Category:African Americans

From Ohio History Central

African Americans were among the first residents of Ohio. Most of these people were free, but undoubtedly, a small number of them were slaves. Ohio's first constitution, the Ohio Constitution of 1803, outlawed slavery. Despite this legal protection, African Americans faced much racism and discrimination in the state. The state constitutional convention prohibited African-American men from voting. Black men and women could not serve in the militia, serve on juries, testify in court against whites, receive assistance at the "poor house," vote, or send their children to public schools. Many whites actively sought to prevent blacks from coming to Ohio, fearing a loss of jobs to African-American workers. Many white Ohioans were also racists. Despite the discrimination that African Americans endured, many black Ohioans favored life in Ohio rather than living as slaves in the South.


Over time, conditions for African Americans improved in Ohio. During the nineteenth century, many whites actively assisted slaves in escaping from their owners along the Underground Railroad. Many of these same whites called for the Ohio government to extend equal rights to African Americans. During the twentieth century, especially during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the Civil Rights Movement raged, with both blacks and many whites seeking equality for people of all races. While people still debate whether or not Americans of all races enjoy true equality with each other, it remains indisputable that dramatic improvements have occurred in both the United States of America and in Ohio over the past two centuries since Ohio's statehood.


For additional information on this topic, please browse these entries at your leisure.

Pages in category "African Americans"

The following 149 pages are in this category, out of 349 total.

(previous page) (next page)
(previous page) (next page)