Segregation and Equality in America:
The State Legislation enforced laws of segregation such as not allowing African Americans to drink out of the same water fountain, eat at the same restaurant, and attend the same schools as whites. They also forced African Americans to ride in the back of the bus. This law was given the name the Jim Crow law. (Martin.2018) Because of such law there were Amendments put in to play to allow African Americans to feel safe, such as the thirteenth amendment. Even though the thirteenth amendment was approved and was said that it would put an end to slavery, slavery still existed.
The Fourteenth Amendment which was in 1868 fortified legal rights of newly freed slaves by stating, “no state shall deprive anyone of either ‘due process of law” or of the “equal protection of the law.” (History, Plessy) The Fourteenth amendment was also not successful at protecting slaves. The Fifteenth Amendment was then established in 1870 and it was to strengthen the legal rights of newly freed slaves by preventing states from refusing anyone the right to vote due to race. (History, Plessy) Regardless of all the different Amendments, African Americans were never treated fair.
Many people think Rosa Parks was the first to refuse to get up out of her seat. But, in 1892 an African American by the name of Homer Plessy was arrested because he refused to give up his seat to a white man on a train in New Orleans. This was the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. (History, Plessy) We all are human beings but African Americans were treated like animals. There was no reason for a white man to feel that he was superior to the African American man and demand that he remove himself from his seat so that he could have a seat. This case is what opened eyes to equality.
Plessy v. Ferguson was the case that contributed to the rise of several cases, like the Brown v Board of Education. Brown v Board of Education is a case where Court declared laws that were established to separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education was a name that was given to several cases that were brought to the U.S. Supreme Court attention in reference to five separate cases concerning issues of segregation in public schools. (History, Brown) The original case was filed against Topeka, Kansas school board by Oliver Brown. After Mr. Brown case was dismissed, the Supreme Court combined all the cases into one. (Duignan, 2018-Brown) The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to end racial segregation and Chief Justice Earl Warren is who delivered the decision after the facts pertained to the case. (Duignan, 2018-Plessy) Chief Justice Earl Warren enforced the Equal Protection Clause for this case and honored the Fourteenth Amendment which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty,
or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (LOC.2018)
Americans are aware of the importance of education and today we acknowledge it as an important instrumental tool. One thing that we all know is in order to succeed in today’s society education is important and to be denied the opportunity of education can hinder our ability of maintaining a comfortable life. We are living in a time where children are accustomed to their cultural values and they adjust normally to their environment. African American children would like to be exposed to a different life and they should not be deprived of making a better life for themselves.
African Americans have struggled along to time to become equal and they have come a long way in America. There are many cases in the Supreme Court that I can name which consists of African Americans being treated unfairly. However, there are still many more issues that will need to be addressed in order for this world to be as one and before I can genuinely say, this country is abiding to the United States Constitution. On the other hand, I am thankful for the equal rights clause in the Fourteenth Amendment and am grateful that there were people to understand how African Americans were treated and wanted to do something for everybody to feel equal.
Duignan, Brian, (2018). “Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka,” Britannica.com;
Web 25 Oct. 2018. https://www.britannica.com/event/Brown-v-Board-of-Education-of-Topeka
Duignan, Brian, (2018). “Plessy v. Ferguson” Summary, Facts, & Significance| Britannica.com;
Web 25 Oct. 2018. https:/www.britannica.com/events/Plessy-v-Ferguson-1896
History- Brown v. Board of Education Re-enactment: “Brown v. Board of Education (1954,
1955).” Web 25 Oct. 2018. http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/history-Brown-v-board-education-re-enactment
History- Brown v. Board of Education Re-enactment: “The Plessy Decision.” Web 25 Oct. 2018
Liberty of Congress. Primary Documents in American History. “14th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution.” Web 27 Oct.2018 https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html
Martin Luther King, Jr Historical National Park. “Jim Crow Laws” Web 27 Oct. 2018