An overview of African-Americans journey
African-Americans have a long history that dates back to the 16th century when the slave
trade began. Before the blacks from Africa settled in America and acquired American citizenry,
they were slaves that were only useful in the plantations, homes, and factories owned by their
masters. They did all the hard work for meager pay in the form of foodstuffs, shelter, and the
likes. The slave trade was pioneered during the Trans-Atlantic trade that took place around 1526-
1866 and thereabouts (Mintz 2020). The author states that the first shipment of slaves to enter the
U.S. came from Europe at the start of the 16th century. Forced labor was a norm in the New
World (America), as the slave trade took effect both in the international waters and domestically.
As time passed, there was a need for change, and the slaves had become Americans though they
still were got treated as second-class citizens with minimal rights. Southern states treated slaves
like any other property at their disposal. With deeper concerns about ending slavery, embracing
equality, and integrating freed slaves, America went into Civil War in 1861, fighting for the
blacks on critical factors such as voting rights, right to own property, and do business and fair
This study will look at several strategies to galvanize African-Americans, and bring unity
and identify possible ways of solving racism issues in the U.S. African-Americans are facing
oppression and other forms of discrimination every day, since the white supremacy, during the
slave trade, is still evident in the 21st century. Cases of African-Americans caught on the wrong
side of the law are rampant in the U.S., and most of them end up in prisons even for minor
offenses, prompting the question if they ever receive fair trials at all. The whites occupied most
of the best land and property in prime places from the slavery period; the same goes for the best
jobs, health care, and education, were a preserve for the whites. Times have changed, and it is
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 3
about time to look at the options available to create a level ground for this third largest ethnic
group in the U.S.
Business ownership/economic empowerment of the African-Americans
According to Marshall (2019), U.S. businesses owned by the whites are a million short of
the 20 million marks. African-Americans own about 9.5% of the firms in the U.S. By all
standards, this is a deficient number. The entrepreneurship spirit in the blacks needs revival.
African-Americans have a culture of hard work and determination. From days of forced labor in
the plantations to freedom and integration, they proved to the rest of the Americans that they can
survive, and thrive. This tremendous journey is a reminder that someone needs to shout out loud
that it can happen if they unite. One of the unifying factors towards entrepreneurship among
African-Americans is their origin. They did not have easy sailing from the slavery period to the
current day. The poverty, sickness, humiliation through segregation, and many other inhuman
acts from the whites give African-Americans enough motivation to start businesses and employ
more of their own. The author further states that through entrepreneurship, African-Americans
can bridge the racial gap in the distribution of wealth and business ownership. Only about 1.3%
of the businesses owned by blacks has employees. To improve the economic situation of black
households, more companies need to absorb workers from the black community.
The church is at the forefront to initiate changes that can empower the African-
Americans socially and economically. Most African-Americans are religious or instead found
religion as some sort of relief against oppression. During the slavery period, some freed blacks
moved to the North and formed churches and other social gathering centers, to worship and
reflect on their lives. They had their churches, schools, and businesses. From the plan, they
meant to create a self-reliant system for the blacks in the U.S. Spiritual matters cut deep to the
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 4
believers, and it is one of the best forums to preach hard work, commitment, dangers of crime
and drugs across the streets. The church has a chance of initiating programs to uplift the African-
Americans' youth, widows, widowers, and the less fortunate in society. It is not easy getting the
young boys and girls out of the streets and bring them to church. If their livelihood depended on
selling drugs, the church must think big to create an alternative source of income before pulling
them out of the streets.
Most African-Americans' families are in shambles for various reasons like jail term
service for felonies, domestic violence, economic hardships, and so on. Most homes have single
parents, or not at all, and children are raised in foster homes and are adopted some as soon as
they are born. Most young African-Americans do not know their fathers, or if they do, they do
not have a clear memory of the happenings. The sad state of the situation is that, without proper
family support and upbringing, it is not easy for blacks to survive and become successful. Family
institutions have failed to teach moral values in the young ones, leading irresponsible and lees-
motivated individuals who struggle in life. Problems started during slavery, as most fathers
stayed away from their families, and the upbringing of the children lacked proper grounds for the
future. The first step in correcting the mess is by emphasizing the need for stability in African-
Americans' families. The confidence will attract wealth and economic empowerment.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 5
African-Americans are multi-talented and control a more significant chunk of the music industry
in the U.S. You can talk of hip-hop, RnB, Blues, pop, and many other music genres that are
black dominated. The music industry is one of the common areas that can offer a lot of
employment opportunities—the sale of merchandise, music distribution, artists, producers,
dancers, and the media. So far, the industry is doing fine, but a lot can still be done to open more
avenues for the black community. Sports such as the NBA has many blacks, tennis, golf,
athletics, and football. Those are some of the areas that can offer more opportunities to empower
African-Americans economically and level the playing field. The elite members can use their
positions to uplift others and create a continuous succession plan, which will ultimately result in
Jury reform and participation
Following the 13th amendment that seemed to end slavery and forced labor, the U.S. did
not adhere to its provisions. More African-Americans suffered as a result of the unfair judicial
system. For instance, the Southern states depended on slaves for their plantations since
agriculture was their primary economic activity. End of slavery meant that they would have
labor-crunch and eventually reduction in produce and revenue. They changed the system, and the
freed blacks would get arrested simple mistakes and taken to farms to work. There was no justice
at all. Sawyer (2019), observes that African-Americans have the highest population in the U.S.
