Racial segregation in the United States

Racial segregation in the United States

Racial segregation in the United States is the racial segregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines. The expression refers primarily to the legally or socially enforced separation of African Americans from other races, but can more loosely refer to voluntary separation, and also to separation of other racial or ethnic minorities from the majority mainstream society and communities.

Racial segregation in the United States has meant the physical separation and provision of separate facilities (especially during the Jim Crow era), but it can also refer to other manifestations of racial discrimination such as separation of roles within an institution, such as the United States Armed Forces up to 1948 when black units were typically separated from white units but were led by white officers.

Racial segregation in the United States can be divided into "de jure" and "de facto" segregation. "De jure" segregation, sanctioned or enforced by force of law, was stopped by federal enforcement of a series of Supreme Court decisions beginning with "Brown vs. Board of Education" in 1954. The process of throwing off legal segregation in the United States lasted through much of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when civil rights demonstrations resulted in public opinion turning against enforced segregation. "De facto" segregation — segregation "in fact" — persists to varying degrees without sanction of law to the present day. The contemporary racial segregation seen in America in residential neighborhoods has been shaped by public policies, mortgage discrimination and redlining.


After Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1870 providing the right to vote, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 forbidding racial discrimination in accommodations, Federal occupation troops in the South assured blacks the right to vote and to elect their own political leaders.

In order to discourage black voting, Southern Democrats resorted to violence. The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan terrorized black political leaders to counter the Republican party's power base. Many blacks were killed (often lynched) for attempting to exercise their right to vote, for political organization and for attending school. Thus segregation can be seen as a reaction against the growing political power of blacks in the South. After the so-called Compromise of 1877, all Federal troops were withdrawn from the South and Reconstruction ended. The Republican, bi-racial governments that had been formed previously collapsed. White Democrats ensured that African Americans were vitally excluded from voting or political office in the South. The end of Reconstruction also marked the onset of the nadir of American race relations, when African-Americans both in the South and the North were increasingly oppressed by white mob violence and by de jure and de facto segregation.

eparate but equal

"Equal but separate" was a phrase used by attorneys for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the Supreme Court litigation of "Brown v. Board of Education" in 1954, to refer to the phrase "Separate but equal" used in the "Plessy v. Ferguson" case of 1896 as a custom of "de jure" racial segregation enacted into law. The NAACP, led by later Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, was successful in challenging the constitutionality of "Plessy" and the Court voted to overturn the previous ruling.

After the American Civil War (1861–1865) brought about the end of slavery, "Plessy" became the de-facto standard throughout the southern United States, and represented the institutionalization of the segregation period. African Americans and European Americans would receive the same services (schools, hospitals, prisons, water fountains, bathrooms, etc.), but that there would be distinct facilities for each race. In practice, the services and facilities reserved for African-Americans were almost always of lower quality than those reserved for whites; for example, most African-American schools received less public funding per student than nearby white schools.

The legitimacy of such laws was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1896 case of "Plessy v. Ferguson", 163 U.S. 537. The repeal of "separate but equal" laws was a key focus of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In "Brown v. Board of Education", 347 U.S. 483 (1954), the Supreme Court outlawed segregated public education facilities for blacks and whites at the state level; the companion case of "Bolling v. Sharpe", 347 U.S. 497, outlawed such practices at the Federal level in the District of Columbia.

National issues

For much of the 20th century, it was a popular belief among many whites that the presence of blacks in a white neighborhood would bring down property values. The United States government created a policy to segregate the country which involved making low-interest mortgages available to white civilian families through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and to white military families through the Veteran's Administration. Black families were denied these loans because the planners behind this initiative labelled many black neighborhoods throughout the country as "in decline." The rules for loans did not say that "black families cannot get loans"; rather, it said people from "areas in decline" could not get loans. While a case could be made that the wording did not appear to compel segregation, it tended to have that effect. And actually, this administration was formed as part of the New Deal to all Americans as well, and really just affected black residents of inner city areas; though most black families did in fact live in the inner city areas of big cities, and almost entirely occupied the inner city areas after World War II ended and whites began to move to new suburbs.

In addition to encouraging white families to move to suburbs by providing them loans to do so, the government uprooted many established African American communities by building elevated highways through their neighborhoods. In order to build a highway, tens of thousands of single-family homes were destroyed. Because these properties were summarily declared to be "in decline," families were given pittances for their properties, and were forced into federal housing called "the projects." In order to build these projects, still more single family homes were demolished.

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the segregation of the federal Civil Service. [ [http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=1115 "Another Open Letter to Woodrow Wilson" W.E.B. DuBois, September, 1913] ] White and black people would sometimes be required to eat separately and use separate schools, public toilets, park benches, train and restaurant seating, etc. In some locales, in addition to segregated seating, it could be forbidden for stores or restaurants to serve different races under the same roof.

Segregation was also pervasive in housing. State constitutions (for example, that of California) had clauses giving local jurisdictions the right to regulate where members of certain races could live. In 1917, the Supreme Court in the case of "Buchanan v. Warley" declared municipal resident segregation ordinances unconstitutional. In response, whites resorted to the restrictive covenant, a formal deed restriction binding white property owners in a given neighborhood not to sell to blacks. Whites who broke these agreements could be sued by "damaged" neighbors. [ [http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=443 The Great Migration, Period: 1920s] ] In the 1948 case of "Shelley v. Kraemer", the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that such covenants were unenforceable in a court of law. However, residential segregation patterns had already become established in most American cities, and have often persisted up to the present (see white flight and Redlining).

With the migration to the North of many black workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and the friction that occurred between white and black workers during this time, segregation was and continues to be a phenomenon in northern cities as well as in the South. Whites generally allocate tenements as housing to the poorest blacks. It would be well to remember, though, that while racism had to be legislated out of the South, many in the North, including Quakers and others who ran the Underground Railroad, were ideologically opposed to southerners' treatment of blacks. By the same token, many white southerners have a claim to closer relationships with blacks than wealthy northern whites, regardless of the latter's stated political persuasion. [ [http://www.skidmore.edu/~dkarp/Social%20Issues/E/history.html History of Residential Segregation] ]

Anti-miscegenation laws (also known as miscegenation laws) prohibited whites and non-whites from marrying each other. These state laws always targeted marriage between whites and blacks, and in some states also prohibited marriages between whites and Native Americans orAsians. As one of many examples of such state laws, Utah's marriage law had an anti-miscegenation component that was passed in 1899 and repealed in 1963. It prohibited marriage between a white and anyone considered a Negro (Black American), mulatto (half black), quadroon (one-quarter black), octoroon (one-eighth black), "Mongolian" (East Asian), or member of the "Malay race" (a classification used to refer to Filipinos). No restrictions were placed on marriages between people who were not "white persons." (Utah Code, 40-1-2, C. L. 17, §2967 as amended by L. 39, C. 50; L. 41, Ch. 35.).

In World War I, blacks served in the United States Armed Forces in segregated units. Black soldiers were often poorly trained and equipped, and were often put on the frontlines in suicide missions. Still, the 93rd Division fought alongside the French . The 369th Infantry (formerly 15th New York National Guard) Regiment distinguished themselves, and were known as the "Harlem Hellfighters". [ [http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/detached.htm "Detached Service By Segregated Infantry Units"] ] [ [http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/hhf.htm "James Reese Europe and The Harlem Hellfighters Band" by Glenn Watkins] ]

