Abolition is defined as the action or an act of abolishing a system, practice, or institution. Early settlers were advocates of abolition and did not agree with slavery. The people of Michigan were dominant in helping the slaves escape from the south through the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad ran through many cities and towns throughout the state. Many of the African Americans that were escaping from the South were escaping to Canada. The people of Michigan helped with that processes.
Unfortunately the views of the abolitionists were short lived. As the country grew, so did practices of segregation and cruelty to African Americans. From the time of abolition until the Civil Rights Movement, the life of the African American became a literal hell. National government laws and practices allowed blacks to be treated unfairly though segregation and inequality. Unfortunately, we have not completely reconciled our views and practices as a state, and country as a whole, in the fair treatment of African Americans. Although we have made major strides since the Civil Rights Movement, I feel that there is so much more work to be done to possibly get us back to our abolitionist roots.
Although slavery ended, African Americans are still not treated equally. Although they are equal in the eyes of the law, racial divide is still extremely prevalent in our country. We, as a nation, are very divided. We say that we are equal, however, feelings and practices are still not interconnected between white and black America. Racism is still, sadly, very much alive.
Life was, and is still not easy for African Americans. Many people believe racism ended with inclusion, however until views, words and actions of fellow Americans change, African Americans will truly never be seen as equal. The divide is still found in Michigan and throughout America as a whole.
The fifth edition of Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes State