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Paper Topic:

Sociology - Majority race and Minority race - African Americans (minority) Caucasians (Majority race)

Race is a concept that is completely societal . Race is not genetic . No one characteristic or gene composition was ever more a part of one race than another . In America , race helped Americans to explain why some Americans could be denied certain rights and freedoms that others never even had to fight for . Since our economy was largely based on slavery it seemed easy to qualify people as black or white , depending on arbitrary criteria in to deny blacks rights . That denial of rights become institutionalized in government policy as well as everyday

br living and became natural ' to the lives of many . Some researchers like Barbara Jean Fields believe that the very reason to group people into minority is to help put wealth , power , and privilege right into the willing hands of white people . Even though race is only a social context , racism and discrimination are very real and have existed throughout history for members of minority groups . For blacks in this country , they began as slaves . Even after the slaves were freed and slavery ended , policy against blacks did not end . There were then some social theorists who believed that genetically blacks and other minorities were inferior to whites . Some of these beliefs have held on as well even though they were proven definitively wrong . Where African Americans are today in terms of wealth , education and other factors is impacted greatly by where they began . This will be explored in this along the sociological theories that explain the relationship between dominant and subordinate groups

African Americans began in slavery in to support an economic system that they played relatively no part in . Because they were not naturalized ' citizens , they could play no part in voting , owning properties , serving on juries , or holding offices . When the slaves were finally freed , the federal government never followed through on General Sherman 's Civil War plan to divide up plantations and give each freed slave "40 acres and a mule " as reparations . Only once was monetary compensation made for slavery , in Washington , D .C . There , government officials paid up to 300 per slave upon emancipation - not to the slaves , but to local slaveholders as compensation for loss of property (A Long History . In addition to that , when slavery ended , its legacy lived on not only in the impoverished condition of Black people but in the wealth and prosperity that accrued to white slave-owners and their descendents . Economists who try to place a dollar value on how much white Americans have profited from 200 years of unpaid slave labor including interest , begin their estimates at 1 trillion (A Long History

Even when slavery ended , Jim Crow laws went into effect meaning that the very best of everything was reserved for whites only - schools , jobs neighborhoods , hospitals , etc . However , there were also direct government policies that played into the majority-minority or us and them status . The 1935 Wagner Act helped establish an important new right for white people . By granting unions the...

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