World War II saw the first black military pilots in the U.S., the Tuskegee Airmen, 99th Fighter Squadron, [ [http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2004/may/interest.htm "On Clipped Wings - As America's first black military pilots, Tuskegee airmen faced a battle against racism" by Keith Weldon Medley] ] and also saw the segregated 183rd Engineer Combat Battalion participate in the liberation of Jewish survivors at Buchenwald. [ [http://members.aol.com/asargordon/encountr.htm "William A. Scott, III and the Holocaust: The Encounter of African American Liberators and Jewish Survivors at Buchenwald" by Asa R. Gordon, Executive Director, Douglass Institute of Government] ] Despite the institutional policy of racially segregated training for enlisted members and in tactical units; Army policy dictated that black and white Soldiers would train together in officer candidate schools (beginning in 1942)."Women's Army Corps" [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wac/chapter1.htm#p5 Chapter I "The Women's Army Corps, 1942-1945"] ] "Integration of the Armed Forces: 1940-1965" [http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/integration/IAF-02.htm CHAPTER 2 "World War II: The Army"] ] Thus, the Officer Candidate School became the Army's first formal experiment with integration- with all Officer Candidates, regardless of race, living and training together.

During World War II, 110,000 people of Japanese, descent (whether citizens or not) were placed in internment camps. Hundreds of people of German and Italian descent were also imprisoned. While the government program of Japanese American internment targeted all the Japanese in America as enemies, most German and Italian Americans were left in peace and were allowed to serve in the US army.

Pressure to end racial segregation in the government grew among African Americans and progressives after the end of World War II. On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ending segregation in the United States Armed Forces.

A law need not stipulate "de jure" segregation in order to have the effect of "de facto" segregation. For example, the eagle feather law, which governs the possession and religious use of eagle feathers, was officially written to protect then dwindling eagle populations while still protecting traditional Native American spiritual and religious customs, of which the use of eagles are central. The eagle feather law later met charges of promoting racial segregation due to the law’s provision authorizing the possession of eagle feathers to members of only one ethnic group, Native Americans, and forbidding Native Americans from including non-Native Americans in indigenous customs involving eagle feathers—a common modern practice dating back to the early 1500s.

Despite all the legal changes that have taken place since the 1940s and especially in the 1960s (see Desegregation), the United States remains, to some degree, a segregated society, with housing patterns, school enrollment, church membership, employment opportunities, and even college admissions all reflecting significant "de facto" segregation. Supporters of affirmative action argue that the persistence of such disparities reflects either racial discrimination or the persistence of its effects.

"Gates v. Collier" was a case decided in federal court that brought an end to the trustee system and flagrant inmate abuse at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, Mississippi. In 1972 federal judge, William C. Keady found that Parchman Farm violated modern standards of decency. He ordered an immediate end to all unconstitutional conditions and practices. Racial segregation of inmates was abolished. And the trusty system, which allow certain inmates to have power and control over others, was also abolished.cite web
title=Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice

More recently, the disparity between the racial compositions of inmates in the American prison system has led to concerns that the U.S. Justice system furthers a "new apartheid". [ [http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=43&ItemID=5758 ZMag: "The New American Apartheid"] ]

cientific racism

The intellectual roots of Plessy v. Ferguson, the landmark United States Supreme Court decision, upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation, under the doctrine of "separate but equal" were, in part, tied to the scientific racism of the era, however the popular support for the decision was more likely a result of the racist beliefs held by most whites at the time."Race, Law, and Culture: Reflections on Brown V. Board of Education" By Austin Sarat. Page 55 and 59. 1997. ISBN 0195106229] Later, the court decision, Brown v. Board of Education would reject the ideas of scientific racists about the need for segregation, especially in schools. Following that decision both scholarly and popular ideas of scientific racism played an important role in the attack and backlash that followed the court decision."Race, Law, and Culture: Reflections on Brown V. Board of Education" By Austin Sarat. Page 55 and 59. 1997. ISBN 0195106229] The "Mankind Quarterly" is a journal that has published scientific racism. It was founded in 1960, in part in response to the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education which ordered the desegregation of US schools. ["‘Scientific’ Racism Again?”:1 Reginald Gates, the Mankind Quarterly and the Question of “Race” in Science after the Second World War" Journal of American Studies (2007), 41: 253-278 Cambridge University Press] "Science for Segregation: Race, Law, and the Case Against Brown V. Board of Education. by John P. Jackson. ISBN 0814742718 Page 148] Many of the publication's contributors, publishers, and Board of Directors espouse academic hereditarianism. The publication is widely criticized for its extremist politics, anti-semitic bent and its support for scientific racism. [e.g., Arvidsson, Stefan (2006), Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science, translated by Sonia Wichmann, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.]

