Sample Argumentative Essay Paper on African American Studies

African American Leader Shirley Chisholm constructs an argument for why she was
successful in reaching her goals. Include what the person's goals were and make sure to

have loads of context and appropriate detail.

Shirley, Chisholm, the first African American to serve in the United States Congress,
stayed true to her core principles and goals. Shirley Chisholm principal goals were fighting
poverty and ignorance in the society. In addition, Shirley Chisholm championed for an equal
right or women in the United States. This section discusses how Shirley Chisholm achieved the
goal of eradicating poverty and ignorance especially among minorities, women and, the poor.
Firstly, Shirley Chisholm has constructed an argument on why she was successful in
achieving her goal of facilitating equal rights for women in the United States. While serving as
the representative of the people, Shirley Chisholm often focused on the plight of women because
she believed that discrimination still run rampant in society. She championed equal pay and
equal opportunities for women and supported the equal rights amendment. Shirley Chisholm, in
her blunt, forthright way, for instance, pointed out that the workforce fostered inequity in favor
of men. In her argumentation, she states, “the factors that have narrowed the opportunities are
multiple and complex” [1]. She went ahead and stated that there were restrictive hiring practices
in America and discrimination when it comes to promotion. She also documented the inequities
women faced in higher education. She used the topic of discrimination to encourage women to
enter politics in order to better their world.
Chisholm’s clear examples and blunt styles connected with her audiences, and speeches
she delivered throughout her life motivated women to fight for their rights in the society.
Therefore, besides facilitating the implementation of several bills that would then recognize the
plight of women, her outspoken characteristics enabled women stand up and address the need for

their rights in the society. While fighting to eradicate poverty at all levels in the United States,
Chisholm spent approximately four years working in the New York Assembly where she came
up with or established clear sets of legislative precedence mainly focusing in poverty eradication.
In addition, Chisholm facilitated the improvement and implementation of service programs
centering on minorities, women, and the poor.
Chisholm also facilitated the implementation of two bills in an attempt to eliminate
poverty. The first bill was the one that introduced SEEK program. This program was particularly
designed in order assess and identify disadvantaged and underprivileged youths in high school.
These youths would then be offered with an opportunity to go to college of their choice
depending on their performance. The second bill was the one that was mainly implemented in
order to change the practices of discriminatory of revoking tenure or occupancy for female
teachers and other female workers whose careers were being interrupted by pregnancy.
Therefore, following her focus on eradicating poverty and ignorance among the minorities and
women, Shirley Chisholm managed to facilitate the introduction of several programs aimed at
educating the youths in tandem with the introduction of bills that protected women.
In conclusion, it is observable that social and economic inequities provided the impetus
for Chisholm’s Key legislation. She often detailed the problems of inequity at length and
consistently argued that a critical shift in national’s priorities must take place before serious
reforms should occur. Specifically, she called for a decrease in defense spending and an increase
in social programs. She reasoned that failure to do so would result in serious problem. Indeed,
her success in achieving her goals has provided passionate testimony to her commitment to
improving the lives of the poor individuals and the minorities especially the ones who lack the
power to make a change.

Compare and contrast the writings, speeches, and work of Dubois and Washington. Be

sure to include context and appropriate detail.

In the late 19 th Century and 20 th century, many African American leaders established
several philosophies that were seen as targeting the problems that were being faced by African
Americans in the Unite States. While Washington and Du Bois approach to addressing the
challenges that were facing African American differ significantly, the two agreed on some
issues. This part highlights the major similarities and major differences between Du Bois and
Washington ideologies.
In their writings and speeches, Both Du Bois and Washington agreed on the problems
that were facing African Americans at the time. They both observed that African American were
being denied the opportunity to achieve education and, thus, were largely barred from getting
high paying jobs. While working as an editor of The Crisis, Du Bois placed more stress on how
African Americans were being denied an equal chance to gain higher Education. In most of his
writings at The Crisis, Du Bois often mentioned that the African Americans were largely isolated
and were being denied entry into high paying jobs because they were not allowed to attain higher
education. Like Dubois, the work of Washington also reflects his views on how he viewed the
oppression among the African American especially in the South. Washington had observed that
African Americans were not obtaining the basic education. Washington even went ahead and
obtained a financial loan in order to set up school for the African Americans. He began his
classes with approximately 30 students in an abandoned shanty that was donated by the church.
Both Du Bois, in several of his writings during his working time at The Crisis, and
Washington, in his work as a volunteering teacher, agree that Blacks were being denied equal

opportunities for skilled jobs because they were undereducated. Likewise, they observed that
African Americans were largely denied the power to vote particularly in the south, and as a
result, that denial removed completely the option or opportunity for holding politicians fully
accountable for their racial gestures or racism.
While Du Bois and Washington held similar opinion in regards to the problems facing
African Americans, their solutions to these problems were significantly different. Washington
felt that it was extremely important for African Americans to earn their rights by proving that
they deserved those rights. Nevertheless, instead of advocating for social equality and political
change, Booker T. Washington, in his autobiography, Up from Slavery, and several of his
followers urged African Americans to fight strongly for their fundamental rights by practicing
the values of diligence, hard work, and thrift in an attempt to better themselves while presenting
a positive image of Blacks. He, therefore, believed that through education the blacks would be
able to gain necessary skills that would enable them elevate their living standards in tandem with
gaining positive image in the society.
Du Bois, on the other hand, while addressing the solution to the problems facing African
Americans, represented a social and political belief system. In most of his writings, Du Bois
placed full most of his stress on liberty and culture. Unlike Washington, Du Bois focused on full
political and civil rights for all in America. He constructed his ideologies in line with Marxism
and widely criticized community party for its incompetence in dealing with the problems of the
black Americans. He, therefore, believed that in order to achieve equal rights to education and
employments, African Americans were to participate in the political system of America.

