History Repeats Itself?


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There have been many instances throughout history wherein the same or similar events occur in a different period. Black people in the United States, over the last hundred years, have experienced six such instances.

The Civil War

The Civil Rights Movement

The Gettysburg Address
I Have a Dream Speech
Lincoln Assassination
Kennedy Assassination
Vice President Johnson
becomes president -1865
Vice President Johnson
becomes president - 1965
Reconstruction Falters
Affirmation Action Falters
Reconstruction Ends
Affirmative Action Ends

The Civil War and the civil rights movement ended one hundred years apart. The most important speech during the Civil rights war was Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the most important address of the Civil rights era was Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Each spoke of liberty for Black people.

Lincoln, because of the Emancipation Proclamation, was seen as the Great emancipator. John F. Kennedy was seen as a champion of the Civil Rights movement through his sponsorship of the Civil Rights Bill, and each president was assassinated and succeeded by a vice president with the last name of Johnson. Each Johnson pushed legislation through congress that benefited black freedom in the United States: Andrew Johnson supported the various Reconstruction bills during the mid to late 1860s (although he also vetoed bills beneficial to Blacks), and Lyndon B. Johnson supported affirmative action in the mid to late1960s.

Reconstruction, due to southern opposition headed by the Democrats, began to falter in 1877. Aiding that faltering was the party of Lincoln, the Republicans, wavering in their commitment to Black equality. In 1977 the Bakke case made the first significant chop at the foundation of Affirmation Action. Aiding the efforts of the Republican Party in its backing of Bakke was the lack of opposition from the Democratic Party, which previously supported Affirmative Action.
     Reconstruction was entirely ended in 1896 with the Supreme Court's decision in Plessy vs. Ferguesson. By 1996 Affirmative Action was under total assault, and today it is unlawful in many states to use race in any criteria for hiring or admission to colleges and universities.

Source: OURSTORY 1950 - 2000 by Dr. Arthur Lewin.