Segregation in America

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By the mid-20th century, racial tensions had escalated and demonstrations swelled for voting rights and school integration. Beginning with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 lead by Reverend Martin Luther King, conflicts between the Civil Rights movement and those who would fight to maintain "the white way of life" would lead to violence and, in some cases, murder. Between 1948 and 1965, over two hundred Black churches and homes in the Deep South were the target of bombings, and there was no more volatile city than Birmingham, Alabama (nicknamed‘Bombingham’). In 1962, before his election as Governor, George Wallace aligned himself with other Southern Governors who were facing the same issues of federal intervention in order to impose desegregation in their states' schools. Wallace appeared at a rally for Georgia's Marvin Griffin, who was running against a candidate with more moderate views on desegregation. Wallace also supported Mississippi's Governor Ross Barnett in the dramatic confrontation between state and federal authority over the admission of the University of Mississippi's first black student, James Meredith. The stage was set for his own dramatic stand at the University of Alabama. The goal of desegregation established by Chief Justice Warren in 1954 was not just to affect equality in education, but to provide equal opportunity for life-long achievement. Research on the effects of desegregation on academic achievement (conducted in the 1970s) documented small gains in the reading achievements of black and either positive or neutral effects in math. Researchers also noted that desegregation did not hinder achievement in white students. More recent national studies show that desegregation in schools leads to desegregation in later life.

The concept of segregation was formulated because there were no more slaves after the Civil War.By the time the United States entered World War, the South was a fully segregated society. Every school, restaurant,...
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