jails, with about 208,000 on pretrial as per 2002. They suffer in cell waiting trials, which
eventually adds more misery to their sad situation. Streets are never safe as more African-
Americans face police brutality; they get arrested for mere suspicion. The judicial system is
always biased, from the perspective of most blacks in the U.S.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 6
The author identified specific measures that have taken effect over the years, and if
pursued to the extreme, can equalize the judicial system, for the longest run, maybe forever.
Making policy changes concerning the blacks' pretrial and unnecessary jail terms, and more data
is needed, and that is where we have a problem. Attorneys, together with other interested parties,
should liaise with local authorities to extract sufficient data from the jails across the states, to
guide further decision-making. Attorneys can use the following; Statistical Analysis Centre,
other Foundations such as Safety and Justice Challenge, National Partnership for Pretrial Justice,
and many more non-governmental organizations, to help change the judicial system. Changes
would take many forms, such as hastening of trials, bails, and establishing the disparities in race,
of course, making comparisons if the same sentence given to a black person would act as
precedence if it were a white offender (Sawyer).
As long as the judicial system is against the African-Americans, it is impossible to have a
united nation, as stated by Bleiker (2020). There is an ingrained prejudice that an African-
American, compared to the whites, is most likely to commit a crime, or get pulled over for over
speeding, and the trial is never fair. The judicial system has more whites than blacks. African-
Americans can perhaps consider putting more focus on legal studies. The strategy will prepare
them to fill up positions in the judicial system as part of equal representation. They cannot push
for change if they are not well equipped for the jobs. Achieving figures of up to 20-30% in the
judicial system would be difficult, but with determination, it is possible.
Religious organizations and families play a crucial role in shaping society. Teaching African-
Americans to obey the law is not enough. The church should lobby the local and federal
government to consider fair trials and pardon minor offenses. Just like the Civil Rights protested
for inequality and discrimination, religious leaders have a chance to engage the governments to
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 7
save the lives of the blacks. Keeping them in jails is not productive, especially for petty offenses.
Religious organizations can also have programs in place that will draw more blacks to God,
change their ways, and with proper reforms in the judicial system, the white oppression will
begin to fade and end with time.
During the slavery period, most blacks suffered in the hands of the whites. It is possible
that African-Americans are bitter and enraged, considering serving or working for someone who
tortured or killed people in your lineage. That anger can be tapped and focused on any social
activity to create unity and prevent further crimes, which will result in jail terms. Sporting
activities can use the platform to sensitize people against racial abuse, drug use, and any other
form of discrimination.
Mass voter participation
African-Americans are the second-largest ethnic group in the U.S., and their
representation in the House of Congress has not been consistent. Out of a possible 541 members,
African-Americans have 162 members since 1870-2020, according to an article by
Congressional Research Service (2020). When they received voting rights after the Civil War,
African-Americans finally had a chance of taking part in national policies through their
representatives. From the look of the figures, there is a need for more representation to facilitate
specific amendments and new laws to protect them against oppression, racial discrimination and
to enable ease of doing business and ownership of property. Currently, in 2020, everyone in the
U.S. has a right to vote. African-Americans can register as voters in millions and take part in the
exercise to air their views. More people should take up election seats and rally the rest for
support. If Obama made it, everyone could make it.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 8
Religious organizations are only supposed to guide society in moral and spiritual matters.
When it comes to politics, taking a stand is not a prudent act even though it can impact on the
decisions of the congregation at the ballot. Therefore, the church and other religious
organizations need to act with wisdom when engaging their flock politically. The majority of
African-Americans are democrats. Perhaps they should develop more interest in the republican
side and clinch more seats. At the end of the day, once elected, it is the confidence they give to
the rest of the blacks that will boost their belief in the political system. The religious
organizations should use the stage for realigning the dark's vision towards having more numbers
in the local and federal government to increase their chances of passing laws, which will serve
their interests and protect them against white supremacy.
