One factor that has had the biggest impact on African Americans socially, educationally, and economically would be racial segregation. Although much of racial segregation occurred within the 1900’s and is outlawed within the United States, its impacts still linger within the societal norms today. Many African Americans educational achievement, health, and quality of life were and are among the biggest components affected by racial segregation and discrimination.
Shown above are prime examples of what living in a world of racial segregation was like. But, it not only affected where African Americans could watch movies or drink water, but also what schools they could attend and how they would live. When i was reading through De Facto Segregation and Academic Achievement by Carl Bankston and Stephen Caldas, I found many different things interesting. One thing that had been written was the fact that being African American was a big disadvantage when living within the United States. Also, it had been thought that being a minority was an inhibitor of educational achievement. It was as if people did not think that African Americans or any other minority were capable of doing what white people could do. If this were the case, we would not have an African American president, or African American lawyers, or doctors.
A big thing that caught my eye when i was reading through this article was how “affluent communities spent more per pupil than poor ones do because they can afford to”. There may have been some African Americans who were poor, but that does not mean that every single one of them was the same way. There were plenty of poor white people during this time, so why were they not discriminated against? It is unfortunate to learn that because some African Americans were poor, they did not receive the same education as white people. Ever since Brown v. Board of Education, it has enabled African Americans a chance to engage in social activities with white students, and also allowed equality among the levels of education taught between whites and blacks.
A big component of racial segregation that affected African Americans was their health and their well-being. The picture above shows how white and black communities had been separated from each other. Although people may not see how this affected the blacks health and living environment, it did. According to, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, racial segregation isolated blacks from mainstream resources needed for living. This article also stated that racial segregation concentrated poverty and restricted socio-economic opportunity. With that being said, death rates were considerably higher for blacks compared to whites.
When i was reading through Racial Residential Segregation: A Fundamental Cause of Racial Disparities in Health by David Williams and Chiquita Collins, a lot of different things caught my attention. A big thing that caught my attention when i was reading through this article was when they talked about how black-white disparities in health have not narrowed over time. It was surprising to read this because i would have thought that black-white disparities would have been close to the same after all of this time. The authors of this article tend to believe that socioeconomic class is the fundamental cause of black-white disparities in health.
Another thing i found interesting when reading through the article was when they spoke about segregation and employment opportunities. It was stated that institutional discrimination severely restricted employment opportunities, and also income levels for African Americans. This therefore led to a mass movement of African Americans residing in areas that did not offer high paying jobs, and any high paying jobs required skills that they did not have. It was if people were making it extremely hard for black people to make a living in this world. Initially they did not receive a good education like white people did, and when they tried to find a job, they had to acquire skills that they did not have.
Who would have thought that racial segregation would have had such an impact not only within the 1900’s, but also today. I never would have guessed that black mortality rates were higher than whites due to racial segregation and socioeconomic class. The fact that African Americans were isolated from resources that they needed in order to live is very unsettling. Why must we make it so hard for others to live in this world? Although throughout this blog racial segregation was written in the past tense, I know it is still prevalent within the United States today. Even if it is outlawed, the societal norms are still impacting us everyday.