When you think of African-Americans today what's the first thing that comes to mind? Reverse Racism? Angry? Thugs? Mean? Armed and Dangerous? Threatening? While I tend to think Blacks are resilient kings and queens, I thoroughly understand that the media constantly force feeds us negative representations and perpetuates disheartening stereotypes of people of color. A majority of these media outlets and huge propaganda corporations are owned by White, heterosexual men who have absolutely no idea of the Black life experience in "post-racial" America. Though some of these stereotypes may be true -- except reverse racism because that's literally impossible -- has anyone stopped to think that African Americans have the right to be angry? Has anyone stopped to think of the past 500 years where Blacks were on the receiving end of oppression, hate, brutal crimes, and degradation simply because of the color of their skin? Black people are the strongest people on earth. They have endured centuries of mental, physical and emotional abuse and yet they still remain resilient.
There are a multitude of underlying themes in the lives of African Americans throughout history. One of the most prominent themes is resistance. In the Antebellum South, enslaved Africans resisted passively in day-to-day activities with small acts of rebellion such as learning to read. They also resisted in more active ways, such as hiding, running away, and revolting. After the Civil War, African Americans maintained that resistance within them by fighting in the Civil War, demanding equality, striking, and organizing. Ultimately, African Americans resisted the oppressive conditions of the United States as discussed throughout the documents of Timbuktu to Katrina: Readings in African-American History.
Resistance among Africans can be traced all the way back to the 1600's in Africa when they were captured and bound together on slave ships to face the harsh realities of The Middle Passage and The New World.