How have African-American living conditions improved since 1865? 

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African-American living conditions have improved since 1865. However, the improvement has not always been continuous.

In 1865, the Civil War ended. As a result, slavery ended, and the African-Americans were freed. This was a huge improvement. Having freedom instead of being a slave can’t be underestimated. During Reconstruction, African-American males began to vote. Some got elected to political offices. The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help the former slaves get adjusted to freedom. There were definite improvements right after the Civil War ended.

Once Reconstruction ended in 1877, African-Americans saw many of their rights being reduced significantly. While they were still free, white southerners began to restrict African-American rights. As the number of white southerners who got elected to office increased, a series of laws, known as the Jim Crow Laws, were passed that segregated the races. Poll taxes and literacy tests were used to deny voting rights to African-Americans. Many African-Americans were poor and couldn’t pay the tax. Others didn’t have the education so they couldn’t read or write. That disqualified them from voting. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan formed and began to intimidate and terrorize the African-Americans people.

It wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that conditions improved. In the Brown v The Board of Education case, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public school was illegal. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made segregation in public places illegal. Separate drinking fountains, bathrooms, and waiting rooms were now against the law. In 1965, the Voting Right Act banned the poll taxes and literacy tests. Federal workers helped African-Americans register to vote. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 made discrimination in the areas of housing sales and apartment rentals illegal.

In more recent times, African-Americans have been able to secure good jobs and get promoted to better positions within their companies. Their standard of living has improved. While some problems continue, such as higher unemployment rates and higher poverty rates, African-Americans have seen improvements in their lives. American-Americans have come a long way since 1865.

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