayton's in 1866 to try his hand at owning and managing a company of his own, becoming the first black man to do both simultaneously. Over the next four years, Hicks disbanded a number of unsuccessful groups, he played up his black minstrels' connection to legitimate black culture with names like the Slave Troupe or the Georgia Slave Brothers, evidence suggests that Hicks's companies did draw significant numbers of black viewers. In early 1869, a Pittsburgh newspaper reported that the "colored element of the city turned out en masse" to see Hicks's Georgia Slave Troupe. In 1870, Hicks and his partner Bob Height led Hicks and Height's Georgia Minstrels on tour in Germany, the first black minstrel troupe to perform in that country. Hicks left mid-tour to star with Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels.
He became a correspondent for the New York entertainment journal, The Clipper, a position he used to tout his accomplishments abroad. Upon their return to the United States in 1872, the troupe was bought by Charles Callender, Hicks stayed on until 1873 as business manager, he next managed two more ill-fated troupes, Charles Hick's African Minstrels and Charles Hick's Georgia Minstrels. His next job was as manager of Sprague and Blodgett's Georgia Minstrels in 1876. In 1877, Hicks lured a company away from promoter J. H. Haverly and Tom Maguire and called them Hick's Georgia Minstrels. Within a few months, Hicks led them to a tour in Australia, they played there for three years. Hicks perfected his flair for promotion in Australia. Ads raved, "PIRATES BEWARE! WE ARE STILL ON THE WAR PATH" and "THE HEROES OF MONTREAL, SARATOGA, CHICAGO, SAN FRANCISCO AND NOW AUSTRALIA STILL LIVE!" He advertised his return to U. S. soil in July 1880 with an ad that read, "MISSING MAN TURNS UP HOME AGAIN." Over the next few years, he performed with a number of troupes owned by others.
In late 1881 or early 1882, Hicks persuaded Callender's current black troupe to join him in western New York. On Callender's orders and Charles Frohman won them back by threatening to blacklist the wayward performers. Hicks's stint as business manager for A. D. Sawyer and Tom McIntosh failed indicating that Hicks had himself been blacklisted. In 1885, Hicks left after less than a year, he again formed this time with A. D. Sawyer, they bickered, within a year, they were managing rival troupes, both under the name Hicks and Sawyer's Consolidated Colored Minstrels. Hicks's portion failed to make money, so he moved to playing dime shows and other lower-paying venues. Hicks formed another troupe and took them to Australia, New Zealand, other Pacific countries, he died in 1902 in Java. Toll, Robert C.. Blacking Up: The Minstrel Show in Nineteenth-century America. New York: Oxford University Press. Watkins, Mel. On the Real Side: Laughing and Signifying—The Underground Tradition of African-American Humor that Transformed American Culture, from Slavery to Richard Pryor.
New York: Simon & Schuster
Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up used predominantly by non-black performers to represent a caricature of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the spread of racial stereotypes such as the "happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation" or the "dandified coon". By the middle of the century, blackface minstrel shows had become a distinctive American artform, translating formal works such as opera into popular terms for a general audience. Early in the 20th century, blackface branched off from the minstrel show and became a form in its own right. In the United States, blackface had fallen out of favor by the turn of the 21st century, is now considered offensive and disrespectful, though the practice continues in other countries. Blackface was a performance tradition in the American theater for 100 years beginning around 1830, it became popular elsewhere so in Britain, where the tradition lasted longer than in the U. S. occurring on primetime TV, most famously in The Black and White Minstrel Show, which ended in 1978, in Are You Being Served?'s Christmas specials in 1976 and in 1981.
In both the United States and Britain, blackface was most used in the minstrel performance tradition, which it both predated and outlasted. Early white performers in blackface used burnt cork and greasepaint or shoe polish to blacken their skin and exaggerate their lips wearing woolly wigs, tailcoats, or ragged clothes to complete the transformation. Black artists performed in blackface. Stereotypes embodied in the stock characters of blackface minstrels not only played a significant role in cementing and proliferating racist images and perceptions worldwide, but in popularizing black culture. In some quarters, the caricatures that were the legacy of blackface persist to the present day and are a cause of ongoing controversy. Another view is that "blackface is a form of cross-dressing in which one puts on the insignias of a sex, class, or race that stands in opposition to one's own."By the mid-20th century, changing attitudes about race and racism ended the prominence of blackface makeup used in performance in the U.
S. and elsewhere. Blackface in contemporary art remains in limited use as a theatrical device and is more used today as social commentary or satire; the most enduring effect of blackface is the precedent it established in the introduction of African-American culture to an international audience, albeit through a distorted lens. Blackface's appropriation and assimilation of African-American culture – as well as the inter-ethnic artistic collaborations that stemmed from it – were but a prologue to the lucrative packaging and dissemination of African-American cultural expression and its myriad derivative forms in today's world popular culture. There is no consensus about a single moment; the journalist and cultural commentator John Strausbaugh places it as part of a tradition of "displaying Blackness for the enjoyment and edification of white viewers" that dates back at least to 1441, when captive West Africans were displayed in Portugal. White people portrayed the black characters in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theater, most famously in Othello.
However and other plays of this era did not involve the emulation and caricature of "such supposed innate qualities of Blackness as inherent musicality, natural athleticism", etc. that Strausbaugh sees as crucial to blackface. Lewis Hallam, Jr. a white blackface actor of American Company fame, brought blackface in this more specific sense to prominence as a theatrical device in the United States when playing the role of "Mungo", an inebriated black man in The Padlock, a British play that premiered in New York City at the John Street Theatre on May 29, 1769. The play attracted notice, other performers adopted the style. From at least the 1810s, blackface clowns were popular in the United States. British actor Charles Mathews toured the U. S. in 1822–23, as a result added a "black" characterization to his repertoire of British regional types for his next show, A Trip to America, which included Mathews singing "Possum up a Gum Tree", a popular slave freedom song. Edwin Forrest played a plantation black in 1823, George Washington Dixon was building his stage career around blackface in 1828, but it was another white comic actor, Thomas D. Rice, who popularized blackface.
Rice introduced the song "Jump Jim Crow" accompanied by a dance in his stage act in 1828 and scored stardom with it by 1832. First on de heel tap, den on the toeEvery time I wheel about I jump Jim Crow. I wheel about and turn about an do just so. Rice traveled the U. S. performing under the stage name "Daddy Jim Crow". The name Jim Crow became attached to statutes that codified the reinstitution of segregation and discrimination after Reconstruction. In the 1830s and early 1840s, blackface performances mixed skits with comic songs and vigorous dances. Rice and his peers performed only in disreputable venues, but as blackface gained popularity they gained opportunities to perform as entr'actes in theatrical venues of a higher class. Stereotyped blackface characters developed: buffoonish, superstitious and lascivious characters, who stole, lied pathologically, mangled the English language. Early blackface minstrels were all male, so cross-dressing white men played black women who were portrayed as unappealingly and grotesquely mannish, in the matronly mammy mold, or as sexually provocative.
The 1830s American stage, where blackfa