Throughout history many different minority groups have been
discriminated against. Although some of these minority groups are hated
many members of these groups continue to make positive contributions to
American society that help shape our country. One of these individuals is
Jackie Robinson. His influence on the game of baseball has set standards for
all of baseball fans to admire. The message he made Americans realize is
that Blacks are just as capable of doing things as whites are, and any other
group for that matter.
Throughout most of American history African Americans have been
discriminated against for no reason other that the fact that their skin is a
different color. Hatred of blacks stems back to the days of slavery. Blacks
have arguably had it the toughest out of all of the minority groups in
American history. From being able to use the same bathrooms as whites to
not being able to attend school to not being able to hold a job just because of
the color of their skin.
The end of the civil war marked the time when the fight for equality
took full swing. After the war southern state legislators, dominated by
former confederates, passed laws known as black codes that severely limited
the rights of black. The codes were slightly different from state to state but
they usually contained limitations on black occupations and property owning.
In response to these laws, Congress, in 1866 seized the initiative of the
remaking of the south. Congress, especially the Republicans, wanted to
ensure that the south was correctly rebuilt with the newly freed blacks as
visible members of society. By 1868 integrated southern legislators had
repealed most of the laws that blatantly discriminated against blacks.
Many of these unjust codes in the south led to the creation of three
new constitutional amendments. The 13th amendment abolished slavery.
The 14th amendment made blacks citizens of the united states and prohibited
state laws that denied citizens equal protection under the law. the 15th
amendment, which was passed in 1870, prohibited racial discrimination in
voting. Congress also passed a number of “enforcement acts”designed to
implement the new amendments.
However, by 1877 the democratic party had regained control of the
southern states, ending reconstruction. The strides that blacks had made,
holding political offices, having the right to vote, and participating as equal
members of society, were reversed. With the Democrats in power, the south
gradually re-imposed racially discriminatory laws. In order to take away
black political power gained during reconstruction, the democratic party in
the south began to prevent them from voting. There were a variety of
methods to stop blacks from voting, including poll taxes, fees which were
charged at voting booths that most blacks could not afford, and literacy test,
which required that voters were able to read and write. Since it had been
illegal to teach slaves how to read, most adult former slaves were illiterate.
The democrats also began to create a segregated society that separated blacks
from whites in almost every sphere of life. They passed laws that created
separate schools and separate facilities.
In addition the supreme court turned its back on racial equality. In the civil
rights cases, the court declared that congress had no power to prevent private
acts of discrimination. Discrimination still exists today as much as you
would like to believe otherwise. It is unfortunate that it does and in some
cases there is nothing you can do about it. If I was to write this paper on the
amount of discriminations that blacks alone had to face it would be
impossible.
Before the 20th century several predominately white baseball teams
had at one time fielded black players. The first black player to become
widely known was John Jackson. For unknown reasons, he played baseball
under the name John “Bud” Fowler. The earliest mention of Fowlers a player
appeared in 1878, when he pitched for a team in Chealsa, Mass. Fowler also
played second base for several other primary white minor league clubs during
the 1870’s and 1880’s.
In 1883 manager Cap Anson of the Chicago White Stockings (later the
Chicago Cubs) announced that he would not allow his team to play any team
that had black players on their roster. When the White Stalking’s played
Toledo the teams black catcher was kept out of the starting lineup, although
he joined the game later. In 1887 Anson carried out his threat, and a game
with Walker and black pitching star George Stovey was cancelled. Other
owners and managers later adopted Anson’s policy. Fleet Walker and his
both Welday Walker were the last black players