American History




American History

World war 2 was a trying time for the African American community in general. Tyrone Williams was now a fully-grown man, arguably experiencing his peak, and was drafted to fight in the German fronts by the US army. Cassandra was yet again opposed to this idea but had little to say about it. Cato convinced his son to enroll and serve his country, despite the rampant segregation faced by the black community at the time. Life was especially hard for Tyrone as he had a mixed ethnicity. He could not fit in well with the white community as they viewed him as a black man. Yet, the black community also rejected him due to his light-skin appearance. Therefore, he was often neglected by both communities and was lonely. He only had the comfort of his mother, Jenifer, and the rest of his family, Cato and Cassandra.

Therefore, it was understandable for him to seek some form of appreciation from society by enlisting in the army. The NAACP was advocating for African American to be selected according to their percentage of the population. However, this was not the case as more than one million African Americans were drafted. This figure, compared to only four thousand blacks enlisted in the army before 1941, shows they were over-drafted. Tyrone was first selected as a serviceman cooking for the officers who were in the front line of battle. But when the war took a toll on the numbers of soldiers, he was forced to enter the battlefield. He was unfortunately murdered in the war and his remains could not be recovered due to the state they were in.

This news shocked his mother and family in general. Cato felt guilty for compelling his son to join in the war and it led him to alcoholism. Jenifer was likewise infuriated with Cato’s decision to compel her son to join the army. She refused to talk to Cato for the next six months and the mood in the house was unbearable. Cato eventually succumbed to liver disease and dies a few years later. After his death, Jenifer left their home, and Cassandra never saw her again. Luckily, Cassandra’s involvement in the NAACP started to bear fruits. Civil rights activists and war veterans began staging demonstrations against segregation and racism in the black community.

President Roosevelt advocated for freedom and equality for all Americans and it further fueled the riots by the NAACP. Cassandra involved herself in all these demonstrations by taking to the streets and mobilizing fellow black women. These protests were risky as police often used excessive force and live ammunition to disband these groups. Cassandra often suffered minor injuries but they did not deter her involvement. The protests aimed to achieve an end to end segregation in the work area.

The war opened up more job opportunities for black communities as some posts were left vacant after the whites went to war. More educated blacks joined the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 60s. As the cold war heated, President Truman advocated for the cease of segregation and racism in the army. Cassandra, along with fellow blacks, protested the segregation of education. At that time, blacks were only allowed to learn in all-black institutions. The pressure from the demonstrations forced the government to abolish segregation in all public schools.

Even though the law allowed black people to vote, many states made them take voter literacy examinations. They were biased and confusing, causing nearly all blacks to fail the exam, including Cassandra. However, pressure from civil rights movements compelled Congress to abolish these rules, allowing blacks to vote and making it illegal to prevent anyone from voting. In the 1960s, prejudice was still a major issue. Cassandra volunteered to participate in the Selma March despite the apparent risks involved. It was arranged due to the exceeding number of blacks that were eligible voters but were still rejected from applying.

During this march, Cassandra was significantly injured by a stampede and required immediate medical treatment. A black family in Alabama adopted Cassandra after they heard her sad story. The Johnsons’ were a family of five and were all involved in the fight for the end of segregation and prejudice. The first-born son, Jackson, was a middle-aged man and was closest to Cassandra. She taught him all she knew about the struggle blacks had faced throughout her life. Cassandra considered Jackson as her apprentice and son.

They lived in poor conditions but devoted most of their time by attending protests and rallies to ensure equal opportunities for black. After many famous leaders of the civil rights groups were assassinated, the protest became more common and pressure mounted on the government to enact more laws favoring equal rights. Finally, in 1968, the fair housing bill was passed by congress. It was a game-changer to the Johnsons family’s lives as they finally allowed them to move into a decent neighborhood in Alabama. The housing was affordable and many black communities could finally live in respectable conditions. Cassandra was finally in a place where she could be comfortable.

As prejudice became less of an issue, a new problem emerged. The war in Vietnam was escalating and the army was recruiting members again. Jackson was opposed to what was happening in Vietnam and often participated in protests against it. He helped distribute flyers and brochures containing information on why the war was wrong and rally locations. He rose in ranks and was soon recognized as a significant activist in his area. He mobilized black youth to get off the streets and avoid idleness. He encouraged the black youth to participate in anti-war demonstrations instead of idling or drug use. Luckily, these protests helped greatly in the agreement to the ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Jackson continued to join lobby groups and non-government organizations that kept the government on his toes and observed misconduct. The groups investigated on many activities the government undertook and raised the flag in many scandals. Such scandals included the Watergate scandal, the Pentagon paper scandal, the oil embargo scandal amongst others. Jackson helped recruit black people to join the groups and assist in funding to ensure the smooth proceeding of activities. He participated in investigations that related the Watergate Scandal to President Nixon. He educated people in his community on what was going on. His help in bringing these controversies to light, combined with other activists, led to the eventual stepping down of Nixon.

Jackson joined a local media house and wrote controversial articles citing the mismanagement of power among other issues. He especially wrote on issues ongoing during the Gulf War. He got the information from a friend who was in Baghdad as the war emerged. He would relay letters of the occurrences and Jackson included them in his article. Soon, the local paper received national attention because of the unknown details it uncovered. Writing about several airstrikes by the US government that murdered many innocent women and children, his article was soon canceled by the government. He was not deterred and made frequent appearances at radio stations cutting the government’s involvement in the war.

Additionally, Jackson discussed many issues and viewpoints in which he disagreed with government action. He commended the decision of Germany to destroy the Berlin wall. Specifically, he admired the peaceful demonstrations by those in East Germany. He disagreed with the occasional use of force by the police to disband the rioters and encouraged the Germany officials to listen to the pleads of their citizens. He later applauded the quick decision to allow the migration to either side of the wall and challenged the US government to emulated such action.

Even though segregation and prejudice were against the law in the US, several cases of racism were still prevalent, especially by police officers. Black people were still being murdered without legitimate cause. Jackson was often critical to such events and organized the sending of parties for the deceased. He often talked of the widespread white supremacists in the police department and requested for serious vetting of citizens who wished to become police officers. However, little was done to prevent the innocent death of black citizens. Also, incidences of police officers enforcing excessive force to black communities were still high with many reports being filed.