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Just a day after the Nat Turner's 180th anniversary of revolt by slaves in opposition to their lords which occurred in Southampton County, this paper revisits the gains made by African Americans as far as their emancipation is concerned. This will be specifically about the bold progress in terms of literacy and political strides that this community has realized since then to date. This uprising is particularly significant since it is regarded as the most atrocious in the history. It involved equal viciousness from both the black revolutionary executors and white heavily armed retaliators. Over 100 people died in the incident.


In the end, fifty slaves were rounded up and convicted while a set of twenty members alongside Turner were executed. Since Turner was a literate priest, Virginia State voted for a decree which banned the slaves from reading and writing. In the same light, blacks were prohibited from attending spiritual gatherings which were unsupervised by an approved white reverend. It was also a law that blacks will remain unarmed. The incident also spurred debates within the state about the long term solutions to the problem. One of the suggestions was to liberate slaves, albeit steadily.

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This story has often generated a lot of debate among scholars in American history and civil rights activists as to whether Turner was insane or a true hero. His place in this account is still being referred to and idolized by African Americans. However, the non-bloody remonstrations of 1968, spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King contradicted the typical approaches which had always ended in debacles.

The election of Obama, as the first black President of the United States, reignited the debate about the latent potential of African Americans. Many saw this feat as a culmination of the black man emancipation. But historians view the matter as temporary whereas some of them maintain that racism is still rife in the American society. The National Lawyers' Guild, for instance, has always maintained through its debates that government aided slavery and repression still remains unchecked. The last election itself was the epitome of socio-cultural concerns that has bedeviled the American society. Racism and gender discrimination were the major intrinsic themes behind the deliberation as to who was fit to be the president.

Since his election, Obama has succeeded in bringing the economic meltdown to a halt. He has made headways as far as foreign policy is concerned with considerable socio-political ties being established while others are being strengthened. The passing of the Health Bill is even widely applauded across the board. Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his peace efforts. The list of accomplishments is endless and therefore he cuts a picture which deviates from the 19th century black leaders.

The similarity between Obama and Turner is that both come from the African American family. Though Turner was a slave child, Obama too has his roots in Africa. They are both leaders whose history would not be easily forgotten. In one way or another, they have both contributed to the struggles of the African American family. They share a passion to solve problems, although differently.

Compared to Turner's, Obama's approach is by far converse. Obama, as a leader is democratically elected, while Turner was self-made with few followers. Turner's ideology was fundamentally Stalinist while Obama's is mixed market philosophy. The Turner's ideas were annihilative while the Obama's are constructive. The eras under question are also different, so are the cultures.  The economic relations between the races were purely master versus slave but now such dependency is long forgotten. All citizens, throughout the United States, have equal rights and privileges.

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