A large number of the black people in America are descendants of slaves who were brought from Africa to work in farms and other industries that required large input of labor. The other group of Black Americans comprises of those who have emigrated from other countries in search of better living conditions. In America, black people have been victims of various forms of discrimination. Schaefer defines discrimination as “the denial of opportunities to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons” (2011, p. 60). Discrimination takes place in various forms, such as total, hate, sex or gender, age and institutional discrimination.
According to Schaefer (2011), total discrimination takes place when individuals of minority groups receive poorer education and job experiences as compared to White Americans. Institutional discrimination takes place during one-on-one encounters when an individual goes about his daily life. Schaefer defines it as “the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of society” (2011, p. 60). This form of discrimination is evident in education, criminal justice, healthcare, and housing, among others. Hate takes place when an individual or a group is subjected to unfair treatment because of the characteristics they possess, such as race or religion.
This form of discrimination is aimed at individuals or groups because of their race or ethnicity. In the U.S., such minority groups include Black Americans, Asians, and Latinos. Afro-Americans face discrimination from all fronts of life in the U.S. unemployment; black people are paid poorly and are not promoted as compared to white community. This is manifested by several lawsuits that have been filed against large companies in order to define which community would expect fairness and equality.
One of the lawsuits is the one filed by over 2000 Black American employees against Coca-Cola on April 1999 (Holbrook, 2011). Reportedly, the employees claimed that they were subjected to discrimination when it came to salary, evaluation, and promotions. Holbrook states that “the company paid out $192.5 million to settle the allegations: $113 million in cash, $43.5 million to adjust salaries and $36 million for mandated oversight of its employment practices” (2011, p. 18).
Another example is the 2001 lawsuit filed by the Black American, Charles Daniels, against Lockheed for racial discrimination (Holbrook, 2011). Daniels claimed that he was harassed by fellow employees because of his race. His employers even threatened him by telling that even if he filed a lawsuit against them he would not win. However, Daniels went ahead and filed a suit that led to a settlement of $2.5 million paid to him by Lockheed.
Discrimination against Black Women
Black women are even more disadvantaged than their male counterparts in terms of racial discrimination. In higher education, for instance, Davis claims that African American females outpace black males in almost every realm. She goes on to quote statistics presented by the National Center for Education Statistics, which provides that “females make up 37% of all faculty as a national average while African American female faculty comprises 50% of all African American faculty” (Davis, 2009. p. 53.).
Despite the contribution they make, women are doubly disadvantaged in higher education because they possess two main factors, such as race and gender, by which individuals are discriminated against.. As quoted by Davis (2009 p. 53), a 2003 survey conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that “African American women comprised 7.5% of the total workforce, yet, they made the least gains (41%) as compared to Latinas (100 %t) since 1990.”
Davis (2009) continues to state that attitudes towards women also influence decisions in regards to hiring, training and promotions. Taking into consideration the abovementioned issues about racial discrimination in workplace(s), it becomes clear how gender and race couple to hamper black females’ professional progress and rightful remuneration.
Black Americans majorly contributed to the history of the U.S., and continue to fulfill serious achievements in various capacities. However, as one of the minority races, they still face different types of discrimination. The most common fronts of human rights exploitation include education, employment, housing and healthcare. African American women are more disadvantaged than their male counterparts because discrimination against them is coupled with gender bias. Therefore, the federal government has a duty of collaborating with private organizations to effectively address issues of racial discrimination.