In conclusion, Although Du Bois and Washington were extremely different as seen in
their ideologies; they indubitably influenced the African American population of America. Du
Bois, even though he supported communism, which is exceptional in a utopian world yet
destructive in reality, had the African Americans’ interest at heart. Washington, on the other
hand, who was the founder of Tuskegee Institute, also played an important role in solving
Africans Americans Problems he had more interest in the promoting the culture of the Whites
and its ideals.
Choose one aspect of African American art or literature that we have studied or that is in
your text. Explain what the historical context for this art or literature was, why it was

important, and what its lasting impact is.

African American literature, in broad terms, refers to the writings and compilations by
individuals of African decent living in America. Most of literatures of African American mainly
focused on the role of Blacks in the American society and the experiences of Black people as
American citizens. This section discusses the post slavery African American autobiographical
literature, Up from Slavery, by Booker, T. Washington.
Historical content of the literature
This literature details the slow and steady rise of Booker T. Washington from a slave
toddler during the civil wars of the late 1800s, to the challenges and difficulties he overcame to
obtain education at Hampton University, to his outstanding works in an attempt to address
challenges that were facing African Americans. This autobiography, therefore, mainly examines
the events and challenges African Americans Were experiencing during the post slavery era.
Importance of the literature

Up from Slavery has been acknowledged as one of the historical literatures that details the
real life experiences of African Americans in their attempt to fight for equality particularly in
regards to attaining education. This autobiography provides details of how Washington dedicated
his life to helping African Americans and other underprivileged minorities in order to obtain
useful skills through education. For that reason, this literature help provide an in depth
examination of the various solutions that deemed useful in addressing the problems that were
facing the African American. Therefore, this literature was important of this literature is that it
provides and insight to the long lasting solutions that help paved way to the democratic and
discrimination free America.
The lasting impact of the literature
Booker T. Washington autobiography has had a profound impact on the present
American society. This autobiography not only provides rich information about the struggles of
African Americans to achieve education and other opportunities, but has also influences the
social and political composition of America. As a matter of fact, the events described in this
autobiography has largely constituted to the establishment of equality in the education system,
which did not exist in the conventional era. Today, individuals from different races have equal
chances of attending schools of choices depending on their performance and not on their race.
In conclusion, Booker T. Washington Autobiography has played an important role in
reveal the past struggles and challenges African American Went through in the late 19 th century
and early 20 th century. In addition, this literature has also influenced largely the formation of the
contemporary American society.
Give two examples for when and why the federal government and executive branch
intervened with the civil rights movement of the 50's, 60's and possibly beyond. Include

examples from school desegregation and other examples. Be sure to specify what time you

are talking about and who the key people were.

The Civil right movement of the 1950s and the 1960s was a nationwide-based movement
that had considerable social and political consequences for America. The movement was largely
intended to address the generation old injustices of racial discrimination through employment of
the method of non-violence, which African American leaders believed was the most important
step to overcoming post slavery challenges. This section explores several reasons behind the
federal government and executive branch involvement in with the Civil right movement of the
past few decades.
During the Civil right movement of roughly between1955 and 1965, many judicial and
legislative events emphasized the legitimacy of fair and just treatment of minority groups
especially African Americans. Nevertheless, despite the strong support of the federal
government, in tandem with the executive branch, these new laws and declarations faced strong
opposition. While the central government played an important role in championing for the rights
of African Americans, many local governments and several individuals refused or declined to
end racial discrimination and, thus, continued with several practices of segregation.
Nevertheless, several attempt by the central government and executive contributed largely to the
success of the movement.
For example, in 1957, three years after the Supreme Court had declared racial segregation
especially in public schools unconstitutional, the Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus tried to
prevent nine African American students from entering or attending Central High School located
in Little Rock. On noticing this event, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal army troops
in order to enforce the Supreme Court order. During that period, Governor Orval Faubus

decided to deploy the Arkansas National Guard in order to support the segregationists by
preventing the nine students from entering the school on September 1957.
The intense sight of several lines of soldiers and guards trying to block out the African
American students made headlines and mobilized the nation. In regards to the crowd that was
accompanying the soldiers, one the nine black students Elizabeth Eckford revealed how an old
woman had spit on her during the ordeal at the school. Besides sending troops to enforce the
court order, President Eisenhower summoned Faubus for a meeting and gave him a strong
warning not to go against the ruling of the Supreme Court. Indeed, by the end of the year 1957,
the nine Black students were admitted to Central High under tight protection of the United States
The second example of the federal government and executive branch involvement with
the Civil Right movement was seen in 1964 when a troop of soldiers was deployed by President
J. F. Kennedy to the University of Mississippi to prevent rioters from preventing James Meredith
from attending school. James Meredith was the first African American student to attend
University of Mississippi. Prior to the event, the University was largely segregated and only
White student were allowed to attend the school. President Kennedy’s action clearly reveals that
the federal government was largely committed to ensuring that the African American rights were
not violated throughout the movements that took place during the period.
In conclusion, while the executive branch and the federal government including the
legislative and judiciary championed for the rights of the African Americans. Several people
including local government officials and people largely opposed the movement. Several events
took place during the movement; however, the rulings of the Supreme Court, in tandem with the

assurance of the central government to reinforce those ruling facilitated the achievement of equal
rights in America.


Behnken, Brian D. 2011. The struggle in Black and brown African American and Mexican
American relations during the civil rights era. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Jones, Angela. 2011. African American civil rights early activism and the Niagara movement.
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Fredrickson, George M. 2001. White supremacy: a comparative study in American and South
African history. New York: Oxford University Press.
Gates, Henry Louis. 2011. Life upon these shores: looking at African American history, 1513-
2008. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.