Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

My Most Prized Possession

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The segregation that many young African-Americans experience causes them undue stress which has been proven to undermine cognitive development. Even African-Americans from poor inner-cities that do attend universities continue to suffer academically due to the stress they suffer from having family and friends still in the poverty stricken inner cities. Education is also used as a means to perpetuate hyper segregation. Real estate agents often implicitly use school racial composition as a way of enticing white buyers into the segregated ring surrounding the inner-city.

The percentage of black children who now go to integrated public schools is at its lowest level since 1968. The words of "American apartheid" have been used in reference to the disparity between white and black schools in America. Those who compare this inequality to apartheid frequently point to unequal funding for predominantly black schools. With this in mind in the 1950s the blacks had no rights to say that they can have the great equipment that the white children are using.

This thought then leaded away many black children from the world of knowledge and mainly meant that they have to take care of there families because of the state of poverty most of them were in. African Americans in the 1950s were considered to be racially segregated because of all five dimensions of segregation being applied to them within these inner cities across America. These five dimensions are evenness, clustering, exposure, centralization and concentration. Evenness is the difference between the percentages of a minority in a particular part of a city, compared to the city as a whole.

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Exposure is the likelihood that a minority and a majority party will come in contact with one another. This dimension shows the exposure to other diversity groups while sharing the same neighborhoods. Clustering is the gathering of different minority groups into one certain space; clustering often leads to one big ghetto and the formation of hyper ghettoization. Centralization is the number of people within a minority group that is located in the middle of an urban area, often looked at as a percentage of a minority group living in the middle of a city compared with the rest of their group living elsewhere.

Concentration is the dimension that relates to the actual amount of land a minority lives on within its particular city. The higher segregation is within that particular area, the smaller the amount of land a minority group will control. In the 1950s African Americans who were within inner cities had to face all five demensions. Poorer inner-cities in the 1950s often lacked the health care that is available in outside areas. That many inner-cities were so isolated from other parts of society also is a large contributor to the poor health that were often found in inner-city residents.

The overcrowded living conditions in the inner-city caused by hyper segregation means that the spread of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, occurs much more frequently. This is known as “epidemic injustice” because racial groups confined in a certain area are affected much more often than those living outside the given area. Poor inner-city residents also must contend with other factors that negatively effect health. Research was proven that in every major American city, hyper segregated blacks are far more likely to be exposed to dangerous levels of air toxins.

Daily exposure to this polluted air means that African-Americans living in the areas they use to in the 1950s`were at greater risk of disease. In the 1950s the blacks wanted to bring about change basically because the rights were just not fair to them and that they were tired of getting treated this way. Following the reason why blacks wanted change there were the attempts that they use to try to bring about this change. First of all there were sit-ins. the "sit-in" technique was not new—as far back as 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized a sit-in at the then-segregated Alexandria, Virginia library.

In 1960 the technique succeeded in bringing national attention to the movement. The success of the Greensboro sit-in led to a rash of student campaigns throughout the South. Probably the best organized, most highly disciplined, the most immediately effective of these was in Nashville, Tennessee. On March 9, 1960 an Atlanta University Center group of students released An Appeal for Human Rights as a full page advertisement in newspapers, including the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta Daily World. This student group, known as the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR), initiated the Atlanta

Student Movement and began to lead in Atlanta with Sit-ins starting on March 15, 1960. By the end of 1960, the sit-ins had spread to every southern and border state and even to Nevada, Illinois, and Ohio. Demonstrators focused not only on lunch counters but also on parks, beaches, libraries, theaters, museums, and other public places. Upon being arrested, student demonstrators made "jail-no-bail" pledges, to call attention to their cause and to reverse the cost of protest, thereby saddling their jailers with the financial burden of prison space and food.

In April, 1960 activists who had led these sit-ins held a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina that led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC took these tactics of nonviolent confrontation further, to the freedom rides. Freedom Rides were journeys by Civil Rights activists on interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia, (1960) 364 U. S. that ended segregation for passengers engaged in inter-state travel.

Organized by CORE, the first Freedom Ride of the 1960s left Washington D. C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. During the first and subsequent Freedom Rides, activists traveled through the Deep South to integrate seating patterns and desegregate bus terminals, including restrooms and water fountains. That proved to be a dangerous mission. In Anniston, Alabama, one bus was firebombed, forcing its passengers to flee for their lives. In Birmingham, Alabama, an FBI informant reported that Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor gave Ku Klux Klan members fifteen minutes to attack an incoming group of freedom riders before having police "protect" them.

The riders were severely beaten "until it looked like a bulldog had got a hold of them. " James Peck, a white activist, was beaten so hard he required fifty stitches to his head. After the Freedom Rides, local black leaders in Mississippi such as Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, and others asked SNCC to help register black voters and to build community organizations that could win a share of political power in the state.

Since Mississippi ratified its constitution in 1890, with provisions such as poll taxes, residency requirements, and literacy tests, it made registration more complicated and stripped blacks from the polls. After so many years, the intent to stop blacks from voting had become part of the culture of white supremacy. In the fall of 1961, SNCC organizer Robert Moses began the first such project in McComb and the surrounding counties in the Southwest corner of the state.

Their efforts were met with violent repression from state and local lawmen, White Citizens' Council, and Ku Klux Klan resulting in beatings, hundreds of arrests and the murder of voting activist Herbert Lee. White opposition to black voter registration was so intense in Mississippi that Freedom Movement activists concluded that all of the state's civil rights organizations had to unite in a coordinated effort to have any chance of success. In February 1962, representatives of SNCC, CORE, and the NAACP formed the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO). At a subsequent meeting in August, SCLC became part of COFO.

My Most Prized Possession essay

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