Did churches in American south have to be segregated by law?

Did churches in American south have to be segregated by law?

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Years ago I spoke with some people who were members of a church in either Georgia or Florida. They told me that they had heard that during segregation their church had had a red thread or cord that separated the main meeting room, for the reasons of racial segregation.

I wanted to look into this to determine what the underlying reason for this thread had been (if it was in place because of law or public sentiment or some other reason).

So I have two questions I wanted to ask:

  1. During the era of racial segregation in USA, were churches obligated to stay segregated?
  2. (If answer to #1 is "yes") From early 1900's until segregation was abolished by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, were there any specific requirements on how churches should implement segregation?

My first reaction to this was, "Of course not- it'd be unconstitutional." However, a little further reading elided the fact that the establishment clause of the First Amendment was not incorporated against the states until 1947 (Everson v. Board of Education), so conceivably there could have been such a law on the state or local level before then.

That being said, while I'm far from a scholar of the period, I'm not familiar with any instance of such a law existing. In contrast, I've come across loads of mention of religious institutions self-segregating on many levels, whether within a congregation (as in your example), between congregations, or beyond. To this day the Seventh-Day Adventist church maintains separate conferences for white and black churches. (The conferences aren't named as such, but that is what they are.) And there's a huge body of theological justification for segregation that developed during this period, much of it derived from the theological justification for slavery.

So in this specific instance, the exact reasoning would depend on the denomination of Christianity, but it was very likely that this was a policy implemented voluntarily and not due to any government coercion.

School segregation in the United States

School segregation in the United States has a long history. In 1782, African Americans in Boston, including Prince Hall, campaigned against inequality and discrimination in the city's public schools. They petitioned the state legislature, protesting that their taxes supported the schooling of white students while there was no public school open to their children. In 1835, an anti-abolitionist mob attacked and destroyed Noyes Academy, an integrated school in Canaan, New Hampshire founded by abolitionists in New England. In 1849, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were allowed under the Constitution of Massachusetts (Roberts v. City of Boston). [1]

Segregation took de jure, then de facto form in the Southern United States with the passage of Jim Crow laws in the 19th century. Such laws were influenced by discrimination throughout the United States, as well as the history of slavery in the southern states. Patterns of residential segregation and Supreme Court rulings regarding previous school desegregation efforts also have a role.

School segregation declined rapidly during the late 1960s and early 1970s. [2] Segregation appears to have increased since 1990. [2] The disparity in the average poverty rate in the schools whites attend and blacks attend is the single most important factor in the educational achievement gap between white and black students. [3]

Historical Timeline

1820: The Missouri Compromise allows slavery in Missouri.

1821: Missouri enters the Union as a slave state, but eventually supplies almost three times as many troops to the North.

1846: Dred Scott’s case for freedom is dismissed on a technicality.

1857: The Missouri Compromise is declared unconstitutional, foreshadowing the Civil War.

1863: President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.

1913: A committee of whites calls for “Legal Segregation of Negroes in St. Louis.”

1916: The legal segregation initiative passes.

1917: Buchanan v. Warley: Racial segregation ordinances are ruled illegal. The city resorts to racial covenants.

1917: The East St. Louis race riot: At least 39 African-Americans die, with one man hung from a telephone pole.

1934: The Federal Housing Administration is created to insure private mortgages it gives D ratings in many black neighborhoods.

1948: Shelley v. Kraemer: The St. Louis case ends racial covenants nationwide.

1949: Black children are permitted to swim in Fairgrounds Park. Whites surround the pool fence, and a riot breaks out.

1950: Over the next two decades, 60,000 African-Americans will leave the city.

1954: Brown v. Board of Education overturns Plessy v. Ferguson to desegregate U.S. schools.

1954: Attorney Frankie Freeman takes St. Louis’ Housing Authority to court for racial discrimination in public housing—and wins.

1956: Pruitt-Igoe is completed. Its failure is apparent almost immediately the public housing will be demolished within two decades.

1963: Protests outside Jefferson Bank persuade the bank to hire white-collar workers of color.

1964: Percy Green II and Richard Daly protest discriminatory hiring for work crews building the Gateway Arch.

1968: Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.: Racial discrimination in housing is declared illegal.

1972: Civil-rights activist Gena Scott unveils the Veiled Prophet during the ball.

