“No blacks allowed”: How southerners in the US tried to erase blacks from their lives Racial discrimination was banned in the US 60 years ago 07/03/2024, 16:09

Racial discrimination in the United States, which the inhabitants of the USSR heard so much about on television, directly followed the history of slavery. By the middle of the 19th century, a division had matured in the United States: the South of the country was agricultural and dependent on slave labor, while in the North there was no slavery and industry was actively developing. The abolitionist movement, which considered slavery to be fundamentally immoral and demanded its abolition, was growing stronger every year. With Lincoln’s victory in the election, the abolitionists essentially came to power, and the southerners decided to rebel against the United States in order to keep their slaves.

The Civil War began in 1861, which the North won. Slavery was abolished, but it was impossible to force southerners to live with blacks. The abolitionists did not insist on this; many thought blacks were inferior, but they did not see this as a reason for exploitation. As a result, shortly after the end of the Civil War, the southern states passed a broad set of segregation laws designed to minimize contact between the white and black races, making it seem as if they lived in parallel, non-overlapping spaces.These days, this set of measures is collectively known as the “Jim Crow laws.”

Voting in elections

Unprecedented youth-racists to African Americans were given the character of a black sheep, and I was opposed to the same thing, that “niggers”, as they were, they went to the white people. So the first thing that was done after the end of Reconstruction (essentially the occupation of the South by troops) in 1877 was for southerners to ban blacks from voting. Constitutionally, they couldn’t do it officially, so they had to develop a set of Jesuit rules for registering voters, so you had to pay a fee to vote, and the black population was mostly on the verge of poverty and misery.

The tax was supported by literacy and comprehension tests, and if a citizen’s father or grandfather had voted before 1867 (and was white himself), then he could vote regardless of the tests. The tests varied; for example, you had to read a section of the Constitution and explain its meaning to the examiner, and all the examiners were white. There were restrictions on place of residence and many other measures that made no sense to go into the essence of – legislators simply adjusted the rules to fit a predetermined answer.

These measures were successful, and in 1910, for example, there were only 730 registered black voters in Louisiana, 0.5% of the total.

Sometimes poor whites were also inadvertently subjected to restrictions, but state officials were not very concerned about this.

Moreover. Those who did not have the right to vote could not serve as jurors in court or run for local office. As a result, African Americans were completely excluded from political life in almost all southern states. It is interesting to recall that the slogan of American patriots during the struggle for independence from Great Britain was “no taxation without representation”, meaning that taxes could not be collected from people who were not represented in parliament and government. Of course, during the Jim Crow era, no one intended to exempt the black population from taxes.

Trains, buses and cinemas

There were not many opportunities for contact between the two races. African Americans and whites lived in different houses (even neighborhoods). They could work in the same business, but blacks were hired only for lower-level positions (cleaners, stokers, janitors, loaders, laborers, etc.). A white could meet yesterday’s slave on equal terms, especially on public transportation, which was emerging at the time. Racists took a comprehensive approach to solve this problem.

By the 1890s, many states in the South began offering separate train cars for blacks and whites.

This began as a private initiative of the Georgia Railroad, but soon became law and a requirement in many states. Some activists tried to resist: for example, in 1892, Homer Plessy, who was 1/8 African American but light-skinned, bought a first-class ticket and sat in the white seats. When the train started moving, he informed the conductors of his race. He was immediately ordered to change seats, and when Plessy refused, he was arrested by the police, who ruled that “separate but equal” violated no one’s rights.

When buses and trams first appeared in the South, their seats were also strictly segregated. The division concerned not only transport but also public spaces. There were cafes for whites (or separate tables in them), benches for whites, beaches for whites, theaters for whites, parks for whites, parking lots for whites, etc. A classic example of this is the cinema, which, according to Southern law, was required to have separate entrances, ticket offices, and seats in the hall. Blacks usually sat in the gallery: this place began to be derisively called “the perch” and “the Negro’s paradise.”

They could share anything they had enough imagination for. Toilets were almost always segregated, but so were less obvious places, such as outdoor drinking fountains. Special signs might even prohibit black people from walking on a particular street or standing in a particular place.

The justification for these bans was often to protect women from sexual assault. In general, the dominant stereotype is the “black moon”: good and unsuitable “nigeria”, a few groups and a few bald, which, after the first attempt, will please the white woman, the girl is well-adjusted and neutral.


The ban on co-education between blacks and whites was the strictest in the southern states; it first appeared and was last eliminated during an armed conflict. Separate “black schools” appeared before the Civil War, and at the time this was a breakthrough: abolitionists wanted to provide at least some kind of education for the children of slaves and freedmen. When public schools opened in the South in 1867, they were all strictly segregated along racial lines. Blacks did not see this as a problem at first, rejoicing in the opportunity for free education and taking segregation itself for granted. Officially, “black” and “white” schools were the same, but everyone knew that the quality of education and budgets here were incomparable.

At the same time, advocates of segregation often freely turned the tables, as if they were defending former slaves: for example, they said that blacks should not be allowed into white schools because they would be racially abused and subject to an inferiority complex.

That changed in the mid-20th century, when the civil rights movement gained momentum and African Americans no longer saw themselves as second-class citizens. In 1954, the high-profile Brown v. Board of Education case concluded, in which the U.S. Supreme Court found racial barriers in education violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed racial equality. The result was a dangerous experiment: In 1957, equality activists selected nine black students with good grades and enrolled them in a public school in Little Rock, Arkansas. The children were initially warned that it would be difficult for them, but no one could have predicted just how difficult.

This new year, the white children’s schoolchildren were arrested, so I’m not a Nigerian” to my details and home. That’s why I’m so happy. The conflict was brewing, and on September 4, the governor of Arkansas sent the National Guard to the school “to keep the peace” – although in fact the soldiers were ordered to keep African Americans out of school and thereby support their parents. When a group of African American children arrived in class, the guards began to lead the children away from the school, forming a single chain with the hateful crowd. One of the students, Elizabeth Eckford, recalled:

“They were getting closer and closer. Someone started screaming… I tried to see a friendly face in the crowd; at least someone who wanted to help us. I looked at the old woman’s face, which seemed kind to me, but the next moment she spat in my face.”

As a result, President Lyndon Johnson issued an executive order to take control of the Arkansas National Guard and sent soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, where they were supposed to escort children to school. Images of infantrymen with guns and bayonets leading blacks into schools as if caught in a storm shocked the nation and became a symbol of the end of racial segregation.

This allowed the Civil Rights Act to be passed in July 1964, which ended everything described above. It banned all forms of racial discrimination: in elections, on buses, in cafes, in schools, in cinemas, and in employment. There were still some minor prohibitions here and there, but it became clear that the racists would no longer put up a tough resistance.

What are you thinking?

“Whites only”, “blacks turn left”, “entrance for negroes” – until recently, residents of the southern United States saw such signs at every turn. Racists wanted to separate the black and white races with an insurmountable barrier, and therefore not only buses and schools, but also parking lots, bus stops, parks, benches and fountains were segregated. When blacks first tried to get into a white school after the end of segregation, American paratroopers almost fought them there. About what is forbidden for African Americans in the United States in the material from socialbites.ca.

Source: Gazeta


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