Ethnic Studies Review

Ethnic Studies Review


Matthew Simmons

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Ethnic Studies Review





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Africana people in America have relied upon the utilization of political participation in order to address the economic and societal ills that plague its community. Africana people have made strides at all levels of the American government. Africana people were a vital voting block that helped to elect the first American President of African descent. However, studies have shown that the conditions of Africana people in America have not substantially changed since the Voting Rights Act of 1 965 was enacted. Africana political participation has not equated to socioeconomic equality on a large scale for the Africana community. Utilizing Feagin's Systemic Racism Theory, this project looks to examine why solely relying upon the American political system is symptomatic of disagency for Africana people and argues that this dis-agency does not empower our people to seek solutions. It places the power to liberate in the oppressor' s hands, thus maintaining the inequality that continues to exist in America. This article also argues for Africana people to look to themselves as the avenue for addressing the societal ills that it faces. It also argues that Africana people must be their own mechanism for liberation. In addition, the terms Africana and Black will be used interchangeably in the project because those terms are most readily identifiable to people of African descent living in America.


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