Issues in the South

After the end of Reconstruction, which followed from the Compromise of 1877, many state laws were instituted by the new Democratic governments in the South to separate the black and white racial groups in order to submit African-Americans to de facto second-class citizenship and thus enforce white supremacy. Collectively, these state laws were known as the Jim Crow system, after the name of a stereotypical 1830s black minstrel show character. [http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/remembering/ Remembering Jim Crow] - Minnesota Public Radio]

Racial segregation became the law in most parts of the American South until the American Civil Rights Movement. These laws, known as Jim Crow laws, were similar to apartheid legislation in the forced segregation of facilities and services to African Americans and White Americans, and prohibition of intermarriage. Some similarities between the situation in the Southern United States and South Africa under Apartheid were:
* The races were kept separate, with separate schools, hotels, bars, hospitals, toilets, parks, even telephone booths, and separate sections in libraries, cinemas, and restaurants, the latter often with separate ticket windows and counters. (See [http://www.nps.gov/malu/documents/jim%5Fcrow%5Flaws.htm List of Jim Crow laws in the South from NPS.gov] .)
* In South Africa, marriage between whites and non-whites was banned during Apartheid. In America, state laws prohibiting interracial marriage ("miscegenation") had been enforced throughout the South and in many Northern states since the Colonial era. During Reconstruction, such laws were repealed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. In all these states such laws were reinstated after the Democratic "Redeemers" came to power. The Supreme Court declared such laws constitutional in 1883. This verdict was overturned only in 1967 by Loving v. Virginia. [http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/history/creating2.htm The History of Jim Crow] ]
* The voting rights of blacks were systematically restricted or denied through suffrage laws, such as the introduction of poll taxes and literacy tests. Loopholes, such as the grandfather clause and the understanding clause protected the voting rights of white people who were unable to pay the tax or pass the literacy test. Only whites could vote in the Democratic Party primary contests. [http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/history/creating2.htm The History of Jim Crow] ] Some differences were:
* In the United States after the American Civil War (1861 - 1865), there was never a class of blacks who were not citizens (although it is certain that most were treated as second class citizens);
* There were no "homelands" in the United States (although some areas were informally designated black neighborhoods, and as such were under-resourced and stigmatized), and families were not separated as they were in South Africa by not allowing men to bring their families with them to the areas where they worked.
* Blacks are a minority in the United States, but a majority in South Africa.
* In South Africa, voting rights were denied to blacks outright, by denying them citizenship. In the United States, denial of voting rights was enforced by local custom, by lynching and other forms of violence, or by poll taxes and selective enforcement of literacy requirements as described above. The term genocide not only means mass killing of a group, but also the intention to destroy a group of people. It is often used to describe the Holocaust. The Jim Crow laws were designed to disempower African Americans and characterized them as an inferior race, just as the Third Reich deemed Jewish people. The Jim Crow laws justified and perpetuated the use of lynching against African Americans, particularly by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan terrorised Southern America.

The Civil Rights Congress (CRC) made a 1951 presentation on lynching in the United States to the United Nations entitled "We Charge Genocide," which argued that the federal government of the United States, by its failure to act to curb the lynchings, was guilty of genocide under Article II of the UN Genocide Convention.

