Optimism essays

Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. The New Negro and the Black Optimism essays: From Booker T.

Freedom’s Story is made possible by a grant from the Wachovia Foundation. Racial segregation was a system derived from the efforts of white Americans to keep African Americans in a subordinate status by denying them equal access to public facilities and ensuring that blacks lived apart from whites. During the era of slavery, most African Americans resided in the South, mainly in rural areas. Reconstruction after the Civil War posed serious challenges to white supremacy and segregation, especially in the South where most African Americans continued to live. African Americans and In the years immediately after the Civil War segregation eased somewhat. Yet the possibilities of blacks sharing public conveyances and public accommodations with whites increased during the period after 1865. Blacks obtained access to streetcars and railroads on an integrated basis.

African Americans did gain admission to desegregated public accommodations, but racial segregation, or Jim Crow as it became popularly known, remained the custom. The term Jim Crow originated from the name of a character in an 1832 minstrel show, where whites performed in black face. Passage by Congress of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which barred racial discrimination in public accommodations, provides evidence of the continued presence of segregation and the need to rectify it. Civil Rights Cases spurred states to enact segregation laws. Between 1887 and 1892, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia refused equal access to African Americans on public accommodations and transportation.

These laws forced blacks to sit in the back of the bus, on separate cars in trains, and in the balcony at theaters, for example. Why did Jim Crow become entrenched in the 1890s? The third-party Populist uprising of that decade threatened conservative Democratic rule in the South. Many of those blacks who could still vote, and the number was considerable, joined the Populist insurgency. In the North, while legislation combated segregation, African Americans were still kept separate and apart from whites. In contrast with the South, in the late 1880s and early 1890s, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New York all adopted laws that prohibited racial discrimination in public facilities.

Yet blacks encountered segregation in the North as well. Rather than through de jure segregation, most northern whites and blacks lived in separate neighborhoods and attended separate schools largely through de facto segregation. In 1896, the federal government sanctioned racial segregation, fashioning the constitutional rationale for keeping the races legally apart. In the case of Plessy v. In its decision the majority of the court concluded that civil rights laws could not change racial destiny. Constitution of the United cannot put them on the same plane.

Local and state authorities never funded black education equally nor did African Americans have equal access to public accommodations. To make matters worse, In the South segregation prevailed unabated from the 1890s to the 1950s. 1890s, nearly all southern blacks lost their right to vote through measures such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and the white primary. For the next fifty years racial segregation prevailed, reinforced by disfranchisement, official coercion, and vigilante terror. The struggle against Nazi racism in Europe called attention to racism in America. The bedrock of Jim Crow began to crack after World War II.

The challenge is to explain to students the reasons for and the legacy of segregation. Explaining segregation to students is a lot more difficult because of the progress made since the Civil Rights Movement. Now that an African American has been elected president of the United States, segregation seems as outmoded and distant a practice as watching black and white television. The first question to ask is when did racial segregation begin? The importance of this question helps in gauging the potency and endurance of racism as a feature of American history. If segregation began Students should understand that segregation is embedded deeply in America’s past.