1979: After Black Jack tries to block a multiracial apartment complex, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reaffirms the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

1983: The St. Louis County school districts agree to accept black students from the city on a voluntary basis. State funds are to be used to bus the kids to the county for an integrated education.

1989: Confluence St. Louis examines the city's racial divide in a report. Few of its recommendations are heeded.

1993: Freeman Bosley Jr. is elected the first black mayor of St. Louis.

1997: Clarence Harmon becomes St. Louis’ second African-American mayor.

2014: The police shooting of Michael Brown and ensuing protests draw global attention. Amnesty International sends 15 human-rights observers—the first team it’s ever assigned within the U.S.—to monitor claims of police violations in Ferguson.

Jeannette Cooperman

SLM contributor Jeannette Cooperman is intrigued by people's lives, ideas, relationships, and struggles.

Jim Crow & Segregation

Courtesy of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University.

A black and white reproduction of a photograph of a New Orleans CORE protest at Woolworths and McCrory's on Canal Street, April 1961.

I n the late nineteenth century, many white Louisianans attempted to reverse the gains African Americans had made during Reconstruction. The implementation of Jim Crow—or racial segregation laws—institutionalized white supremacy and black inferiority throughout the South. The term Jim Crow originated in minstrel shows, the popular vaudeville-type traveling stage plays that circulated the South in the mid-nineteenth century. Jim Crow was a stock character, a stereotypically lazy and shiftless black buffoon, designed to elicit laughs with his avoidance of work and dancing ability. By 1880, however, “Jim Crow” came to signify a model of race relations in which African Americans and whites operated in separate social planes. Almost one hundred years would pass before civil rights workers were able to reverse these laws.

The Origins of Jim Crow, 1865 to 1890

In the five years after the Civil War, the Republican-controlled Louisiana Congress enacted powerful civil rights legislation aimed at securing African Americans their political rights. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, respectively, abolished slavery, recognized African Americans as citizens, and guaranteed African American men the right to vote. The Fourteenth Amendment was particularly significant because it guaranteed African Americans the same rights of citizenship that white Americans had, including equal protection under the law. By 1875 African Americans across the South, supported by the federal government, had established nearly four thousand schools for black students. In addition, more than fifteen hundred had run for office as state and national representatives.

Instituting Jim Crow was a gradual process before 1880, especially during Reconstruction, when it appeared that African Americans enjoyed some protection from the federal government. But in 1865, the Louisiana legislature began implementing “black codes,” laws that formed the basis for racial segregation. Originating in the eighteenth century, black codes regulated and restricted the movement of slaves. More generally, they reinstated the antebellum southern social order, in which whites occupied a higher social rung than blacks. Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, black codes limited black life in numerous ways. They determined the types of businesses African Americans could own and the time of day they could visit downtown. The codes stipulated that no more than three African Americans could ever assemble in one place, and gave whites legal authority over blacks when no police officer was present. Though black codes were found in every parish, they were most vigorously enforced in the northern and eastern parishes of Louisiana.

In southern Louisiana, African Americans were allowed much more freedom, largely owing to the racial demographics of southern Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular. By 1860, New Orleans could be divided into three discernable racial groups: one-third were white, one-third were free people of color, and one-third were enslaved blacks. In New Orleans, free people of color, who usually had a mixed racial heritage, traditionally enjoyed a measure of freedom in their businesses and social interactions not found in other parts of the state.

By 1877, deepening distrust between whites and African Americans led to the lowest point in race relations in American history. At the beginning of Reconstruction, Louisiana sent several black politicians to the US House of Representatives, and one African American, P. B. S. Pinchback, served as governor from late 1872 to January 1873. By the time federal troops were officially removed from Louisiana in 1877, however, all of these politicians had been defeated all hopes for improved racial relations, or federal intervention on behalf of blacks, seemed to have evaporated.

As Reconstruction ended, most African Americans in Louisiana rented small plots of land, hoping to become self-sufficient farmers. Former slaves tended to stay geographically close to their former masters, usually living no more than fifty miles away. In place of slavery, whites developed an agricultural system called sharecropping. Whites gave African American farmers access to land with the understanding that these farmers would give the landowner part of the crop as “rent.” Sharecropping quickly evolved into an exploitative relationship between farmers and landlords. Often illiterate and uneducated, sharecroppers rarely understood the written contracts they were compelled to sign. Further, landlords set the price of the crop, often ignoring its market value, while black farmers with left without recourse. Sharecropping undergirded black poverty in Louisiana—profits were scarce, weather and climate were often uncooperative, and corruption was rampant. While there were attempts to unify white and black farmers in the immediate postbellum period, sharecropping allowed class and racial distinctions to persist.