In 1963, George Wallace in his inaugural address as governor of Alabama held to a strong segregationist position. Referring to Alabama as "this cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the great Anglo-Saxon Southland" and accusing the integrationist of imposing a "tyranny" on the South, he declared his support for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

Issues in the North

Formal segregation also existed in the North. Some neighborhoods were restricted to blacks and job opportunities were denied them by unions in, for example, the skilled building trades. Blacks who moved to the North in the Great Migration after World War I might have been able to live without the same degree of oppression experienced in the South, however the elements of racism and discrimination still existed.

cquote|Despite the actions of abolitionists, life for free blacks was far from idyllic, due to northern racism. Most free blacks lived in racial enclaves in the major cities of the North: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. There, poor living conditions led to disease and death. In a Philadelphia study in 1846, practically all poor black infants died shortly after birth. Even wealthy blacks were prohibited from living in white neighborhoods due to whites' fear of declining property values.| [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4narr3.html "Africans in America"] - PBS Series - Part 4 (2007)]

While it is commonly thought that segregation was a southern phenomenon, segregation was also to be found in "the North". The Chicago suburb of Cicero for example, was made famous when Civil Rights advocate Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a march advocating open (race-unbiased) housing. Additionally, in the big cities blacks were often barred from trying on clothing in department stores, etc., and in public areas such as restaurants, movie theatres, and museums, facilities continued to be divided according to race.Fact|date=May 2008

cquote|Northern blacks were forced to live in a white man's democracy, and while not legally enslaved, subject to definition by their race. In their all-black communities, they continued to build their own churches and schools and to develop vigilance committees to protect members of the black community from hostility and violence.| [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4narr3.html "Africans in America"] - PBS Series - Part 4 (2007)]

[http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2957.html Race-based legislation in the North 1807 - 1850] - PBS Series - Africans in America (2007)

Contemporary segregation

Black-White segregation is declining fairly consistently for most metropolitan areas and cities. Despite these pervasive patterns, many changes for individual areas are small. ["Inequality and Segregation"R Sethi, R Somanathan - Journal of Political Economy, 2004] Thirty years after the civil rights era, the United States remains a residentially segregated society in which Blacks and Whites inhabit different neighborhoods of vastly different quality. ["SEGREGATION AND STRATIFICATION: A Biosocial Perspective" Douglas S. Massey Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2004), 1: 7-25 Cambridge University Press] ["Inequality and Segregation" Rajiv Sethi and Rohini Somanathan "Journal of Political Economy", volume 112 (2004), pages 1296–1321]

Redlining is the practice of denying or increasing the cost of services, such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, [ [http://www.core.ucl.ac.be/services/psfiles/dp99/dp9913.pdf Racial Discrimination and Redlining in Cities] ] access to health care, [See: Race and health] or even supermarkets [ [http://www.springerlink.com/content/ptc5hvexthe7wrye/ In poor health: Supermarket redlining and urban nutrition] , Elizabeth Eisenhauer, GeoJournal Volume 53, Number 2 / February, 2001] to residents in certain, often racially determined, [http://books.google.com/books?id=TWo8OFJpFtAC How East New York Became a Ghetto] by Walter Thabit. ISBN 0814782671. Page 42.] areas. The most devastating form of redlining, and the most common use of the term, refers to mortgage discrimination. Data on house prices and attitudes toward integration suggest that in the mid-twentieth century, segregation was a product of collective actions taken by whites to exclude blacks from their neighborhoods."The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto" David M. Cutler, Edward L. Glaeser, Jacob L. Vigdor. "The Journal of Political Economy", Vol. 107, No. 3 (Jun., 1999), pp. 455-506]

The creation of these highways in some cases divided and isolated black neighborhoods from goods and services, many times within industrial corridors. For example, Birmingham’s interstate highway system attempted to maintain the racial boundaries that had been established by the city’s 1926 racial zoning law. The construction of interstate highways through black neighborhoods in the city led to significant population loss in those neighborhoods and is associated with an increase in neighborhood racial segregation. ["From Racial Zoning to Community Empowerment: The Interstate Highway System and the African American Community in Birmingham, Alabama" Charles E. Connerly Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol. 22, No. 2, 99-114 (2002)]

