The People's Movement
This essay is about how modern black rights symbols have broken the barrier for what people can do. "The People’s Movement". learn more here
The main inspiration for this essay came from the inhale project that I annotated and read , the speech was " I am prepared to die" by Nelson Mandela. My goal of this initial project was to understand the art of persuasion. In exhale essay I believe it shows new ways of learning about anti-racism.
You may have heard stories of black rights heroes like Mandela, Luther King Jr, or Malcolm X. As the more modern ages have come there have been people that have become symbols for people to express and be proud of who they are. These people may have not intended to be influential and some just spoke through their own eyes. I will mainly talk about 3 main modern symbols: Earl Lloyd, N.W.A, and Oprah Winfrey. The question is who were the ones who impacted meaningfully, and in what forms did they become prominent to people under this roof of oppression, and how their significance was noted.
To start I will talk about the forming of N.W.A and the revolution of rap rising. The group started in a neighborhood called Compton in Oakland, California. A group of friends had enough of all the oppression mainly from the white cops because the Compton area was mainly populated by black families. The area wasn’t a safe neighborhood, and it produced many dangerous people.
Members of the group loved to make music but realized none of the music was truthful to them, so they started to make music. The group of people didn’t want to put out music that wasn’t true to them because it didn’t feel right to them. So, they produced music that was controversial to the public. It was revolutionary for hip-hop rap culture and a big movement for black people in general. The music style was truthful and they didn’t care what others thought. People believed that their music was inappropriate and brutal and not for the public ears. Through the violence, the arrests, and abuse that they lived through is what was the main theme for their big ideas.
After the main member of N.W.A, Easy-E sadly passed from the terrible disease Aids, the group split into becoming solo artists (The members with the biggest success were Dr. Dre and ice cube). After the uprising of black voices being spoken through rap music, it was popularized. Other New artists sprouted around the U.S area in the 1990s two men considered to be the best of all time dominated the East and West coast rap. Those men were Tupac Shakur and Biggie smalls. The rap community of artists grew. The 2000s were dominated by Kanye West, Eminem, Jay Z, and many other greats. Then 2010s had rappers like Drake, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole. And now new rap culture is spreading overseas. Ever since groups like N.W.A formed black people were allowed to express themselves in an almost impossible way.
The next person on the list Is Oprah Winfrey. Unless you’re living under a rock, I hope you know who Oprah Winfrey is. There is a huge list of all the great things the accolades and so many other significant things she has accomplished. She hosted one of the most well-known talk shows that lasted 25 years. Over her career as a hostess, she brought light to those in their work experience and what they are doing to change the world. She was an author and publisher, and a philanthropist opening all girls’ private schools and giving back to South Africa. She did this all as an African American woman.
This was not a common thing when she started, she was in a time where most live entertainment and news were run by Caucasian men. Oprah’s work inspired girls across the world and told them that anything was possible. One of the main reasons Oprah was so well known was because she wasn’t scared to self confess, she was just out there in the open ready for whatever comes through her path. She helped with Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and started a great relationship with the president and first lady. At one point she was recommended to run for president and be the first African American woman in the white house, people would have high hopes for that outcome. But she ruled out and stayed the same first-ever African American female billionaire.
To finish off the first African American basketball player. You may be thinking that the NBA had black males from the beginning probably because the NBA is mainly populated by black people. It all started with white men. The one black pioneer who paved the way for black athletes today was Earl Lloyd. Two other men were African Americans joining the NBA, their names were Chuck Cooper and Nate Clifton. But Earl Lloyd was the first to ever step on the court. He played from 1952 to 1960, then he began serving in the army for a couple of years. Then he continued his pioneering as the First ever African American assistant coach of the Detroit pistons. Luckily, he didn’t have as much of a hostile environment as Jackie Robinson but still some of his teammates were not so fond of an African American teammate.
After Earl Lloyd broke the barrier for black men in basketball it inspired many of the legends to come to the game. Those people were guys like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel. Basketball became famous in black communities because it wasn’t expensive to set up when those communities were poor. It is now so popular with black people that 78% of the top 50 all-time players were African or African American. In the Olympics, lots of top teams had mainly black players. Earl Lloyd made a path for black men to go down, even though that almost seemed impossible.
The influential people/groups stated were all amazing symbols for people to follow, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any more people that did other motivational things in their time. There will be most likely others in the future who could change the way people could live their lives. The situations available are foggy paths that need to be cleared so people’s minds around all cultures can evolve. People want to be proud of who they are and how they want to be viewed as a person. New change activists can help with racial implicit bias so it will not be fueled so more racists are born. With the ups and downs of change for racial harmony, we can only hope for it to be a present reality someday.