African-American Life in Cleveland, Ohio

in History

American cities were once termed as melting pots where people from all over the world were brought together and melded into Americans. Nevertheless, this picture was always marred by racial discrimination to show that people had strong differences. Currently, American might like to think that the menace of racial discrimination in their country is a long forgotten issue but the reality of the matter is racial discrimination in American cities is deeply rooted. An analysis of racial discrimination as it has established in Cleveland, Ohio can serve as an assessment of the issue in the United States of America. In most cases, racial discrimination is directed against African America. These groups of people are discriminated against in a number of ways. Racial discrimination on the United States of America has resulted to increased poverty among the victims as they are not given job opportunities. Racial discrimination can be defined as the ill treatment of one groups of in a community because of color differences. In the United States of America, racial discrimination is very strong where the immigrants are discriminated against by the whites. African Americans are heavily discriminated against in a number of ways in the city of Cleveland.

As put forward by Richardson, since the year 1985 there have been increased issues of racial discrimination in the forms of harassment, intimidation, and violence in Cleveland (2003). African Americans residing in Cleveland are as old as the city itself. The first black settle to settle in this city was called George Peake who arrived in this city in the year 1809. Before the onset of 20th century, aspects of racial discrimination were unheard off. The white and black families lived together in love and harmony and shared most employment opportunities. Giffin (2005) depicts that, before the onset of 20th century there was nothing resembling African American ghetto in Cleveland City. Intersperse of whites and African American in Cleveland City resulted in improvement of economic status of residents of this city. This indicates that people from the two different racial groups assisted each other in leading a socially and economically healthy life (Richardson, 2003).

According to Frazier and Tettey-Fio (2006), by the late 1840s populations in Cleveland City were integrated and segregations in schools, hotels, and restaurants were uncommon. After this period of time, interracial violence started to occur and the African Americans suffered a lot of discrimination (Giffin, 2005). Discrimination against African Americans was mostly experienced in areas like occupations, health services, schools, and political issues. In this respect, African Americans were considered by the American whites as inferiors who could not be allowed to occupy high posts in occupations. According to Keating and Krumholz (1995), Black Clevelanders suffered less occupational discrimination as compared to other parts of the country. This is because African Americans in this city had lived in great love with American whites and had integrated.

Currently, African American communities live a very difficult life in the Cleveland City as a result of discrimination. Discrimination in this city is perpetrated in many forms. Occupational discrimination is very prevalent where the African Americans are usually employed in low paying jobs while the whites occupy well paying jobs. Racial discrimination in the United States of America, as indicated by Rummel (2003), is so strong that a white American cannot buy products from an African American. Most of these racial discriminations are witnessed in cities where the African Americans struggle very much to secure a job. This has widened the gap between these two communities as the victims remain poorer and poorer (Frazier & Tettey-Fio, 2006).

Many African Americans in Cleveland City were forced to work as unskilled laborers or domestic servants despite the fact that approximately a third of the whole African American population in the city was skilled. As a result of this, a significant number of whites were able to accumulate wealth as the blacks were paid very lowly. As revealed by Keating, W. and Krumholz (1995), between the years 1870 and 1915 Cleveland City developed at very high rate and became a major manufacturing center. Currently, this city is considered as among the cities that have many industries not only in the whole of Ohio but the whole of the country. These industries have increased chances of getting employed but the African American blacks are not fortunate (Rummel, 2003). In this respect, the industries that contribute to the economic development of this city do not recruit African American Blacks in senior positions. African American women are heavily discriminated against in terms of employments are they are not employed and when employed they are employed in very low paying positions. As indicated by Richardson (2003), African American women are forced to work in textile and steel industries where they are lowly paint and work in very desperate working conditions. This has resulted to concepts like sweat shops where African American employees are used by the whites in making themselves richer and richer.

Occupational discrimination in Cleveland is so rooted that the victims are not allowed to hold the same post with a white employee. This is because the social status of the blacks is considered to be very low not only in the social aspects but also in the occupational issues. Women in this city are working under very poor conditions in industries where many of them have suffered many diseases (Giffin, 2005). The fact that African American women are employed as servants in the homes of the whites has escalated the concept of occupational discrimination. Information concerning occupational discrimination in the Cleveland City is usually collected through statistics as even though the Americans are very much aware about this menace, very little has been done to prevent it (Richardson, 2003).

In the current situations, the blacks in Cleveland City are heavily encouraged to take part in fighting against occupational discrimination by reporting cases of occupational discrimination to lawyers. This has helped in reducing African American occupational discrimination in the Cleveland City to some extent. On the other hand, as revealed by Frazier and Tettey-Fio (2006), it has been very difficult for the African Americans to report cases of occupational discrimination since they do not have money to the lawyers. In this city, insignificant number of cases concerning reported occupational discrimination has been reported (Keating & Krumholz, 1995). Racial discrimination in terms of occupation has caused social havoc and hatred in this city as the African Americans feel that their occupational problems are brought about by the whites. The local, federal, and state government of the United States of America in general and Ohio in particular has put up some measures in the pursuit of eliminating occupational discrimination (Rummel, 2003).

The aspect of occupation is not the only one that is impacted by racial description. Schooling is heavily impacted where the African American blacks are not allowed to mix up with whites in schools. This has resulted in racial discrimination in form of quality education offered to the African American blacks. Giffin (2005) notes that, most of the African American blacks are illiterate or have low education level because of academic discrimination experienced in the Cleveland City. The conditions on the schools where the African American blacks learn in are wanting and an indication of the cause of their lower level of education. In this case, the classrooms are not well ventilated and hence do not provide good conditions of learning. The teachers employed in these schools are not professionals and hence are not able to impact their students with the required standards of knowledge and skills. Frazier and Tettey-Fio (2006) outline that; educational or academic racial discrimination in Cleveland City has its roots in the failure of the blacks to take their students to better schools in the area. This is so because African Americans are lowly paid in their works and others are not employed and hence they cannot afford to take their children to better schools.

According to Keating and Krumholz (1995), educational inequalities in Cleveland City as a result of racial discrimination are manifested in different ways. In this case, as a result of different social classes among the whites and the African American blacks, the latter are unable to take their children to better schools which offer high quality education. Class and race boundaries are perpetuated in schools and institutions of higher learning ion the Cleveland City, Ohio. This concept has resulted in African Americans failing to acquire the required standard of education (Rummel, 2003). As a result of this, African Americans are unable to get experience and skills that are paramount for one to secure a white collar job (Richardson, 2003).

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African-American Life in Cleveland, Ohio

This article was published on 2012/03/27