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CAS SO 207 (15)
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Pages 175-223.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
CAS SO 207
Professor
Ruha Benjamin
Semester
Spring

Description
Pages 175-223 AfricanAmericans: From Segregation to Modern Institutional Discrimination and Modern Racism • Intro describes how everyone moves out of “the projects” and it becomes a black hole to Lajoe—no banks, public libraries, movie theaters, etc. It resembled a third world country. • This housing project in Chicago has been replaced with low-rise buildings and town- house units but concentrated poverty like this still exists • Some of the most wealthy people have beenAA, our president isAA, and some of the top companies have been led byAA(pretty big progress compared to 100 years ago) • Racial inequality still persists and hard times forAmerican can mean disaster forAA End of De Jure Segregation • This southern system was most visible enemy toAA • Modernization of agriculture in South had powerful effect on race relations—farm work less labor intensive and machines replaced people (less cheap labor required) • This helped spur the migration northward to urban areas;AAfound it easier to vote there • Weight of growingAAvote was felt in 1930s and became bolder by elections in 1940s (ex: Truman could not win presidency without strong support fromAA—this is where Democratic party adopted a civil rights plank in party platform) • No single date or specific event marks end of de jure segregation; it ended gradually as power resources of AAincreased Wartime Developments • First successful applications of growing black power resources occurred in 1941 when US was mobilizing for was and discriminated againstAAin defense industry • AALabor leader Philip Randolph threatened to march on Washington to protest this • Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive order 8802 to ban discrimination in defense- related industries; his actions were significant in two ways: o Agroup of AAwere heard/acknowledged by the highest level of society and succeed in getting what they wanted (rising political/economic power) o Federal gov’t made an unprecedented commitment to fair employment rights for AA The Civil Rights Movement • Civil rights movement was a multifaceted campaign to end legalized segregation and ameliorate massive inequalities faced byAA • Brown v. Board of Education (1954): single most powerful blow to de jure segregation; overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and ruled segregation unconstitutional—was the culmination of planning by NAACP and individuals like Thurgood Marshall o NAACP attacked Jim crow by finding instances when civil rights had been violated—goal was to deem segregation unconstitutional on all bases and Brown decision did exactly this o Southern states responded to Brown decision by resisting/campaigns/protests/etc. and tried to forestall change via intimidation and violence (Klu Klux Klan); public schools were closed and white children attended segregated private schools • Nonviolent Direct Action Protest: principle established by Brown decision was assimilationist and Southern states rejected this principle—it would take a lot of effort to overcome Southern defiance and resistance o Rosa Parks, seamsstess and NAACP member, refused to go to the back of the bus on December 1 , 1955, and was arrested for violating a local segregation ordinance in Montgomery, Alabama o Stimulated a protest movement inAAcommunity and city buses were boycotted for over a year and city was ordered to desegregate its buses o Martin Luther King Jr. lead Montgomery boycott—and a protest movement sprang from this that eventually defeated de jure segregation  Central strategy was nonviolent direct action in which de jure segregation was confronted not in the courtroom but in the streets, inspired by Christianity, Gandhi, Thoreau and others  Attempted to win friendship and support of enemies instead of defeat or humiliate them  Movement used various tactics but police and terrorist groups responded with repression and violence—it would take more than peaceful protesting to overcome this  US congress provided necessary tools to end de jure segregation • Landmark Legislation o Two laws together ended Jim crow segregation o 1964—at the urging of President Johnson—US congress passed Civil RightsAct of 1964, banning discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, or gender (applied to publicly owned facilities and any programs receiving federal aid) o 1965—Voting Rights Act in 1965—also initiated by President Johnson. Required the same standards to be used to register all citizens in federal, state, and local elections (banned literacy tests, whites-only primaries, etc.) o These landmark legislations finally succeeded in crushing Jim Crow • The Success and Limitations of the Civil Rights Movement o Continuing industrialization and urbanization of society as a whole weakened Jim Crow o US enjoyed a period of prosperity and (consistent with Noel Hypothesis) reduced intensity of intergroup competition (at least outside the South) and resistance to change tended to weaken and prejudice is held back  These “good times” muted sense of threat experienced by dominant groups during Civil rights movement o Some economic prosperity found its way intoAAcommunities and increased pool of economic/political resources o Goals of civil rights movement were assimilationist: embraced traditional American values that were available to whites automatically (thus, less threatening since it was consistent with mainstream American values) o Perceived legitimacy of goals of movement opened up possible alliances (white liberals, Jews, college students) and this support was crucial because black southerners had few resources (other than numbers) o Widespread and sympathetic coverage from mass media was crucial to success of movement—showed attacks made onAAand sparked outrage to resist segregation o Civil rights movement was useful in abolishing Jim Crow system but was less useful when dealing with actual distribution