Black Segregation History and events

Slavery ended in 1865 with the South's defeat in the Civil War. However, the life of black Americans improved little. Three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing rights to freed slaves. Slavery, though outlawed, was merely replaced with racial discrimination and injustice that was upheld legally by Black Codes (laws restricting rights of blacks). The Black Codes denied freed slaves the right to vote, to possess any form of weapon, and to leave a job and move elsewhere. They were considered servants now instead of slaves. Disobeying a Black Code could lead to imprisonment. Efforts by the federal government to rebuild the South's economy and society in the 1870s, called Reconstruction, abolished the Black Codes though open racial prejudice and discrimination persisted.

LIFE and Civil Rights: Segregation in 1956 South Carolina

The Civil Rights Movement, that lasted for years, showed the stark and unequal divide between two very distinct races. The 1950s was an era of great conflict and black segregation was at its utmost. Even though many of the most important achievements happened in the 1950s for African Americans, segregation, and racial acts took place every day. African Americans had been fighting against racial segregation for centuries, however, before the 1950s, not much progress had been made. Instead, they faced life every day in fear of White Americans and the millions of restrictions put on them. The main reason that change occurred during the 1950s was because segregation started to become part of American life. When these changes took place, it started to affect the life of a White American which caused an outburst amongst them. Nevertheless, the progress of the Civil Rights Movement did not help with the social, economic, physical and political disadvantages they faced. For example, in Memphis, one of the most segregated cities in the 1950s, officials and juries were white and there had been no black police till 1948. Even when they were finally hired, they did not have the power or authority to arrest white people. The divide between the two races was so bad that even their music was separated and did not mix. The 1950s sparked off a need from the black population to gain equality with their white counterparts. Many figures the world view as important to history today arose after World War Two. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Andrew Goodman, Malcolm X and many more were citizens that risked their lives to pursue and gain equal rights for the black population. All of them stood for what they believed in and worked extremely hard to bring about a change for the one’s affected by racial segregation and hate. However, racial groups, like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), attacked them physically and mentally making it harder to live in the USA during the 1900’s. For example, on September 15th, 1963, a bomb detonated at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, resulting in the death of 4 girls and several injuries. The Jim Crow Laws were local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern states, that stopped in 1965. The laws stated that black and white people had to have different schools, restaurants, bathrooms, and made sure blacks were discriminated from public services. In the South, the concept of separate but equal was not completely true as it may have been separate but it was never equal. There was a stark difference between a white children school and a black children school. How qualified the teachers were, the amount of money spent on books and facilities, and the amount of children in each class depended on what kind of school it was. The restrictions put on them led to incidents like the Birmingham attack, the Rosa Parks issue, and even the decision whether to allow a black girl, Linda Brown, attend a school for white children. In addition to all the physical restrictions and laws placed on them, racial segregation led to the belief that white people were more superior than black people and thus deserved all the advantages they received over them. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in 1910 and helped fight for equality during the civil rights movement. The NAACP played an important role during the 1950s and their involvement did help with the changes that were taking place alongside. For this spatial photo essay, I am going to be focusing on how African Americans have been fighting for equal rights since slavery was abolished and how this process has still not granted them complete equality, as even today racial segregation can be seen.


From Segregation to Apartheid | South African History Online

Corbis. Children on the First Day of Desegregation in Fort Myer Elementary School. September 1954. Fort Myer, VA.

But by the time the Tuscaloosa case hit his desk, McFadden said, Brown had stood as the law of the land for two decades and the legal barriers to integration had been eliminated. "The plaintiffs were contending that the absence of integration equals the presence of segregation, and they are not necessarily the same." The Justice Department and the Legal Defense Fund were asserting that "if there was a racial imbalance in the student body, then that in and of itself established segregation, and some remedy had to happen."


Report: Racial Segregation University Alabama …

And so the district built its new high schools—but white parents did not flock to them. By 2007, white enrollment had fallen to 22 percent, and school leaders once again insisted something had to be done. The superintendent presented a plan that would send hundreds of black children who were still being bused to high-performing, integrated schools back to failing schools closer to their homes. The idea was that this latest plan would do what the breaking-apart of Central hadn't: draw back white parents.

apartheid legislation - Suny Cortland

Nonetheless, in August 2000, the seven-member board ordered Central's dismantling, 21 years after its creation. One black member joined the board's four white ones in voting in favor. Under the plan, some black students would continue to be bused north of the river, though many of them were from black neighborhoods filled with two-parent, two-garage homes, as Ernestine Tucker, a current school-board member, puts it. Overall, the vote ensured that nearly a third of the district's black students would spend their entire 13 years of public education in completely segregated schools.