Institutionalizing Jim Crow

By 1890, the Democratic Party hatched a scheme to completely remove the Republican Party from the South by disfranchising southern blacks, the most ardent supporters of the Republican Party. Whites implemented poll taxes, literacy tests, residency requirements, and “understanding” clauses to prevent blacks from registering to vote. Despite the rights guaranteed them by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, African Americans were systematically excluded from the political process. Social segregation soon followed.

In 1891, the Louisiana legislature had officially segregated the railroads within the state. In 1892, Homer Plessy, an active member of a New Orleans civil rights organization, the Comité de Citoyens, bought a first-class ticket on a train and attempted to sit among whites. After he was arrested for breaking the law, Plessy sued the railroad company, his lawyers arguing that segregation denied him equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1896, however, the US Supreme Court upheld Louisiana law in its decision on Plessy vs. Ferguson. Speaking for the majority, Justice Henry Brown stated that segregation did not deprive Plessy of his rights, nor did it make him an inferior person. The justices argued that states could establish “separate but equal” facilities if blacks and whites were treated equally, segregation would be allowed to stand. Yet, in almost all public facilities—schools, hospitals, trains, restaurants, hotels, parks, cemeteries, the armed forces, and jury duty—whites received priority over African Americans. Following the decision, some institutions excluded African Americans altogether.

Two years after the Plessy decision, Louisiana passed one of the first laws officially stripping blacks of the right to register to vote. In essence, everything that could be segregated in Louisiana was. Public facilities for adults, including restaurants, hotels, night clubs, and cemeteries, were strictly segregated, as were public facilities for children such as amusement parks, playgrounds, and schools. By 1900, the line separating whites and blacks had become deeply entrenched in Louisiana’s culture. After 1902, New Orleans streetcars were segregated. A 1908 state law prohibited cohabitation (in marriage or domestic situations) between whites and blacks. Racial segregation in jails was required in 1920. Even in New Orleans, tolerant (if not friendly) interactions between whites and African Americans all but disappeared. The Catholic Church established a segregated parish in downtown New Orleans, the Congregation of Corpus Christi.

Not coincidentally, lynchings increased dramatically after 1900, primarily in the northern parishes of Caddo, Ouachita, and Morehouse. Between 1900 and 1931, more than half the lynchings in the state occurred north of Alexandria. The numbers of African Americans lynched are in the thousands, though detailed statistics are skewed because police officers in the northern parishes rarely considered lynchings as homicides. Still, lynchings and the threat of lynching contributed to the maintenance of Jim Crow.

The Civil Rights Movement Builds

As the century turned, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) became increasingly active in Louisiana. Between 1909 and 1930, the NAACP was a decentralized organization that focused on ending lynchings. In the 1930s, however, the organization retooled itself for the purpose of challenging the doctrine of “separate but equal” that formed the base of the Jim Crow laws.

In 1930s Louisiana, the NAACP counted New Orleans attorney A. P. Tureaud as one of its most important assets. Tureaud, a Howard University Law School graduate and colleague of Thurgood Marshall, sought to dismantle segregation in Louisiana’s public schools. Tureaud believed that segregated education, and the meager resources allotted for African American children, perpetuated poverty and inequality across generations. With the assistance of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Tureaud sued the state of Louisiana for paying African American teachers lower salaries than their white counterparts. Tureaud’s 1940 victory in Joseph P. McKelpin v. Orleans Parish School Board led to pay equity among all public schools.

World War II ushered in a number of legal and social changes that further weakened the structure of segregation. Nearly one million black men and women served in the armed forces, and about five hundred thousand served in Europe and Asia. African Americans understandably believed that their willingness to die for their country abroad proved their worthiness for expanded political rights at home. Faced with an emergent civil rights movement, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981 in 1948, fully desegregating the armed forces.

In Louisiana, the fight for desegregation took place in another social arena: public accommodations. Long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, African Americans in Baton Rouge initiated a bus boycott of their own in 1953. Baton Rouge segregated the buses so that the first ten rows were reserved for white passengers, though African Americans accounted for 80 percent of the riders. A leading minister in the city, T. J. Jemison, spoke before the Baton Rouge City Council, testifying that it was unfair to force African American riders to stand in the back of the bus while the seats in the front remained empty. In June, African Americans in Baton Rouge formed the United Defense League (UDL) and organized a bus boycott. After one week, the city council and the UDL reached a compromise. The first two rows on the buses were reserved for white passengers but, after that, African Americans could sit where they wanted. Though segregation was still in effect, the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott provided a model for other cities to follow.