Most African-American families are victims of the political system in the U.S. Some can
argue that it is the political regimes that brought freedom and ended slavery. However, it is the
same system that still supports racism and inequality. During the Civil Rights movement, the
blacks mobilized for a course, that eventually paid off, the recent case of the brutal murder of an
African-American, George Floyd, in the hands of police, saw massive protests in the U.S. and
across the world under the hashtag "Black Lives Matter." The police that was involved faced the
full wrath of the law. If people could mobilize through social networks and push for a change,
then there is a possibility that a lot can be achieved to change the current status of events.
African-Americans have suffered a lot in the hands of the police and other forms of oppression.
They should use their numbers and influence to vote for their rights, vote out rogue leaders, and
push for the change that unites Americans.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 9
There are a lot of traits about African-Americans that distinguishes from the whites apart
from the skin color. They endured slavery, some died fighting for their rights, and they are still
here. They have a deep-rooted culture that defines their dressing, verbal tones, physique, and
body language. African-Americans are hard-working people from the slavery period to date, and
this trait is crucial to their liberation against oppression. They have a unique blend of African
roots, Europe, and America. They possess distinctive talents in sports, music, art, craft, and
literature. These are traits that no one can take away from them. They immensely contribute to
the entire American culture. While other whites may still perceive the blacks as a minority, the
rest of the world is happy and admire the African-Americans for their unique characters.
In the U.S., there are plenty of opportunities to shine in education, sports, arts, science,
politics, and business. While looking at the qualities the African-Americans have, they are at the
right place at the right time to make tremendous changes to uplift the blacks. There are more
whites in Hollywood than dark, it is high time that those spaces are taken. African-Americans
make good actors, comedians, and producers. There is a need for more Oprah Winfrey's, Tyler
Perris's, Denzel Washington's, Kardashian's in the film and reality show industries, just like the
other blacks have dominated the music industry.
African-American families should continue supporting young talents in sports, the
Williams' sisters need very urgent successors in Tennis, Tiger Woods in golf, and many other
areas. We need to see more African-Americans raising the U.S. flag in the Olympics and other
world competitions. In Europe, there are football academies that nurture young talents to the
most notable names in professional football. We always see players coming to the U.S. after
retiring from Europe leagues. African-America can take the opportunity and start academies that
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 10
will create sportsmen and women for domestic consumption and export abroad. It will attract
attention and make football in America competitive. More job opportunities will avail; blacks
will earn their well-deserved respect.
In the music, sports, movie, and reality industries, influential African-Americans can
push for political change to cover the rest of their brothers and sisters. Legal reforms, touching
on judicial systems, should have a fair hearing. It is not enough just rapping about oppression, or
in talk shows, or other written materials, the black folks at the top should cover more grounds
and deliver justice to their other black family down the chain. African-Americans had a strong
unity from slavery times. It is not proper for them to divide into racial lines, the whites poisoning
them to take down their own, through systems that need a complete overhaul.
African-Americans have come a long way, and their resilience in the pursuit of freedom
and equality succeeded to a greater extent. There are still gaps, that have over the years,
subjected African-Americans to cruel forms of oppression and racial discrimination, denying
them equality, pushing them the development ladder. The inefficient judicial system has led to
the incarceration of many African-Americans. There is a call for reforms to empower the blacks,
and the sooner they take up the challenge, the better for them and the generations to come.
Society, through family, social circles, and religious organizations, has played critical roles in
ensuring African-Americans are united for one call of equality and are economically
empowerment like most whites. More work needs to be done by the African-Americans in the
political field and the judicial system. African-Americans survived slavery and many harsher
treatments, and they cannot take any more racial abuse and discrimination in the 21st century and
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS 11
Mintz, S. (2020, May 12). Historical Context: Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery.
Retrieved from History Resources website: https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-
Sawyer, W. (2019, October 9). How race impacts who is detained pretrial?
Retrieved from Prison Policy Initiative
Bleiker, C. (2020, June 20). Blacks in the U.S. targeted by an unfair justice system | D.W. |
20.06.2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020, from DW.COM
53884696 African American Members of the U.S. Congress: 1870-2020. (2020, July 23).
Congressional Research Service website: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30378.pdf
Marshall, B. (2019, February 13). Are We There Yet? – The State of Black Business and The
Path to Wealth. Retrieved August 3, 2020, from BLENDED Media website:
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESS FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS