In this historical account, Dr. Dickson A. Mungazi examines key dimensions in the African American struggle for development during the period from the Civil War to the present. Considering four aspects of this struggle, this study examines the areas of social, economic, political, and educational barriers experienced by African Americans in their quest for equality in the United States.
The issues in this struggle resulted in great debates among key stockholders. Central to the debate are opposing beliefs, juxtaposed between the identity thrust upon African Americans as slaves by their white owners and the manner in which they sought a new identity as a free people.
In this instance that identity is used to represent group identity and rights of individuals as members of the African Americans as a group; aided by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which liberated African Americans from human bondage as slaves, and defended their right to life and liberty without fear of deprivation of due process and the right to become voting citizens. Nowhere else in the world has the institution of slavery been dealt with in a more forthright matter more than in these constitutional amendments.
Although originally intended to promote the development of African Americans, these constitutional amendments served the interests of all Americans. To deny African Americans basic rights to freedom and equal status in society would require the Contitution of the United States to be reframed, an action not likely to occur. These amendments would