African Americans, women and immigrants

African Americans, women and immigrants

The efforts of African Americans, women and immigrants differed 1865-1920.  The struggle for equality was not an easy one, and the efforts for African Americans, women and the immigrants varied (Berkin, Miller, Cherny, & Gormly, 2011). Although Joseph Rainey vid and won it was a move of taking a high risk because during that time several African Americans candidates were killed. Both black candidates and black voters were intimidated and faced violence during the elections. Rainey efforts were not limited to the challenges facing African Americans only. He fought for confederates so that they can be granted amnesty. He believed that there was a need for a balance to the Civil Rights Act. He was utterly against the restriction of immigrants from China to come into the United States of America.

African Americans were dedicated to fighting the slave trade, and people like Frederick Douglass were in the frontline (Berkin, Miller, Cherny, & Gormly, 2011). He escaped slavery and become the leader of the abolition movement and the Republican politician. The African Americans have a track record in the reconstruction with the aim of the abolition of slavery and ensuring that the former slaves were made citizens of the United States of America. They struggled to unite with their family members. The efforts paid off as Africans now had the freedom to conduct religious services and schools were established. Apart from the churches and schools, the African American abolitionists created other social organizations such as benevolent society, fraternal orders, and newspapers.

The women efforts cannot be undermined as they struggled to receive pension compensation for their dead husbands. It was not easy to get these funds because the slave marriages were not recognized. There was no contractual agreement to show that the two lived like a husband and wife as it was in the case of civil marriages. They struggled to get the legal documents such as marriage certificates that served as marriage evidence to get the widow’s pension claim.

The struggles came to an end in 1864 when the Congress amended the pension bill and stated that the widows and the children of colored soldiers no longer needed any proof apart from the fact that they had lived together as husband and wife (Berkin, Miller, Cherny, & Gormly, 2011). Women also struggled in the midwifery services which were not available for them. To get the pension, a woman had to a midwife to testify that the child was hers. The midwife had to testify that she witnessed the birth of the child and that she was the one who assisted both the mother and the child.

The midwives were fellow slaves because slaves could not access healthcare services.  If when giving birth there was no slave to help and willing to testify the widow could not get the pension funds. The slaves never enjoyed privacy because their private information found its way to the public when they needed the widow’s pension funds. A woman had to prove that he was the wife of the deceased soldier and that the children to benefit from the funds are hers.