Free Research Paper on Segregation

What makes African Americans so different from Caucasians? Ever since the 1800’s there has been a problem with Segregation! Blacks and whites were never considered “equal” but instead were considered different in every way. It came to the point where the two races couldn’t even drink the same water. Why was it so wrong to be different?

It began in the late 1800’s. Although it seems that segregation never had a beginning, it feels as if it has always been that blacks and whites have never been equal. In the early 1800’s, the Jim Crow laws were adopted. These laws stated that blacks and whites had to have their own drinking fountains, telephones, bathrooms, restaurants, and even schools. The blacks were not helpless, they had a wonderful leader who was always encouraging them to go on and to take the brutal discrimination they were getting. This man’s name was Booker T. Washington. Washington was the most prominent leader of his day. His childhood consisted of being a slave in Franklin County, Virginia. He tried very hard to improve the lives of African-Americans. Today how many of us just go up to a drinking fountain and get a nice long drink without even thinking about it? We don’t have to worry about going to a specific one just to get a drink. We simply go wherever available. Back then if you were to go to the wrong drinking fountain, even if it was an accident, you could have been arrested right then and there.

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Blacks were always considered second. They never received the chance to sit on the front of a bus, they never got to be first. They were the leftovers. Nobody thought they may actually have feelings, they were treated like dirt. Few people ever tried anything as crazy as what Rosa Parks did. Rosa Parks changed everything. She is one of the main reasons things are better today. On December 1, 1955, Parks made history. She was tired and worn out from along day of work. She was sitting on the bus traveling home, when a white man came up to her waiting for her to move so he could sit down, she refused. In most cases she would have moved. On this occasion she decided she did not want too. She was sick of being mistreated, she felt as if it were unfair. Of course, Parks was arrested and sentenced to a trial. However, her one incident ended up setting the trend. People began to stand up for themselves. African Americans decided that they didn’t want to be mistreated. They began a boycott. The blacks refused to ride any of the buses. This aggravated the city of course because they did not make as much money.

If blacks and whites wanted to worship God they had to have their own church and go no where near one another. One example of this is in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. When the children were heading to church with their maid, they approached a black woman and this is the maids reply to the woman. “Stop right there, nigger.” The woman then stopped and responded, “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here -they got their church, we got our. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?” Miss Cal then answered, “It’s the same God ain’t it?” (pg. 119) Even when it came down to the most important things, such as religion and worshiping their god, blacks and whites could not do that at the same church.

Many incidents occurred over the next many years. Every now and then there were those few such as Rosa Parks who would stand up for themselves. Finally after many long years of segregation, came desegregation. This, meaning that blacks and whites begin to be a little more friendlier and accept each other. On July 26, 1948 President Harry Truman issued two executive orders. One stated that there should be fair employment. The other declared that there should be equal treatment and opportunity in armed forces, race, religion and that national origin should not affect that. After many years of segregation and everyone hating one another because of color, things started to change. People learned to accept one another and they moved on with their lives. There are still many people today who do not think that we are equal, and believe that things should still be different. Today the issue of poor and rich comes up. If you don’t have something as good as someone else, you’re not considered good enough.

Hopefully someday we will all be equal. That probably will not ever happen because there is always someone who feels as if they are better. Whether it be because of their skin color or the amount of money they have. It is true that things have changed tremendously, and we are fortunate to not be mistreated as badly as the African Americans were back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, but segregation still is going on whether we see it or not. It happens with the dumbest things. Unfortunately we are unable to fix this, try as we might there will always be that one person that does not agree with the ways of the world.

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