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Callum TokodyJanuary 2018History Research ProjectMs WelchThe History of Ending SegregationDuring the 1950’s, segregation existed where black children born in the United States were not allowed to go to school with white children. This unfortunate time saw the two cultures leading very separate lives whereby black people were not allowed to drink from the same water taps as white people, nor were they allowed to ride on the same train car. Things changed in 1954 when the Supreme Court said that it was unconstitutional, and in violation of the 14th amendment, to have segregation in schools. This decision ended up throwing out the ‘Plessy vs Ferguson’ ruling of 1896 that stated that different races should be treated separately however considered equal, and be ruled unconstitutional.  The ruling created separate amenities for each race but argued it did not label black people as inferior. The 1954 court case called ‘Brown vs Board of Education’ meant that black people could now attend more prestigious white schools. America was better off for it in the end as more black people completed college. The ‘Brown vs Board of Education’ opened many opportunities for black people.  An example demonstrating how valuable the ‘Brown vs Board of Education’ case was in helping African Americans to get into more prestigious schools is Ruby Nell Bridges Hall. Ruby, was the first black child to desegregate an all-white school; William Frantz Elementary l. In the late 1960s, Ruby qualified to attend an all-white school. To enable her attendance four federal marshals escorted her to and from school every day for the first year. When Ruby first went to school, white parents pulled their white kids out of school as they feared the thought of their children mixing with black students. Teachers also showed protest by refusing to teach Ruby, and the government was required to engage a special teacher for her. Ruby was determined not to let this get her down and attended every day despite the protestors standing in front of the school.  She never weakened or allowed her emotions to be seen by her protestors. Ruby was a strong example of how effective the ‘Brown vs Board of Education’ case was as she went on to become a philanthropist and an activist.  In 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, where he told her, “I think it’s fair to say that if it hadn’t been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn’t be looking at this together.” Following on from the Brown vs Board of Education case, it was quickly overshadowed by other events that took place at Montgomery. In December 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for disorderly conduct, for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Her arrest required her to be fingerprinted and given a fourteen dollar fine. Her arrest led to others boycotting the use of city buses, and an improvement association was established led by a Baptist minister known as Martin Luther King. Jr. This boycott lasted for a year and was possibly a watershed moment for civil right bringing Dr Martin Luther King. Jr to the attention of the world.In 1956 a young student named Autherine Lucy was granted the right to attend the University of Alabama. Her attendance created great objection and protest from many white students, who shouted racial slurs, throwing eggs, sticks, and rocks to try and block her attendance. By February 1956, the university expelled Lucy, with the excuse that they wanted to ensure her personal safety. Lucy went back to court to restate her case but ended up withdrawing due to lack of support. Her expulsion was officially overturned in 1988 and went on to graduate in 1992 with a Masters in Elementary Education. With the changed law, more and more black people entered and completed college setting a pathway for the future wherein 1964 only 3% of black people completed college compared to 2012 the percentage went up to 21%. Even high school graduation rates have increased from 8% to 79% since the 1940s. Momentum continued to escalate to the pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, where in Washington in 1963, Dr Kings famous “I Have a Dream” speech built upon the changes in segregation.  His speech compellingly demands civil rights to “include public accommodations, decent housing, integrated education, and the right of vote. Leading up to the segregation order, there were practices in play that unfairly placed black people in their communities. Neighborhoods populated mostly by white people had shops that were marked as white only. This meant that the only way for black people to get food, and other necessities, would be to travel to another neighbourhood, which allowed black people in their stores. The 1930s faced a housing shortage for the federal government, that required a program to increase housing stock. Under this program, the governments efforts where primarily directed to white middle class, and lower-class families. Black Americans where left out of these new suburban communities, and instead pushed toward these urban housing projects. Even when black people could afford houses in white areas they could not physically buy them. Until 1970, black people were not allowed to vote. It was in 1970 that the voting laws was changed. The reason it changed was due to the 15th amendment which states: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”              In conclusion, the history of segregation has been defined, by brave individuals who paved the way for others to rightly live equal to everyone else. Although progress has occurred it was late and would not be without residual scaring for those who lived though it. You can not visit chicargo without seeing the remnance of project living from the 30s and the issues that it has created. Given that black people have only been able to vote for the last fourty (a fundemantal right in any democracy) we have seen heros demonstrate greater comation than those they had to endure. Even in recent times the current president of America, questioned the birth right of the previous president who was black. On the same subject, we see segregation taking place in other forms. Weather it be color, ethnicity, or religion segregation is no way to manage differences.


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