2015 marks the anniversary of a number of important events in African-American history. It’s been 150 years since the Thirteenth Amendment was adopted into the US Constitution, 60 years since Rosa Parks took a stand against de facto segregation and 50 years since the Voting Rights Act was put into effect.
Although African-Americans are no longer restricted to ‘black only’ facilities or threatened with public lynchings, their lives are still not as valued as they should be. This is the inspiration behind the Voices Unsilenced blog.
As a black British woman with a degree in American Studies and a year studying at UCLA under my belt, I have been exposed to some of the covert discrimination experienced by millions of African-Americans on a daily basis. However, in today’s social media savvy world, there are numerous outlets for people to discuss prejudice in the 21st century. Instead I want to use this platform to give a voice to the people who did not have Twitter or Facebook.
Through fictional responses to historical Supreme Court rulings, Civil rights legislation and other key events, I hope Voices Unsilenced will provide readers with an insight into the opinions of those who were not allowed to speak out. Some people may ask “How can you say what these people were thinking or feeling?” In all honesty, there’s no way of me really knowing this. However, I will be using my academic experience to ensure that each fictional response is historically accurate.
Finally, I want to assure everyone that I am not an angry political activist. This blog is for history buffs, writers, young people who want to discover their roots and anyone else interested in the African-American experience. I’d be delighted if my posts inspire passionate debates, but I also want to ensure that any and everyone feels welcome here.
New posts will be up every Sunday at 6pm BST.
Feel free to comment, leave (constructive) criticism and suggest ideas for any topics that you would like me to cover.