Memorable and vital successes over racial segregation continued in Louisiana and the rest of the South throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In response to a pending lawsuit, segregation was abolished at Louisiana State University the first African American undergraduate enrolled in 1953. The Plessy decision was finally overturned the next year, when the US Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The court found legal segregation unconstitutional in all public accommodations, especially public schools. Though met with massive resistance, the decision transformed the southern way of life. The “whites only” screens on New Orleans’s streetcars were officially removed in 1958. In 1960, the New Orleans School Crisis erupted over the desegregation of public schools. But in 1961, desegregation continued peacefully.

Jim Crow’s Demise

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination and segregation in schools, restaurants, hotels, and universities. Signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Civil Rights Act also prohibited unequal application of voting requirements, ended discrimination in interstate commerce, barred discrimination by state and city governments, and outlawed discrimination in private companies that take federal dollars. The 1965 Voting Rights Act went a step further and outlawed numerous tactics used to disenfranchise African Americans and other groups. Officially, the era of Jim Crow had ended. After nearly one hundred years of economic, political, and social demoralization, African Americans occupied the same levels of citizenship as whites, at least in the eyes of the law.

For Louisiana, desegregation in public schools would come slowly. In 1965, only five Louisiana parishes submitted plans for integration. By 1967, thirty parishes still had made no arrangements to desegregate. In 1970, forty-five parishes were ordered to come up with a legitimate plan or risk the loss of federal funding full integration of Louisiana’s public schools did not come until the mid-1970s. Similarly, Louisiana was ordered—on at least ten occasions between 1965 and 1998—to integrated segregated universities and professional schools or compensate the state’s historically black colleges and universities for generations of neglect.

The impact of segregation on Louisiana’s culture and history continues to linger. One lasting consequence of Jim Crow is the persistence of extreme poverty among African Americans, particularly in the northern parishes bordering the Mississippi River. The decline of cotton and sugar production, the source of Louisiana’s wealth prior to the Civil War, has left behind impoverished communities unable to find suitable alternatives. As the twenty-first century begins, “stealth racism,” or subtle long-term racism, remains in Louisiana, particularly as racial attitudes harden in the midst of economic instability.


Suggested Reading

Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–1963. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1989.

Fairclough, Adam. Race and Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915–1972. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999.

Fischer, Roger. The Segregation Struggle in Louisiana, 1862 to 1877. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1974.

Germany, Kent. New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great Society. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007.

Hahn, Steven. A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

Hill, Lance. The Deacons for Defense: Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Sartin, Lee. Invisible Activists: Women of the Louisiana NAACP and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1915–1945. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007.

Scott, John H., and Cleo Scott Brown. Witness to the Truth: My Struggle for Human Rights in Louisiana. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2008.


Douglas A. Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II (New York: Doubleday, 2008).

William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad, eds., Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell about Life in the Segregated South (New York: New Press, 2001).

James C. Cobb, The Brown Decision, Jim Crow, and Southern Identity (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2005).

Kenneth Coleman, ed., A History of Georgia, 2d ed. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991).

John Dittmer, Black Georgia in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977).

Donald L. Grant, The Way It Was in the South: The Black Experience in Georgia (Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing, 1993 reprint, Athens: University of Georgia, 2001).

Claudrena Harold, New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016).

John Inscoe, ed., Georgia in Black and White: Explorations in the Race Relations of a Southern State, 1865-1950 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994).

Jerrold M. Packard, American Nightmare: The History of Jim Crow (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2002).

Mark Schultz, The Rural Face of White Supremacy: Beyond Jim Crow (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005).

Joel Williamson, The Crucible of Race: Black/White Relations in the American South since Emancipation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984).

C. Vann Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow, commemorative ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).

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The city also has a fascinating backstory of how music and nightlife helped push segregation to a relatively peaceful end in the Magic City.

Miami Beach has long since become synonymous with its Jewish residents, but for years, pervasive anti-Semitism ruled the barrier island.

