Racial Inequalities During The Civil Rights Era

1441 words - 6 pages

During the civil rights era the amount of racial inequalities that were present within society were immense. They ranged from the inability of African Americans to attend school with whites, use the same water fountains or even ride in the same section on buses just to name a few. Many influential figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X fought to eliminate those inequalities. These influential figures had their own story line that stood out in our history and made them who they are in the Civil Rights Era. Even though, they were very influential they still couldn’t take on the task by themselves. They were the leaders of their individual movement.
Under the system of bus segregation, white people were entitled to the seats in the front rows of the bus while black people would fill the back of the bus. When buses were filled to their maximum capacity seating, any black passenger who came aboard the bus were then required to stand. In the case of a white man coming onboard when the bus was fully occupied the black passenger closest to the front of the bus was required to vacate that seat for them. It was not until December 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man that an outburst against this racial inequality came to being. This resulted in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Many African American followed this boycott, while other couldn’t because they needed it very badly and because many couldn’t afford to buy their own vehicle. The bus business lost a lot of money in Montgomery since most African Americans use buses to go to work, office, school, and etc. (Chafe).
On the educational front, one of the biggest racial segregations was that of schools. White and black students attended different schools and studied in different facilities. Due to the Jim Crow Laws, which state and local laws that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities, blacks were not permitted to attend the same schools at which white students studied. On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on the famous case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The court ruled that the “segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group”(Kirk). Greensboro, in 1954, became the first city in the South to publically announce that it would abide by this ruling. In 1957 however, things were much different in Little Rock, Arkansas. A crisis erupted when the Governor requested the National Guard on September 4 to prevent nine African American students from entering Little Rock Central High School. On the first day of school, only one of the students showed up because she did not receive a phone call about the danger of going to school. She was taken away in a patrol car to protect her....

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