Dan Immergluck writes that in 2003 small businesses in black neighborhoods still received fewer loans, even after accounting for businesses density, businesses size, industrial mix, neighborhood income, and the credit quality of local businesses. ["Redlining Redux" Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 38, No. 1, 22–41 (2002)] Gregory D. Squires wrote in 2003 that it is clear that race has long affected and continues to affect the policies and practices of the insurance industry. [Racial Profiling, Insurance Style: Insurance Redlining and the Uneven Development of Metropolitan Areas Journal of Urban Affairs 25 (4), 391–410. ] Workers living in American inner-cities have a harder time finding jobs than suburban workers. ["Racial Discrimination and Redlining in Cities" Yves Zenou and Nicolas Boccard 1999] Redlining has helped preserve segregated living patterns for blacks and whites in the United States because discrimination motivated by prejudice is often contingent on the racial composition of neighborhoods where the loan is sought and the race of the applicant. Lending institutions have been shown to treat black mortgage applicants differently when buying homes in white neighborhoods than when buying homes in black neighborhoods in 1998. [Stephen R Holloway (1998) "Exploring the Neighborhood Contingency of Race Discrimination in Mortgage Lending in Columbus, Ohio" Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88 (2), 252–276.]

The desire of many whites to avoid having their children attend integrated schools has been a factor in white flight to the suburbs. [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761580651_3/Segregation_in_the_United_States.html#s15 Segregation in the United States - MSN Encarta ] ] Recent studies in San Francisco showed that groups of homeowners tended to self-segregate in order to be with people of the same education level and race. [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20070910/sc_livescience/homeownersselfsegregatebyraceandeducation;_ylt=AlyjmsI5BA7s..hPZgWKnT0DW7oF Ap news article] ] By 1990, the legal barriers enforcing segregation had been mostly replaced by decentralized racism, where whites pay more than blacks to live in predominantly white areas...] The residential and social segregation of whites from blacks in the United States creates a socialization process that limits whites' chances for developing meaningful relationships with blacks and other minorities. The segregation experienced by whites from blacks fosters segregated lifestyles and leads them to develop positive views about themselves and negative views about blacks. ["Every Place Has a Ghetto...": The Significance of Whites' Social and Residential Segregation" Eduardo Bonilla-Silva and David G. Embrick "Symbolic Interaction" Summer 2007, Vol. 30, No. 3, Pages 323-345]

Segregation affects people from all social classes. For example, a survey conducted in 2000 found that middle-income, suburban African Americans live in neighborhoods with many more whites than do poor, inner-city blacks. But their neighborhoods are not the same as those of whites having the same socioeconomic characteristics; and, in particular, middle-class blacks tend to live with white neighbors who are less affluent than they are. While, in a significant sense, they are less segregated than poor blacks, race still powerfully shapes their residential options. ["How Segregated Are Middle-Class African Americans?" Richard D. Alba, John R. Logan, Brian J. Stults. Social Problems, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Nov., 2000), pp. 543-558]

Residential Segregation

Racial segregation is most pronounced in housing. Although people of different races may work together, they are still very unlikely to live in integrated neighborhoods. This pattern differs only by degree in different metropolitan areas." [http://books.google.com/books?id=O0bnHQAACAAJ The Suburban Racial Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods] " By William Dennis Keating. Temple University Press. 1994. ISBN 1566391474]

Massey and Denton who propose that the fundamental cause of poverty among African Americans is segregation. This segregation has created the inner city black urban ghettos that create poverty traps and keep blacks from being able to escape the underclass. These neighborhoods have institutionalized an inner city black culture that is negatively stigmatized and purports the economic situation of the black community. The use of black english vernacular as a variant of the English language has made it extremely difficult for black children in the educational system as well as other African Americans on the job market. This language that has arisen from residential segregation has crippled children of these neighborhoods because they cannot easily transition between standard English school work and books to the black English vernacular that they use in their homes and with their friends. [Massey, D. S. and N. A. Denton. American Apartheid. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.] Racial segregation or separation can lead to social, economic and political tensions." [http://books.google.com/books?id=O0bnHQAACAAJ The Suburban Racial Dilemma: Housing and Neighborhoods] " By William Dennis Keating. Temple University Press. 1994. ISBN 1566391474]

