Friday, April 13, 2007

Racism: A Struggle to Remember

Racial discrimination and segregation ran rapid throughout the U.S. beginning during WW1. African Americans were the focused group of people under subordination. Their status within society was one of a significantly low position. The U.S. was the central point of national turmoil from WW1 to the 1960's due to racial inequality greatly affecting citizens' lives. Drastic actions were taken in hope of preventing racism, learning institutions were segregated causing students to be deprived of experiencing a major area of life, and the government took a position in the matter by passing several legislations.

Citizens of the U.S. drastically responded to racism by not only speaking out, but taking action. The nonviolent Montgomery bus boycott was led by the world renown Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He and other participants protested against segregation on the Montgomery buses after a brave woman named Rosa Parks didn't give up her seat to a white American as the rules stated. Soon after the boycott, the Supreme Court ruled that seating segregation on municipal buses was unconstitutional. The CORE (Congress on Racial Equality) organized a protest during the mid-1950's to the early 1960's in order to gain immediate racial justice.The March on Washington consisted of 20,000 blacks and whites who demanded that racial discrimination and segregation be ended. In the year of 1919, a race riot occurred in Chicago. A policeman by the name of Daniel Callahan refused to arrest a white male who knocked a child from a raft in Lake Michigan. His decision faced many oppositions. Because of his negligence, 50 men threatened and terribly beat him. The Black Panthers was an organization formed to militantly respond to police harassment, inequality, and racial subordination. Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver led the famous group. The Greensboro sit-in (1960) consisted of both black and white demonstrators. They would sit in diners as a form of protesting against segregation while whites poured drinks over them. A variety of organizations and demonstrations were formed just to express citizens' intolerance of national racism. They felt it was negatively controlling life in America.

Learning institutions were also segregated. Racism within schools caused several black students to be deprived of an exceptional education. Southern governor, George Wallace, desired to keep all qualified black students from being admitted into state universities. Wallace stood in the doorway of the registration office preventing black students from registering. However, President Kennedy stepped in and sent the National Guard to send him away avoiding a riot. Once Wallace left the university it was soon integrated. Mississippi was a major state that had schools that consisted of 0% of black students attending with whites. In Little Rock, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus sent the National Guard to turn away all black students from Little Rock Central High School. In response to his actions, Eisenhower ordered the U.S. army to escort the students to their classes to guarantee their safety. President Eisenhower's authority to integrate the school was challenged through the Cooper vs. Aaron court case (1958). The court's ruling reiterated citizens' rights under the 14th amendment. Segregation within learning institutions created a nationwide uproar and responses even greater.

Government took a position in the issue of racism within the U.S through the passing of legislations. A significant increase occurred in the black voting-age population in states, such as Arkansas and Mississippi after the Voting Rights act was passed in 1965. This act forbade literacy tests under specific circumstances and ordered the president to enforce the 15th amendment. In the same year, the Civil Rights Act was established to cut off all federal funding to states that did not comply with state laws dealing with voting rights, education, and public facilities. In the Brown vs. Board of Education case the Supreme Court ended the Jim Crow laws and ruled that separate but equal was unconstitutional. President Truman also took action by desegregating the armed forces the federal government. Government's responses through these legislations to the many racist policies expressed just how prevalent racism was in the U.S. and the great amount of help needed to prevent it.

To conclude, racism played a major role in American society. Although the struggle to prevent it shaped American history, racism has not yet become nonexistent in present times. The prevalence of racial inequality was expressed through the responses of U.S. citizens and is still expressed today.


  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Garrett Jackson, at 5:20 PM  

  • WOW!

    Good job! I recorded 5 documents and 14 or 15 pieces of outside information!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I like that you grouped racism, especially in the "learning institutions" and "government".

    It was a fantastic essay.



    By Blogger Garrett Jackson, at 5:21 PM  

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