of jobs, wealth, political power, etc. Developments Outside the South • De Facto Segregation o Racial discrimination was still pervasive in housing, education, and employment o This pattern of racial separation and inequality is called de facto segregation o It is assumed de facto segregation “just happened” as people and groups made decisions about where to live and work or that people tend to be “with their own kind”  However, de facto segregation was quite intentional and thought to be de jure segregation in thin disguise—intentionally racist decisions made by gov’t agencies and real estate boards/school boards/zoning boards  Local and state authorities met secretly with citizens to create this and refrained from enforcing black social, economic, and political rights o AAoutside the south faced more poverty, higher unemployment, and lower- quality housing and schools than did whites, but no Jim Crow to blame for these inequalities o AAexpressed their frustration with slow pace of change in two ways: urban unrest and a movement for change that rose to prominence as the civil rights movement faded • Urban Unrest o Mid-1960s, frustration erupted into violence, such as riots in Watts neighborhood in LA o Riots of 1960s were different than race riots decades before, this was not attacks by whites, it was attacks by blacks against symbols of their oppression and targeted white-owned businesses operating in black neighborhoods and police were excessively forceful in stopping riots • The Black Power Movement o Was a loose coalition of organizations and spokespersons that encompassed a variety of ideas and views  Many of the views differed sharply from those of the civil rights movement, such as racial pride, interest inAfrican heritage, and Black nationalism  Worked to increaseAAcontrol over schools, police, welfare programs, etc. operating in black neighborhoods o Most apart of the Black power movement believed that white racism and institutional discrimination were primary causes of racial inequality o Some black power advocates rejected goal of assimilation into white society • The Nation of Islam o Marcus Garvey had popularized many of the themes in Black power and they were further developed by the Nation of Islam (Black Muslims) in 1960s o The Black Muslims were angry, impatient, and outspoken o Pursued autonomy and self-determination, and worked hard to create a separate, independentAAeconomy within US o Distinguished between racial separation and racial segregation, racial separation was a process of empowerment rather than racial segregation that is inequality o Best-known spokesperson for Nation of Islam was Malcolm X, one of the most charismatic figures of 1960s—became well-known but threatening figure to white community  Malcolm X assassinated in 1965 Protest, Power, and Pluralism • The Black Power Movement in Perspective o By end of 1960s, most dramatic manifestations of black power movement had faded—countered by violence of police and many powerful spokespeople were dead or in jail o Nixon elected in 1968 and made clear his administration would not ally itself with black protest movements—push for racial equality faded o Pluralism from black power was a reaction to failure of assimilation and integration in 1950s and 1960s o Black nationalism is more than simply a reaction, it helped bring a proud identity for AAand supplied a new image ofAA(not lazy, irresponsible, etc.) that projected power, assertiveness, seriousness of purpose, intelligence, and courage o Black power serves as rallying cry for inequalities that remain in US society o Black power argued that continuing problems of US race relations were structural and institutional rather than individual/legal o Demands of black power movement evoked defensiveness and a sense of threat to white society by questioning value of assimilation and values ofAngloAmericans Gender and Black Protest • Civil rights movement and black power was male-dominated,AAwomen often denied leadership roles or decision-making • Protested frequent references to them as “girls” • Nation of Islam emphasized female subservience, imposing strict code of behavior/dress and separating sees in temple and community activities • AAwomen still used involvement in community and church work to further cause of black liberation (AAwomen were the backbone of the movement • Hamer (of Mississippi) attended a rally and realized she could register to vote—became an activist and lost her job, evicted from house, and jailed and beaten several times for this Comparative Focus: Race in Another America • US has a simple “two race view,” everyone belongs to one race which is either black or white (one drop rule) • This model still lives on in the present and becomes more challenging with “racial mixing” (intermarriage) and many still believe the child would be black (one drop)—but they can be black and white • Through central and South America, race is a continuum of possibilities and combinations, not black or white. However, these nations still have a strong sense of status but other factors (social class) are considered more important than race as criteria for ranking people o Social status can affect perception of skin color • Comparing US and Brazil—brazil recognizes multiple possibilities for race, using terms that represent different shades of skin color—very complex system • Why are they more open-minded? • Portuguese, colonial conquerors of Brazil married into other racial groups and produced large class of mixed-race people, unlike whites and their slaves who were inferior • Thus less need to divide people into rigid groups in Brazil • Prejudice still exists in Brazil, legacy of slavery is strong, and high correlation between skin color and social status; whites still dominate • Comparison shows us that different contact situations still have their effects today in US and Brazil Black-White Relations Since the 1960s: Issues and Trends • Even though there is progress today inAAcommunity (Barack Obama president)—the situation ofAAcommunity today has stagnated (or worsen
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