HIS204: American History Since 1865
21 November 2011
How have African-Americans worked to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation to attain equality and civil rights?
African Americans have been working hard every since the slavery days to end segregation, discrimination, and isolation. Many civil rights leaders such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, Ruby Bridges, John Brown, Fredrick Douglas, Nat Turner, and Linda Brown, have worked together so that blacks can have the same things that whites have. First off I will like to inform you on what segregation, discrimination, and isolation is. Segregation is the practice of keeping ethnic, racial, religious, or gender groups separate, especially by enforcing the use of separate schools, transportation, housing, and other facilities, and usually discriminating against a minority group. Isolation is the process of separating somebody or something from others, or the fact of being alone and separated from others. And discrimination is unfair treatment of one person or group, usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, or gender. Segregation was a by-product of the slaves being freed. Of course they were segregated before but that was because they were believed to be property not people. After the slaves were freed is when the problem began because they were not given rights when they were freed so many tried to restrict where they could go, what they could do. Many whites were mad about this and did not want to eat, go to school, use the water fountain, use the bathroom, are do anything else with blacks. Segregation was not politically noticed until the Plessey versus Ferguson case. This was a Supreme Court case in 1898, in which the Court ruled that blacks and whites should have separate but equal facilities. This is where people such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X come into play. Rosa Parks was a 55 year old elderly lady that was arrested and thrown in jail because she refused to give her seat to a white man on the bus. While during research I found out that the bus driver immediately slammed on brakes and came back with a policeman and Mrs. Parks was arrested for violating segregation laws. Rosa Parks was not the only African American who was treated unfairly. Another African American was Ruby Bridges. Ruby was one of the first black children to go to an all white school, when the courts first allowed integration on November 14, 1960, her parents allowed her to participate in this with the NAACP. The kids at school never talked to her, parents took their kids out of the school and the teachers decided not to teach as long as it was a black child in the school. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation (separation of people according to race) in public schools is unconstitutional (violates laws stated in the U.S. Constitution). This decision overturned the long-standing "separate but equal" doctrine laid down in 1896 by the case of Plessey v. Fergusson, which had encouraged segregation in certain areas of the country. The struggle over desegregation now centered upon the school question. By the end of 1957 nine of the 17 states and the District of Columbia had begun integration of their school systems. Another five states had some integrated schools by 1961. Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges where not the only females who worked to end segregation in American other females such as Mary McLeod Bethune (Mary McLeod Bethune created schools for black students and worked with several US presidents to make sure all children received a good education. Read about her accomplishments and the teacher who inspired her. Harriet Tubman (Harriet Tubman was another slave who worked to free slaves. She ran away...