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John Mason “Separate But Equal”                  Segregation Was Ultimately Meant

1435 words - 6 pages

John Mason "Separate but Equal" Segregation was ultimately meant to be an equal opportunity for the African American. It was a sensitive but very real reality in the 1950's. The separation of whites and blacks damaged many young students for life. The movie "Separate but Equal" illustrates segregation during this time. It shows the inequality that segregation carries and how it was abolished. The movie started out in a small colored school in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Reverend J.A. Delaine watched as one of his students started his journey home. As the student was walking down the road a white only school bus drove right past the colored student. This particular student had to walk many miles to and from school with no bus transportation available. This is when Reverend Delaine decided that he has seen enough. He went to the Summerton school board Chairman R.W. Elliot to talk about getting a school bus. Elliot told Reverend Delaine that there was not enough funding to provide the colored schools transportation. Reverend Delaine then decided to do an investigating on the funding of the separate schools. Reverend Delaine found that the school systems were spending $179.00 on every white student, while only spending $43.00 on every colored student. With this information Reverend Delaine decided to use the law. He got a lawyer and wrote a petition to make the schools an equal opportunity for everyone. Reverend Delaine then contacted the National Association for Advancement of Colored People. A man named Thurgood Marshall, one of the persons that headed the NAACP, decided to go down to Clarendon County and see what exactly he could do. Marshall talked to the colored citizens of Clarendon County and said in order for them to take the case in front of the court, they needed at least 19 signatures on the petition. After Marshall left Reverend Delaine starting going around and talking to people about the petition. There ended up being over 60 signatures on the petition, plenty to make a good argument in front of the court. The case was heard in front of a three-judge court due to the question of segregation. Marshall had professionals evaluate colored students and proved that segregation was damaging them psychologically making them feel inferior to the white student. He also argued that about the schools being unequal. Noting that the school board was spending $179.00 for every white student and $43.00 for every colored student. The Clarendon County School Board stated that the funding was unequal and that there will be something done about it. They said the school board needs time to gradually make the colored schools equal. The state court granted the Clarendon County school system time to make these changes. This was not a very significant turn around, and Marshall decided that separate but equal was not good enough. He wanted to take the case Briggs verse Elliot to the...

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