Freedom and Justice for People of African Descent

Abdulla Almohammed

Sabrena Turner

AFRS 100


Freedom and Justice for People of African Descent

Freedom and justice for the people of Africa and those of African descent living in different parts of the world has been and remains to be an emotive topic. In Africa, an interrogation of historical chronologies in the 18th and 19th centuries paints a picture of an oppressed continent in the hands of Europe. From illegal and unfair exploitation of its mineral resources to trampling on African human rights through such practices as slavery, the European and American powers proved beyond reasonable doubt their disregard for justice and freedom for Africans. In other parts of the world like the United States of America, the first and subsequent generations of blacks faced some of the worst crimes against the human race. Slavery, in its peak, condemned black Americans to brutality and demeaning practices that only worked to compound racism and discrimination against the Negro community. As a result, it was incumbent upon the oppressed black population to rise against these white supremacist tendencies. That marked the beginning of mass actions and calls for freedom and justice for the people of African descent, a pursuit that continues to this day. While the centuries of the spirited fight against the monsters of discrimination and racism have brought about a better society as hoped and prayed by such Negro civil rights leaders like Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr., the struggle is still on despite the gains made.

The debate around whether or not the black population around the world is still facing oppression from different quarters remains on. Two factions offer contrasting arguments on this matter. While the loudest voices submit that the people of African descent are yet to arrive at the promised land of justice, freedom, and liberty as guaranteed by the American dream and the United Nations Convention on Human Rights, some dim perspectives and opinions argue to the contrary. For the latter group, theirs is the subscription to the school of thought that the contemporary universe offers an open platform for the development and just life of everyone regardless of race. These sentiments, according to most civil rights groups within and outside the USA, are misled opinions that are devoid of truth (Westin). For them, any claim that the contemporary society offers equality, liberty, justice, and freedom is the highest level of fallacy offers Agyepong. According to a human rights watch report, there are many instances of racism and discrimination in different parts of the world even in the current times. The report further claims that democracy and civilization have done little to deliver the human race from the chains of racial segregation and other injustices.

In Africa, nations like South Africa are still battling racism and discrimination twenty-six years after it attained its independence (Gates). An interrogation of the population demographics of the Republic of South Africa reveals that it is one of the countries in Africa that is most racially diverse. While Africans remain to be the majority, there is a significant population of Caucasian whites, Indians and Chinese. Despite the spirited fight for independence from the hands of the English regime, South Africans are still haunted by the presence of the white man. According to black political leaders of that nation, it is not to say that they would like to have the whites vacate the country, but that the continued oppression in the hands of these very people should end. Gates paints a grim picture of the fact that the minority white community has the possession of the biggest land in cumulative area compared to South Africans. While Africans are supposed to be free after independence in 1993, Africans in South Africa continue to fight for justice and freedom (Gates), a visible sign that African liberty, freedom, and justice remain elusive in different parts of the world for the people of African descent.

People of African descent and Africans are still deemed second class human beings and citizens in different parts of the world. While the white population are yet to subscribe to the idea that the land they have rightfully belongs to South Africans and that they should return it, other Africans are being subjected to racist, discriminatory and demeaning treatment in countries like China and the United Arab Emirates (Gates), (“What Is It Like To Be Black In China?”). For the better part of the last decade, voices of revolution are getting louder by the day in South Africa as the political leadership of the EFF party led by Julius Malema continue to advocate for repatriation of land. Reports by various news agencies brought to light the shocking levels of racism that is still part and parcel of the Chinese culture. According to a media commentary and a black American civil rights activist, Dr. Umar Johnson, his recent visit to china painted a grim picture of the sickening levels of racism in that country. Dr. Umar, in one of his interviews, offers that racism in China is so bad that it is overt (“What Is It like to Be Black in China?”). The Chinese are not afraid to discriminate upon and advance the idea that black people are inferior. The commentary observes that there are certain night clubs, social joints, and neighborhoods that they could not go into. They were denied access on the grounds of their skin color. Reports by human rights watch in 2017 showed that people of African descent are targets of racism, discrimination and dehumanizing practices in the Middle East (“What Is It like to Be Black in China?”). Many Africans that end up in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern nations in search of better jobs are facing mistreatment. The most vulnerable group of the lot are those that work as house helps, waiters and waitresses. It is unfortunate that while Africa is the most hospitable continent in the world, and that as Africans continue to roll the red carpet for white foreigners, the favor is hardly returned in their nations.


Agyepong, Tera Eva. The Criminalization of Black Children: Race, Gender, and Delinquency in Chicago’s Juvenile Justice System, 1899-1945. 2018. Justice, Power, and Politics. Web.


Dorn, James A. “Equality, Justice, and Freedom: A Constitutional Perspective.” The Cato Journal 34.3 (2014): 491. Web.

Flynn, James R. “Academic Freedom, and Race: You Ought Not to Believe What You Think May Be True.” Journal of Criminal Justice 59 (2018): 127-31. Web.

Gates, Henry Louis, and Jennifer Burton, eds. Call and response: Key debates in African American studies. WW Norton & Company, 2011.

“Kenya Must Face Up To Rising Claims Of Racial Discrimination By Chinese Against Locals.” Quartz Africa. N.p., 2019. Web. 22 Apr. 2019.

Matthews, David, and Le Blanc, Paul. “A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today.” Capital & Class 38.3 (2014): 646. Web.

Westin, Alan F., and Westin, Alan F. Freedom Now!: The Civil-rights Struggle in America. New York: Basic, 1964. Print.

“What Is It Like To Be Black In China?.” Inkstone. N.p., 2019. Web. 22 Apr. 2019.

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