The study makes an effort to understand these areas that are highly relevant to not only the American society, but to all societies that are plagued by skin color and the racial problems.
Approximately 33 million African Americans are living in USA today and most of them are descendents and results of Trans-Atlantic slavery trade. There were no Blacks in America before the obnoxious slave trade. The slaves, naturally a minute minority in those days of flourishing slave trade, were treated inhumanly in the predominantly European white society of the day. In the beginning, Blacks were not considered to be the part of American society. They were not even treated as human beings and were continuously degraded till the American Civil War and its aftermath terminated their slavery status. Still they had to wait for the Civil Rights Bill to gain equality. The white majority that heaped centuries of discrimination, at last accepted them as part of American society.
Recently people have migrated from Caribbean, West Indies and various parts of Africa. They are definitely not the descendents of the shameful slave trade and have not been in US for generations; still, being black, they are part of nation's minority and hence, are slightly at a disadvantageous position. "An ethnic minority, on virtue of being a minority, is by definition in a disadvantaged position, which facilitates the characterisation of black people as problems, as being essential inferior and so on" Staples (1973).
The equation between Black and White has changed considerably although it took a very long painful length of time. Majority group initially thought that the minority is stupid, illiterate, and superstitious, lacking motivation. They were thought to be fit only to remain slaves and retain their subservient status. They were from the Dark Continent and thus, were barely human. They also were thought to be devoid of any human qualities like cleverness, sadness, sensitivity, feelings, pain and suffering. White community lulled itself into self-forgiving with these convictions. They needed such assumptions to treat a lesser group and remain self-righteous about it. Now after centuries of living together and understanding each other's ways, things have changed and new perceptions have dawned.
The minority is coming into higher prominence and this is the evidence that it is, at last, making inroads into the white dominated society. This does not mean that there is no discrimination and its evidence in the American society of today to negate and discourage this fact. Sometimes the minority group see itself in the same way as the majority does and vice versa and both the communities in America have shown this psychology of belief and reaction. Centuries of discriminating Blacks has hardened some of the Whites and in the same way, being discriminated for centuries and having accepted a miserable existence has left hopelessness and easy resignation amongst the Blacks.
Minorities had very little cohesive identity in the past. During the days of slavery, they were neither visible, nor were heard. When they started regaining their voices slowly after decades and decades, they were already resigned to their fate. It took many leaders like Dr. King and White Leaders, activists