Geographically, residential segregation splits communities between the black inner city and white suburbs. This phenomenon is due to white flight where whites actively leave neighborhoods because of a black presence. There are more than just geographical consequences to this, as the money leaves and poverty grows, crime rates jump and businesses leave and follow the money. This creates a job shortage in segregated neighborhoods and perpetuates the economic inequality in the inner city. With the wealth and businesses gone from inner city areas the tax base decreases which hurts funding for education. Consequently those that can afford to leave the area for better schools leave decreasing the tax base for educational funding even more. Any business that is left or would consider opening doesn’t want to invest in a place nobody has any money but has a lot of crime, meaning the only things that are left in these communities are poor black people with little opportunity for employment or education." [ Newman, Katherine. No Shame in my Game. New York: Knopf, 1999.] Newman's No Shame in my Game further addresses the effects of residential segregation. She says that because poor black people are living isolated in their own neighborhoods they have poor social networks and little ability to find gainful employment. Because who you know is largely based on where you live, community members do not have the same networks or opportunities in the job market. She maintains that this is the reason poor blacks in racially segregated urban ghettos stay poor. Newman also says that those in racially segregated neighborhoods that may have a social connection to the job market rarely are able to utilize it because those connections are unlikely to risk their own well-being by vouching for another. This segregation also extends to blacks who try and leave the ghetto for different housing. They are the subjects of a variety of discrimination designed to funnel them back into black neighborhoods. It is harder for blacks to get home loans and they are more likely to be rejected for a home loan. Also realtors are more likely to only show homes to blacks in black neighborhoods, or they tell black buyers that lots in white areas are sold, or they quote black buyers inflated prices in white neighborhoods [Massey, D. S. and N. A. Denton. American Apartheid. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993. ] . If a black family is able to move into a white neighborhood they are subjected to intimidation by white neighbors fearing a loss in property values and higher crime rates. When these whites leave for different areas the tax base is decreased and the process of ghettoization begins again. The geography of residential segregation is not limited to the southern states, and is actually more prevalent in the North. For instance, Chicago was declared by Martin Luther King Jr. as the most segregated city in the United States, and is only 5 % more integrated than it was in 1970. [Massey, D. S. and N. A. Denton. American Apartheid. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.] This segregation became a problem at the turn of the twenty century as masses of southern blacks migrated north and settled in black neighborhoods along with other "ethnic enclaves" of immigrants that were arriving at the same time.

Today, many whites are willing, and are able, to pay a premium to live in a predominantly white neighborhood. Equivalent housing in white areas commands a higher rent. [Kiel, K. A. and J. E. Zabel. "Housing Price Differentials in U.S. Cities: Household and Neighborhood Racial Effects." Journal of Housing Economics 5, 1996.] By bidding up the price of housing, many white neighborhoods again effectively shut out blacks, because blacks are unwilling, or unable, to pay the premium to buy entry into white neighborhoods. Through the 1990s, residential segregation remained at its extreme and has been called "hypersegregation" by some sociologists or "American Apartheid." [Massey, D. S. and N. A. Denton. American Apartheid. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.]

