Aftery Slavery and Segregation

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

Slavery was declared illegal as one of the processes within the reconstruction right after the civil war. Most of the freed slaves moved to the northern parts of the country to work as domestic workers and businesspeople while others sought employment in the railroads. Unfortunately, freedom did not deliver the benefits that the slaves envisioned (The Library of Congress 3). White men devised racial segregation mechanisms to keep Blacks in an inferior status through denial of equivalent services and opportunities. This meant that African Americans lived separate lives from the white people. The end of slavery was a product of the reconstruction era thus when this period came to an end some white politicians gave up the mission of protection African Americans.

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This was a move directed at healing wounds between the south and the north. As a result, former Confederate states and local authorities created legal structures that were directed at reintroducing a society that was anchored on white supremacy. Most black people were denied the right to vote. Also, courtesy of the Jim Crow legislation people of color were not allowed to access white schools, jobs, or even been in the same public gatherings with the white people. Black men were denied the right to vote through legal reversal and violence. In the early stages of the 1890s Confederate states introduced education examinations, election levies, complex registration structures and democratic primaries for whites only that were aimed at excluding African American voters (Lawson 22).

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These rules were harsh such that in Louisiana the initial registered black voters were 130,000 but that number reduced to about 1304 in less than ten years. In the state of Mississippi out of the 147,000 blacks only 9000 were registered as voters. In some cases, black people were required to pay a fee to be enumerated as voters, but very few could afford it since most were from poor backgrounds. These organizations adopted brutality, fear, and murder to terrorize African Americans and do away with the reforms of the reconstruction while restoring white supremacy. By 1920 the Ku Klux Klan had reinstated white supremacy and hate against African Americans and other immigrant communities. The effects of the Klan were not just restrained to the southern parts but with time they were able to spread the hate throughout the country.

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The possibility of black people sharing public accommodation and conveyances with the whites was high in the period after 1865. Black people could now access railroads and streetcars on a cohesive basis. In regards to accessing public facilities, black people had no option but to sit in auditorium balconies. Henceforth segregation became a robust legal structure that separated whites and black people from the cradle to the grave. This was characterized by segregated medical facilities and cemeteries (Smithsonian National Museum of American History 28). The authorities could not tolerate any form of racial integration that was there just after the end of slavery. The Jim Crow laws were popular in the 1890s mainly because of the rise of a third party populist movement.

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Additionally, Black and White attended different schools in a case of de facto segregation. Black’s separation from the white people was not just a matter of choice and custom. This is because white landlords and real estate agents forced blacks away from their neighborhoods. Homeowners signed racial inspired judicial covenants and municipal ordinances which kept black people from white communities. According to the US Supreme Court Judges in the legal tussle between Plessy and Ferguson, civic privileges could not alter the destiny of a race. In the South, segregation lasted for over 50 years mainly through disfranchisement of African Americans, vigilante terror, and coercion. In the 1910s during the Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, the government enacted segregation rules that barred Africans from accessing government offices in Washington D.

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C this continued till President Roosevelt rose to power in the 1930’s. President Woodrow Wilson had close acquaintances in the south; thus he exploited his position to promote the segregation policy in government. The rise of segregation promoted the growth of activist groups to fight for equality of the white and black races. The end of the reconstruction period worsened the fate of African Americans since the privileges they enjoyed were taken away courtesy of the Supreme Court ruling and Jim Crow laws. White supremacy continued to thrive thus making blacks inferior. Segregation was a significant issue such that African Americans could not access essential services such as medical care, education, and public transportation. Separation did not end till later years of the 20th century after years of activists advocating for equality between races.

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