Carl Fisher &mdash considered the "Father of Miami Beach" &mdash refused to sell property to Jews as he turned the swampy stretch of mangroves into a beach resort. &ldquoThere were deed restrictions on the property north of Fifth Street,&rdquo Marcia Jo Zerivitz, director of the Jewish Museum of Florida, once told Miami411. &ldquoCarl Fisher had in his deeds that he would not sell to Jews. All the Jews were forced to live south of Fifth Street.&rdquo

Even by the 1930s, advertisements for some of Miami Beach's oceanfront hotels boasted, "Always a view, never a Jew."

It wasn't until 1947 that Miami Beach passed a law prohibiting property owners from displaying signs that used the words "restricted" or "gentiles only."

By the 1980s, when government-sanctioned racial segregation in South Florida was a thing of the past, Jews were still feeling the sting of anti-Semitism. In a three-part series in 1985, the Miami Herald reported that some of Miami Beach's most exclusive clubs still routinely excluded Jews and minorities.

The Herald's Marc Fisher wrote that when one member of the Beach's ritzy Bath Club circulated a petition calling for an end to the club's longstanding discriminatory policies, he began receiving unsigned hate mail at his home.

"Why don't you go down to South Beach and join a club there?" someone wrote.
In Miami Beach's earliest days, the only blacks allowed there were those employed as hotels maids or servants for wealthy whites. It wasn't long before the city codified that rule into law.

In 1936, Miami Beach enacted Ordinance 457, which required more than 5,000 seasonal workers at hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as domestic servants, to register with police and to be photographed and fingerprinted. Once registered, those workers &mdash many of whom were black &mdash had to carry ID cards at all times in the city.

Decades after the law was passed, Miami Beach Police would sometimes conduct spot checks to make sure workers were in compliance. Jet magazine reported in February 1952 that Miami Beach Police pulled over buses carrying "peaceful Negro commuters" and arrested 17 people for not complying with the law.

Jim Crow laws were in full effect across Dade County, meanwhile. And the bigotry embedded in those rules often bubbled to the surface in absurd ways.

In May 1953, for instance, more than 150 black church pastors and their wives who had booked rooms at the Betsy Ross Hotel on Ocean Drive canceled their reservations after the hotel manager received a rash of telephoned threats to "blow up the place." In town for a convention, the pastors and their wives were forced to find other accommodations at predominately black hotels in Miami.

But according to a Jet report, Betsy Ross manager George Rone told the delegates that if any of them were unable to find rooms in Miami, "the hotel will be opened to them. I don't care what threats are made &mdash I'll abide by my agreement."

Two years later, in May 1955, Miami Beach cops arrested Lillian Uricho , a white 46-year-old widow, and black lounge singer Richard Cannon and charged them with prostitution after her neighbors complained to police that the two were living together in Uricho's "$35,000 bayfront home."

"I'm not ashamed of this," Uricho told Jet about the the arrest. "People should be allowed to live their own lives and not be persecuted because they are not the same color."

The Beach cops periodically swooped in for such interracial arrests. February 23, 1962, they showed up at a tiny efficiency apartment at 732 Second Street i n South Beach and arrested the occupants.

Dewey McLaughlin, who was black, and Connie Hoffman, who was white, were taken to the police station around the corner and charged with violating a Florida statute that barred "unmarried interracial couples from habitually living in and occupying the same room in the night-time."

McLaughlin and Hoffman were tried, convicted, and sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $150 fine. They appealed their conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and December 7, 1964, in a unanimous decision, the Court ruled the Florida law unconstitutional.
Nightlife's Role in Ending Segregation
Few other cities eroded segregation's diseased hold through nightlife and entertainment quite like Miami. By the early 1950s, Miami Beach nightclub owners began to slowly chip away at the color barrier by booking big-name African-American entertainers.

In 1951, Ned Schuyler, the general manager of Copa City, a Beach nightclub on Dade Boulevard, booked legendary singer Josephine Baker to perform at his club. But Baker told Schuyler she would perform only before an audience that was integrated. Schuyler agreed, and Baker filled Copa City's 750 seats every night.

In 1952, sultry torch singer Joyce Bryant &mdash known for her slinky, skintight gowns &mdash was signed to perform at the swank new Algiers Hotel at Collins Avenue and 26th Street, becoming the first African-American singer to be scheduled at a major Miami Beach hotel.

The November 13, 1952 issue of Jet reported, "[Local] talent agents and night club operators were awaiting official reaction to the booking. Local customs prevent Negroes from living in any white Miami Beach hotel. Nightclubs are permitted to employ Negro entertainers as long as they provide separate washroom and dressing facilities for them."

