Take a Position
Segregation or Jim Crow was a plan to keep people separated from one another. It was the plan of the law makers to keep black away from whites. They said separate but equal. But where blacks really equal?
I say no, because segregation was the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. The Fourteenth Amendment stopped state governments from treating citizens differently. But, in Plessy vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court ruled that state governments could segregate the races, as long the rights remained equal. What? To me that just does not make sense. How can you be forced to be separate but be equal?
The Supreme Court’s Plessy vs. Ferguson decision was a major delay for early civil rights activists, like Booker T. Washington, who believed that “Social equality and political rights would come only if blacks first became independent and improved their financial stability.” Then, he also said that, “Respect from the white community would naturally follow.” And W. E. B. Du Bois said that “Blacks need to seek complete and immediate social and economic equality.” Du Bois also called on blacks to develop a “Black Consciousness” that was different from whites. In his book The Souls of Black Folk, he said that “Blacks needed to become more aware of their history, art, music, and religious backgrounds in order to understand themselves.” The decision from the Supreme Court stated that segregated public and private places for blacks and whites were “separate but equal,” basically justifying Jim Crow segregation laws. The only judge that disagreed with the decision said that the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision would set back blacks to become equal for many decades. Also, the Court supported the right of southern law makers to charge poll taxes and give literacy tests to exclude blacks from voting. These choices made it easy to legalized and spread racism throughout the North and South.
Jim Crow laws were in place for activities such as eating in a restaurant, whites could eat at the counter but blacks had to eat in the back. Drinking from a water fountain, the white water fountain was clean and had fresh water while the black fountain was dirty and nasty. Using a public restroom, it was some places where blacks did not have a restroom and could not use the restroom that was available because it was for white only and blacks had to use the bathroom in the bushes. Attending school, you would think that something like education would be equal for all people but whites got the good new books while blacks had to settle for what was given to them and most of the times the book