Guided Response: Respond in a substantive manner to at least two of your classmatesâ€™. Each response should be at least 100 words. Be sure to relate your discussion back to the course materials and move the conversation forward by asking a question, raising a new point, or elaborating more thoroughly upon a point already raised.
Classmate # 1 Regina Carter
One of the areas that were in need of reform in American Society during the period between 1890 and 1920 was the rights of the African Americans. African Americans were still yet experiencing great bouts of discrimination, violence, lynchings, race riots and disfranchisement especially in the South. They continued to experience social injustices although this was the Progressive era where a movement was formed to create change in society toward the minority by improving those individuals by offering education, improving working conditions, and living conditions along with social justice. Segregation was still at an all time high in every area and African Americans were still having trouble with voting and gaining higher positions in their occupations. The constant struggle with civil rights and equality in both the North and the South with race relations continually deteriorating (Barnes & Bowles, 2014, sec. 5.3). With Jim Crow laws in effect, it made it difficult for African Americans to reach a full freedom of rights.
While the progressives continued to fight for the rights of immigrants and even accomplished changes in the U.S. Constitution, labor laws, and in Women’s rights, very little was done to resolve the issues that African Americans continued to suffer through. Woodrow Wilson fought for social justice during his presidency his upbringing and beliefs continued to push for racial separation in government offices, education, in public places, and ignored the lynchings and other violence that were taken place (Barnes & Bowles, 2014, sec. 5.3). With the progressive reform unsuccessfully being able to tackle the issues, African American leaders had to develop their own reforms in order to accomplish some of the rights of the people such as Booker T. Washington with the Tuskegee Institute, W.E.B. Du Bois with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored, and Marcus Garvey establishing the Universal Negro Improvement Association. These organizations helped further the education of the African American People and continued the fight for their civil rights.
The rights of African Americans in our present day has won many victories with civil rights and equality but there is still a racial divide in many areas including social injustice, poverty, healthcare disparities, police brutality, stigmas, and other racial disadvantages. Aijilore (2019), discussed how African Americans are still experiencing the lack of economic mobility because of the racist policies that continue to be imparted into society causing racial disparities in affordable housing, criminal injustice, limited healthcare access, and other economic and racial injustices (pg. 2-3). African Americans are still fighting for their rights of full freedom in every area but continue to attempt to resolve the issues through the State and local Government, NAACP and other Organizations, the passing of laws through the Legislature, and through demonstrations, awareness, and protests.
Ajilore, O. (2019). 3 Ways to Improve the Outcomes for African Americans in the Rural South. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2019/08/06/470913/3-ways-improve-outcomes-african-americans-rural-south/ (Links to an external site.)
Barnes, L. & Bowles, M. (2014). The American story: Perspectives and encounters from 1877 . Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu
Classmate #2 Ryan Richard
In the early twentieth century, workersâ€™ rights and safety was quite different than it is today. Progressives worked to create or expand existing regulations concerning the rights and safety of American workers in various fields. Some of these changes came about by popular culture shedding light on the issue, such as Upton Sinclairâ€™s book, The Jungle, about the incredibly poor working conditions those in the meatpacking industry were exposed to. Sinclairâ€™s work even led to government regulations over the manufacturing of food and drugs in the nation, and the descriptions in The Jungle also helped pass the Pure Food and Drug and Meat Inspection Act in 1906 (History Matters, n.d., para. 1). Another change made by Progressives to improve workersâ€™ rights and workplace safety the implementation of workersâ€™ compensation laws, which protected those who were injured on the job (Barnes & Bowles, 2014, sec. 5.2).
Progressive endeavors to make the workplace a safer environment for American workers was successful because it began the government oversight of employersâ€™ too often unsafe and unfair working conditions for their workers. These changes can still be seen today. We have fair working hours, regulated sanitation and safety standards for employers, workersâ€™ compensation, and numerous other protections from the unionization of many industries. I believe we are living in yet another Progressive era in which further advancements in the safety, health, and happiness of workers are being strived for by many Progressives at the local, state, and federal levels. Some of these include paid maternity/paternity leave, an increase of the minimum wage, and increasing worker safety and environmental standards.
Barnes, L. & Bowles, M. (2014). The American story: Perspectives and encounters from 1877 [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
History Matters. (n.d.). Upton Sinclair hits his readers in the stomach (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5727/