A sample of a civil rights paper

If you are a student of history or literature then you are no stranger to the controversial debate that was centered on how the black people and white people ought to co-exist in the United States. During this period, some people especially influential politicians believed that black people or African Americans were inferior to the white Americans. Others yet believed in equality of races.  Presented below is a sample of a civil rights paper that you might be asked to write by your course instructor.

Black Man after the Civil War

            In the speech,“ What the Black Man Wants, April 1865”, Douglas understood that the major role of the government is to protect individual rights and guarantee quality of delivery of services as stipulated in the law. In fact, he stresses that the state should not dispense favors to any community living in America regardless of ethnic background. For example, he declared that most Americans have always been anxious to know the fate of the Blacks. In his response, Douglas tells them to do nothing about the situation. In particular, he categorically says that if a black person cannot stand on his own, he/she should be left to fall down. As a matter of fact, Douglas states that a black person needs a chance to stand on his legs without the help of the Whites.

            Secondly, Douglas’ message rebukes those who believe that African Americans cannot be masters of their destinies. Thirdly, he actively agitates for the importance of providing the black people with essential needs. In this regard, he makes reference to President Ford’s famous quote that a government that is big enough to provide people with everything can take away everything they have. Finally, he understood that the economic liberty is a fundamental aspect among the American citizens. Notably, he believes in equitable ownership of private property and wealth accumulation (Douglass&Daley, 2013).


            Notably, Douglas makes use of persuasive language to make his case in the speech. Most importantly, he employs metaphors through which he compares two things to suggest a similarity. Markedly, this provides more insight into the object of study. Further, he notes slavery is an element that causes physical, emotional, and psychological suffering among the slaves. In particular, it is marked in the Declaration of Independence as the most virulent poison. What is more, Douglas calls President George a virus by claiming that he is strong enough for new-born freedom as he denounces slavery and keeps the government on its toes. Besides, he uses a metaphor when he laments that patriotism is used to cover up the national falsehood. In fact, Douglas points out that the Whites have succeeded in wrapping up slavery in horrid and deceptive words. Furthermore, he highlights that when people talk about slavery, they refer to it using different names such as social system,patriarchal, or domestic institution (Douglass& Logan, 2003). To some degree, this shows that they are ashamed of referring to it by the right name.

Effectiveness of the Recommendations

            The recommendations highlighted by Douglas in his speech are valid as they prompted an action from the president and other leaders in the American government. Notably, he vividly addressed the challenges faced by the African Americans. As earlier noted, he advocated for equal treatment of the Blacks in employment opportunities. Further, he advocated for constitutional amendments to incorporate the interests of the Black community. Moreover, Douglas pushed for the abolition of slavery. In fact, he persuaded the president to end the vice and recruit the Blacks in the military. To show commitment to the course, he asked his sons to join the army as volunteers. Clearly, the issues highlighted by Douglas in his speech were relevant, achievable, and necessary in addressing the challenges the Blacks were facing. All in all, the quest for equality and abolition of slavery was timely and commendable (Douglass&Daley, 2013).


Douglass, F., & Daley, J. (2013). Great speeches by Frederick Douglass.Mineola, N.Y. : Dover    Publications.

Douglass, F., & Logan, R. W. (2003). The life and times of Frederick Douglass. Courier    Corporation.

Douglas, F. (1846).Frederick Douglass letter to William LIoud Garrison. Retrieved from             https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/frdo/visionary.html

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