Unequal education

The percentage of black children who now go to integrated public schools is at its lowest level since 1968." [http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/feature/2005/09/22/kozol/ Apartheid America: Jonathan Kozol rails against a public school system that, 50 years after Brown v. Board of Education, is still deeply -- and shamefully -- segregated.] " book review by Sarah Karnasiewicz for salon.com] The words of "American apartheid" have been used in reference to the disparity between white and black schools in America. Those who compare this inequality to apartheid frequently point to unequal funding for predominantly black schools. [Singer, Alan. [http://eric.ed.gov:80/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ598497&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=eric_accno&accno=EJ598497 "American Apartheid: Race and the Politics of School Finance on Long Island, NY."] ]

In Chicago, by the academic year 2002-2003, 87 percent of public-school enrollment was black or Hispanic; less than 10 percent of children in the schools were white. In Washington, D.C., 94 percent of children were black or Hispanic; less than 5 percent were white. In St. Louis, 82 percent of the student population were black or Hispanic; in Philadelphia and Cleveland, 79 percent; in Los Angeles, 84 percent, in Detroit, 96 percent; in Baltimore, 89 percent. In New York City, nearly three quarters of the students were black or Hispanic.

Even these statistics, as stark as they are, cannot begin to convey how deeply isolated children in the poorest and most segregated sections of these cities have become. [Kozol, John. [http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2005/American-Apartheid-Education1sep05.htm Still Separate, Still Unequal: America's Educational Apartheid.] Harper's Magazine v.311, n.1864 1sep2005]

Kozol expanded on this topic in his book "The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America."

The "New American apartheid" refers to the allegation that US drug and criminal policies in practice target blacks on the basis of race. The radical left-wing web-magazine Z-Net featured a series of 4 articles on "The New American Apartheid" in which it drew parallels between the treatment of blacks by the American justice system and apartheid:

Modern prisoners occupy the lowest rungs on the social class ladder, and they always have. The modern prison system (along with local jails) is a collection of ghettos or poorhouses reserved primarily for the unskilled, the uneducated, and the powerless. In increasing numbers this system is being reserved for racial minorities, especially blacks, which is why we are calling it the New American Apartheid. This is the same segment of American society that has experienced some of the most drastic reductions in income and they have been targeted for their involvement in drugs and the subsequent violence that extends from the lack of legitimate means of goal attainment. [Shelden, Randall G. and William B. Brown. [http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=43&ItemID=5758 The New American Apartheid] ]

This article has been discussed at The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and by several school boards attempting to address the issue of continued segregation.


Permanent racial segregation was banned in prisons in 1968 however California continued to engage in the practice on a temporary basis during the first sixty days of incarceration and during prison transfer. [http://www.sptimes.com/2004/11/03/Worldandnation/Prison_segregation_de.shtml] This was the subject of a 2004 case brought before the United States Supreme Court when inmate Garrison Johnson challenged California's prison segregation in "Johnson v. California", 03-636. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-11-02-prison-racial-segration_x.htm?csp=36] [http://www.law.duke.edu/publiclaw/supremecourtonline/certGrants/2004/johvcal] On February 23, 2005, the court ruled that the practice must end. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46810-2005Feb23.html]

Drug policy

The United States' drug policy is accused by many anti-drug war criminologists as "the new American Apartheid." According to Noam Chomsky, "African Americans, now a majority of prisoners for the first time in US history, are imprisoned at well over seven times the rate of whites—completely out of the range of arrests, which themselves target Blacks far out of proportion to their involvement in drug use or trafficking."

ee also

*African-American history
*American Civil Rights Movement (1896-1954)
*American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
*Baseball color line
*Black Belt (region of Chicago)
*Black flight
*Civil rights
*Black history
*Housing Segregation
*Jim Crow laws
*List of anti-discrimination acts
*List of segregationists during the American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968)
*Mortgage Discrimination
*Race and longevity
*Race legislation in the United States
*Racial segregation
*Second-class citizen
*Separate but equal
*Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement
*White flight


External links

* [http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/remembering/ "Remembering Jim Crow"] - Minnesota Public Radio (multi-media)
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia "Africans in America"] - PBS 4-Part Series
* [http://www.black101.com Black History Collection]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery "Slavery and the Making of America"] - PBS - WNET, New York (4-Part Series)

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