In another issue, Jet reported that Bryant "will live in the best hotel there." At the time, almost all black entertainers performing on the Beach stayed at the predominantly black Lord Calvert Hotel across the causeway in Miami.

In December 1953, the Birdland jazz nightclub opened at 22nd Street and Park Avenue.

"Florida's Color Bars Tumble as Jazz Invades Miami Beach," Jet headlined its story. "When Birdland opened its canopied doors on ultra-swank Miami Beach, Jim Crow went out the back door. Negro and white jazz fans sat side by side in mixed groups for the first time in Florida's history. The club admits all patrons, without color restriction."

That's not to say the efforts made immediate change. A little more than a year after Birdland opened and three years after Bryant was booked at the Algiers &mdash in March 1955 &mdash singer Lena Horne made national headlines when she pulled out of an $8,000-a-week engagement at Miami Beach's Copa City nightclub because a Miami Beach hotel refused to honor her reservation.
Change Comes Quietly to Miami
By the early '60s, as the civil rights movement was gaining momentum throughout the Deep South, Miami was ushering in change &mdash but largely without the images of fire hoses, police dogs, and mass arrests so common elsewhere in the region.

In August 1960, a little more than four years after Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, the Associated Press moved this item on its national news wires:

MIAMI BEACH (AP)&mdashA negro family of six, which swam unmolested at a public beach for the second day in a row yesterday, may have opened the way for integrated beaches at Miami Beach.

"Our policy is to let them be," commented a police official.

C. E. Graves, attorney for the Miami Chapter of the [NAACP], remarked: "No interference shows a degree of tolerance in Miami Beach."

Around the same time that black family was swimming "unmolested" at the beach, Flagler Street's five-and-dime lunch counters in downtown Miami were being integrated without much fanfare.

In 1961, Miami Beach was chosen as the site for a boxing match pitting Sweden's Ingemar Johansson against Floyd Patterson. It would be the third ring meeting in two years for the heavyweights.

But win or lose against Johansson, in the weeks leading up to the fight, Patterson made it clear he wanted to strike a blow against another foe: "Southern segregation," according to a Jet story.

"Can Patterson Beat Jim Crow in Miami Beach?" the magazine's headline asked.

In an unprecedented move, the fight's promoters promised to donate $10,000 to the NAACP if Patterson found that black and white fight fans had been segregated on fight night.

But a Jet reporter found at least one instance of discrimination in Miami Beach. Larry Still wrote, "The luxurious new Miami Beach Kennel Club recently opened a section for Negroes complete with separate rest rooms , bar, and huge signs reading 'Colored' and 'White.'"

By the early '70s, the local entertainment biz began to truly reflect the changes in South Florida. It was December 1971 &mdash only ten years after McLaughlin and Hoffman were arrested for interracial dating &mdash when Damita Jo Nicholson, an 18-year-old African-American college student, was selected as Miss Miami Beach.

A news photo shows a smiling Nicholson being congratulated by Miami Beach Mayor Chuck Hall.

Keep Miami New Times Free. Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.


Segregation was the practice of requiring separate public and private facilities for whites and African Americans. While segregation was pervasive in the South after the American Civil War, African Americans still had much to overcome in the North as well.

During the 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement became an important part of life in the United States. While discrimination seemed most prevalent in the South, it also existed in Northern states. In Ohio, a number of people refused to treat African Americans equally. Some school districts in Ohio refused to admit African American students to schools with white pupils. Many businesses had separate areas for whites and African Americans or would refuse admittance to African Americans entirely. Whites also succeeded in denying African Americans access to homes in many neighborhoods.

A major step towards equality during the 1950s was the Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. The unanimous opinion of the court partly read:

The Brown v. the Board of Education decision helped end segregated schools in Ohio. While Ohio did not officially have separate institutions for whites and African Americans, individual school districts sometimes intentionally or unintentionally permitted segregation to occur. In Highland County, the Hillsboro school district had local laws in existence in the early 1950s that required separate schools for whites and African Americans. In many cities, African Americans and whites resided in their own communities. Many neighborhood schools had either only white pupils or only African American students. Following the Brown v. the Board of Education decision, the courts required segregated school districts to integrate. Most of Ohio's larger school districts used busing to end segregation. To create racially mixed schools, districts transported students of one race from their neighborhood schools to other schools.

