From the 1870s through to 1960s, Jim Crow laws were enforced by the white southerners to ensure that there was racial segregation. White people received special treatment while the back people ridiculed and treated as slaves (Davis, 2002). The discrimination came about by the amplification of signs which increased all over the South on public schools, swimming pools, water fountains, bus waiting areas, washrooms, parking lots, shops, cafes as well as movie theaters. Any individual who dared to challenge the Jim Crow laws was arrested or got violent reprisal.
During those days, African Americans were required to show inferiority to white people at all times as the law demanded. For example, a black woman who refused to step off the sidewalk for a white person would lose her job the very next day. If a black man had a relationship with a white woman, then the mob would hang him in the middle of town to serve as a lesson to everyone.
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After the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling by the Supreme Court which was separate but equal, the segregation took a turn, and it became even more ensconced through a battery of the Southern laws. The Separate but equal ruling made it clear that the federal government was unwilling to challenge the segregation and oppression of the black people.
With the segregation in mind, poll taxes, literacy requirements and the grandfather clauses also prevented the black people from voting and also prevented them on jury pools or run for office. The white people made it impossible for the black people to lead in any law issues because they knew that if a black person had any authority to conduct, then he would challenge the Jim Crow laws and they would win in the cases because the rules established oppressed the black people and uplifted the white people. It gave the white people more power over the black people which propelled racial discrimination even further, and this made the blacks seem unworthy in the community.
The stigma of racial discrimination continued for a while where the rate of imprisonment and death sentences in the African American community increased. The number of interracial homicide and the presence of the white supremacist organizations also went higher after a few years. Some of the black children were left fatherless and most of the black women widowed, and this contributed to a lack of proper education, lack of decent housing as well as poor health amenities.
The ideas that surround race today came about with the extremist white supremacy of Jim Crow, and it still plays quite a significant role in how some of the white people view the black people. The schools allocated to the black people were by far cheaper than those of the whites in that, they were leaky, unsanitary and the teachers educating in the schools were significantly less educated. African American children did not stand a chance socially or economically as compared to white people because they did not receive any effective education. The cycles continued in that even if a black child went to school, they would complete their education and settle for a lesser job such a shoe shiner, garbage collector butler maid or field worker. Due to these conditions in 1960, 42% of the black people were living in poverty.
In conclusion, the desegregation brought about a positive effect in the school system where students feel equal to each other, and this allows them to engage in a positive learning experience with the same opportunities. The desegregation opened a door for understanding and respecting cultural differences within the students, and it prepares them for the broader society outside the classroom where they embrace multiculturalism.
Davis, R. L. (2002). From Terror to Triumph: Historical Overview .