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A Look At Desegregation As A Part Of A Larger Phenomenon In American History

1000 words - 4 pages

The term "melting pot" for America came about during the early 1900s in reference to America's acceptance of all immigrants and races during the time period. America has, since the coining of the term, proven that it was an artificial label with little resemblance to the truth. Throughout history a great deal of white Americans practiced seclusion, segregation, and alienation of rights for non Anglo-Saxon peoples. Perhaps none have suffered more than the African Americans at the hand of Anglo-Saxon Americans. In his "South Carolina Schools and Colleges Desegregation" manuscript William E. Rone details the hard fought court cases against educational segregation in South Carolina during the ...view middle of the document...

The local superintendent R.M. Elliott denied the request. In reaction the NAACP in 1950 joined this battle and along with 21 African American children's parents, among them Harry and Eliza Briggs, filed suit in U.S. District Court to get an injunction to abolish segregation in South Carolina schools. A 3 judge panel denied the request in 1951. (Rone, 4) It was not until 1954 and in a place far away from the South that the court case Brown vs. The Board of Education joined several cases from around the U.S. including Briggs vs. Elliott and ultimately outlawed segregation by unanimous vote. Linda Brown from the Brown vs. The Board of Education suit later told in an interview with CBS that she did not understand why her and her white playmates could not go to school together. This early separation of races allowed for minimal exposure of white children to African American children thus perpetuating the idea of separation by implanting it early enough for the children to think that all was as it should be.
Even after the Brown decision white South Carolina schools still refused to admit black students showing blatant disregard for the ruling and again showing their prejudicial fear of the mixing of African American and white children. According to Williams as late as 1964 African Americans in South Carolina were still having to file suits against white schools in order to obtain admission for their children even though the Brown decision to outlaw segregation was a full decade earlier (Rone, 1-21). For example in 1962 Harvey S. Gantt filed suit against Clemson Agricultural College and was denied an injunction for admittance by a South Carolina judge. (Rone, 14) Gantt only entered the college when the U.S. Fourth Circuit court of appeals over-ruled the decision declaring it unconstitutional with regards to the 14th amendment and the Brown decision. The first African American student voluntarily admitted to a white college...

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