Many white and African American Ohioans opposed busing. Opponents pointed out that violence sometimes occurred in schools between the students of different races, and teachers of one racial background sometimes did not treat fairly students of another race. As late as 1986, federal courts were still involved in ending segregation in Ohio's schools. This was especially true in Cleveland, where many people had moved to the suburbs, leaving mainly African Americans and ethnic whites in the city itself. Many ethnic whites preferred their own neighborhood schools, where the teachers could educate the students in their traditional customs. Nevertheless, by the mid-1980s, most school districts were desegregated.

To help end segregation and discrimination in other places besides schools, the Ohio General Assembly enacted the Ohio Civil Rights Act of 1959. This legislation replaced the Ohio Public Accommodations Law of 1884, which had prohibited discriminatory practices in public facilities. The state of Ohio had failed to enforce the earlier act's provisions. The Ohio Civil Rights Act of 1959 was passed to "prevent and eliminate the practice of discrimination in employment against persons because of their race, color, religion, national origin, or ancestry." It also guaranteed all people fair access to public facilities and private businesses.

The Ohio Civil Rights Act created the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to enforce the law. The commission initially conducted a study of discriminatory practices within the state and discovered that minority groups were commonly denied jobs and access to various businesses, including restaurants, bowling alleys, hotels, and innumerable other establishments. As the Ohio Civil Rights Commission began enforcing the Civil Rights Act, a number of organizations tried to avoid the law, by becoming private clubs rather than businesses open to the public. Despite these attempts, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission has been successful over the past several decades in achieving its goals.

The State of Ohio also sought to eliminate segregation and discrimination in housing. Landlords in Ohio often refused to rent apartments or homes to African Americans. Homeowners also sometimes refused to sell their residences to African Americans. To help end discrimination in this area, in 1965 the Ohio Fair Housing Act was enacted. This legislation prohibited racial discrimination in housing except if the owner also resided in the building or if the home or apartment building had only one or two rental units. This legislation did not end discrimination in housing entirely, but it did provide African Americans in Ohio with a legal means to secure equal access to housing.

At the start of the twenty-first century, dramatic improvements have occurred in opportunities for African Americans, but despite the various federal and state efforts to end racial discrimination and segregation, true equality, while closer, has not been completely achieved.

Most Racist States In the U.S.

1 Mississippi Mississippi is a southern U.S. state with the Mississippi River to its west, the state of Alabama to its east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

I'm black from Ohio I worked for a moving company I was driving through Mississippi with a co-worker who was white we were stopped by the police. The cop was passing us he happened to look over and see me driving he immediately hit the brakes and pulled us over. Straight Red Neck he asked if we had anything to pray for like we had drugs, after examining our paper work I left my I.D. at home I told us if the office can't get my my driver license # that he would take me to jail and let my white co-worker drive on. I got my drivers license number he turned a brighter red color and told us we don't have log books so he made us park the truck at the nearest hotel for 12 hours or he would arrest us. Sitting at the hotel we walked to get some beer just the people looking at a black and a white together was like we were about to be struck down by God or something crazy. Can't do Mississippi not for me I would be smacking people left and right go crazy and probably get killed in police station

I personally think that Racism in This State is worse than all other States in America. Wanna Hear a Story which is coming from a White Guy Who is not Racist. a School in Mississippi had Interracial Prom Dating BANNED Until 2013!

Dr king said that a doctrine of black supremacy would be as dangerous as white supremacy. God is interested in freedom of every race getting along. Even amazing leaders and wise men like dr king can exaggerate there words. What he said about all racism being offensive is true. Maybe all racism is offensive but it doesn’t mean all racism is equally offensive and not all racism is equally offensive. Of course not all racism is equally offensive because for one thing not all racism is inherently even. There is no race that can be just as villainous with as strong of an army as white supremacy based on all the systemic racism. It’s combination of lots of stuff examples are there are more whites than any other race and more whites are brutal and have higher violence. Also you sure can determine which race is more offensive for the same actions at least marginally with all that combination. All sexism is unacceptable to but male sexism is more offensive than female sexism males are . more

