African Americans versus The Social Sciences1



American segregation was a bitter part of American history. Even worse, though, are the securing reasons for the need of segregation and the defense of the institution. I will be discussing the method in which segregation came into existence in America and how the populace advocated such a policy.
The issue of segregation in America deals mostly with the idea of superiority and inferiority between the black, or African, and white, or Caucasian, races. There is a long history on what eventually became legal segregation in the United States. I will begin by giving a short synopsis of that history.
Immediately after the Civil War many laws were enacted called black codes that clashed with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Thirteenth Amendment of 1865. They were enacted to resume control over the social aspect of slavery that had been removed because of the outcome of the war.
Under slavery, control was best maintained by a large degree of physical contact and association. Under the strange new order the old methods were not always available or applicable, though the contacts and associations they produced did not all disappear at once. To the dominant whites it began to appear that the new order required a certain amount of compulsory separation of the races.

The answer to the "new order" was a separation of races in society. The black codes were intended to control the new black freedom by requiring certain practices. These practices would make sure that a black man had a job. If he did not have a job then he would be fined and if the fine could not be paid that black man would be sold into servitude to pay off his fine. Blacks were refrained from working in certain skilled working environments and could not carry firearms or testify in court unless it was against another black. Poll taxes and the "grandfather" clause were ways in which states would try to arrest blacks from voting in elections. These black codes were very successful.
To say the idea of separating the races was a complete "white" idea would be false. Even blacks had somewhat an idea that if they were not around white people, they would not be beleaguered by the troubles. Another view was that whites believed blacks wanted to associate with them. The following excerpt is from a book about a mulatto man in the South speaking about his ideas of the whites. "What I resented was their impudent assumption that I wanted to mingle with them, their arrogant and conceited pretense that no matter how depraved and degenerate some of them might be, they, each and every one of them, was of a superior breed." Congressman Frank Clark gave a speech in Congress in 1908 speaking about segregation laws. He began by declaring his love for "that old Negro man." The man who first took the Congressman outside after his birth.
The question raised by the amendment [to segregate street cars in Washington, D.C.]…is purely a question of disposing of a situation in such a manner as will lessen the friction between the races. The adoption of that amendment will not discriminate against the Negro race, nor will it inure to the advantage of the white race alone. It will inure to the benefit of both races."

The idea and support of segregation of the races was two fold and was supported by a minority population of both races.
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1875 ensuring that all men are equal and will be given justice upon the law and the government. It was initially vetoed by President Andrew Jackson, but was overridden by Congress. In 1883, the United States Supreme Court will rule that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 is unconstitutional stating that State governments and not the Federal government should be the one to ensure equality among its citizens. This led for the formation of Jim Crow laws to be passed through many state governments.
Jim Crow laws were legal segregation laws that banned the integration of the races in certain establishments. Some states passed Jim Crow laws that segregated restaurants, busses, railroads, streetcars, theatres, and even hospital waiting rooms. This segregation ideal was also spread to schools, parks, and even cemeteries