• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Separate but equal?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Separate but equal? 'Separate but equal' was an expression often used in the early 20th Century to describe segregation - keeping black and white people apart. Segregation was made legal in 1896, but had actually been going on for some time before that. White Americans living in the South (13 states in the Southeast USA) were determined to keep the black population under control. So states in the South passed laws - even though the US is governed by Federal Law, each of the 50 separate states can make their own laws that only affect that state. Southern states such as Texas, Florida and Alabama passed laws between 1870 and 1900 which were known as Jim Crow laws, and kept black and white people apart. The Federal Government in the more powerful North of the country didn't like Jim Crow laws but did nothing stop them. Then on June 7th 1892 a black shoemaker called Homer Plessy was jailed for sitting in a white seat on the East Louisiana Railway. ...read more.

Middle

And of course, the facilities provided for them were very rarely equal. One black man said, '"They would find two sets of doors, two kinds of facilities from drinking fountains to schools. One set was White, the other was Black, one set was clean and well cared for, the other was usually broken, neglected by the White authorities, shamefully unequal". This summed up how segregation made life for blacks in the South. They had to put up with inferior conditions in everything they had, while the whites would have nice parks, nice schools, and nice toilets. They saw the 'separate but equal' ruling as a decision that made it legal for whites to discriminate against them - they knew that white Southern states wouldn't provide equal facilities. It seemed there was nothing they could do about it - their votes had been taken away by Jim Crow laws, so they couldn't even elect someone to oppose this segregation. States made up laws and qualifications that black people needed to vote, and these were generally impossible. ...read more.

Conclusion

They had to live in a world where everything they had was inferior to what the whites next door might have, where they were judged and usually condemned just by the colour of their skin. Homer Plessy, the man who first opposed Jim Crow laws was in fact ? white, but he was deemed below the white man who wanted his seat just because his skin was a little darker. Segregation laws would continue for over 50 years, and until they were abolished, black Americans would always have a lesser existence to whites. They were never thought of as equal to the whites, and the lives they were forced to live by Jim Crow laws were certainly not equal either. One black man summed it up when he said, "In reality a lot of effort was made to keep us separate, but not much was done to make us equal." His words undoubtedly paint a more realistic picture of Jim Crow laws than those of the Supreme Court or President Wilson, and tell us the harsh reality of segregation - they were separate, but definitely not equal. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. Jim Crow Laws

    or rights as full citizens to equal opportunity and equal treatment of Freedmen, or former slaves, were protected as their transition was made to freedom. Initially, reconstruction was successful. Blacks and whites were equal. Blacks were even allowed to vote. In Mississippi, there were two black men elected as senators.

  2. the crow project

    Receptionist: Lucy Job interviewer: mark Camera man: john Crow: Mr. Crow Crow: hello my name is crow cooker and I have come here for a job interview. Lucy: yes mark troy had been waiting for you, can you please go to room number 214 on the second floor.

  1. The Planet of Which Apes Exactly?

    animals are mutilated or amputated to produce behavioural changes; animals are the victims of extreme pain and stress, inflicted out of idle curiosity, in nightmarish experiments designed to make healthy animals psychotic. He uses such strong and vivid images- almost to the point of exaggeration- that those lines end up coming off as morbid sarcasm.

  2. "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal

    Josiah Henson's family had to suffer all of this as the Mc Pherson Estate went into liquidation. I strongly believe that nobody should have power over someone else. When slavery in America ended the black people had all the same rights as the white people.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work