I am white and was in Meridian, Mississippi for work for about 5 months in 2012. While planning for this trip I did have reservations of dealing with black against white racism as I have in the North East. On my drive through MS to my work destination there were a few times we stopped for gas/food and we were stared at with the "what the heck are they doing here" look but that was the extent of it during my stay. I found that the white and blacks stayed to themselves and didn't see much mixing in social circles. I found that the black people were much friendlier and god fearing people while many whites there rarely even made eye contact. I heard many racist remarks-usually from older white men. I have been across this country and back several times in the last five years and found Mississippi to be an eye opening experience. It is so segregated even in a town of 30, 000 and it's depressing to see that some states are still stuck in such an ignorant era. I only hope that this ignorance . more

2 Alabama Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west.

"It happened in April 2012 on my way from Massachusetts to Texas, I rented a brand new 2012 Jeep Grand-Cherokee, somewhere in Alabama stopped for some gas, going in to the gas station counter with my 50 bucks in my hand cause(up to there I had drove and used my visa card at different states in less than 24 hours, so it was blocked). Entering the shop there were 4 white dude charting with the man at the counter " I said HI to them then handed my 50 bucks " may I have some gas please at pump number 1? " the guys stopped charting and the answer was "WE DON'T HAVE GAS TODAY". Right there I looked outside and saw two white guys with gas nozzles in filling the gas to their cars as usual. Immediately, some struck in my mind "RACISM" went out took off like 4 miles ahead found a SUNUCO gas station had my tank filled went on my trip. I'm from Africa, can't believe up to today of what happened. Why so hate-full, do black people eat humans or what?

I am a middle aged white man who loves the state of Alabama and whose family has been living here for many generations. I would be the first to agree that we have a lot of people who are openly racist. I think I am the only white man that admits he voted for Obama. Most of what I read on here is how blacks are discriminated against by white people and I'm sure they have reason to say what they have. I can tell you that without a doubt some of the most racist people I personally have been around are black people. They will tell you they hate all white people. So if you ever hear someone say black people can't be racist because they are a minority that could not be more wrong.

I'm in Alabama right now as I write. My family is of Asian descent (specifically Filipino), and we're originally from San Francisco, California (an incredibly diverse place), vacationing in New Orleans. We drove to Alabama for a beach day at the Gulf Shores. We stopped by a Walmart to pick up some food for our beach picnic, and as soon as we walked in, I already felt really uncomfortable from all the stares and glares from the white families around us. My mom and grandma split up with us so they can grab a few things. When we met back up with them my mom told me that they were asking a Walmart employee where something was, and he rudely replied that he didn't know where it is and he refused to help them. The lady at the cashier didn't acknowledge us or say much. We left and got to our hotel, where the people in the lobby weren't very welcoming. When my family and I walked out of the hotel to walk to the beach, a group of white men (who were hooting & hollering at people, so they were . more

I am a current resident of Birmingham, AL and I must admit not everyone is racist, but it is a lot of ignorant people of all races here. I am a black female and I have friends of every nationality. The only people who I dislike are the simple minded people. My daughter was taught to love people for who they are, not to judge someone by the color of their skin. It is 2014, hopefully one day we will all wake up and realize that we all bleed red blood! If not, then life will continue to go on and those who remain to live with hate and envy within will continue to cause harm unto themselves. Alabama is no different from other states ignorance is everywhere.

3 Texas Texas is a state in the Southern USA. It is the second largest by area and population. Its largest city is Houston.

It's always Texas. People are SOO racist there. Once I was going to the mall(I'm brown) and when ai finished my shopping I was not allowed to buy some of the stuff because I looked like a terrorist. He probably thought I was going to make a bomb with the wires and rocket motors(I was building a model rocket).

I live in San Antonio TX, this is true! I'm Asian and just wanna share my story about what happened to me. My mom and l went to a thrift store to look around if they have some furniture for my room. Then my mom asked me (in Asian language) about the price. Then this redneck/white guy yell and say "speak English!, you're in America!" My mom just ignore it and smile, I smile too thinking that the guy just joking. Then the second time that my mom speak Asian language asking me to pay my stuff, he yell again, say "I said speak English!, you're in America!". I get pissedd and tell the guy that "l know this is America and I have freedom of speech, it's a free country I can do whatever I want". The redneck/white guy answer me "NO". !, then I tell him "OKAY". Then I just laugh and leave while my mom worried about the situation. RACIST! Just mind your own business!

I live in Dallas, TX and yes there is a lot of racism here. I use to work in Walmart and many customers came in referring to blacks as the N word or referring to fried chicken comments. Once an old white man called a black man a silverback gorilla. One white guy told me "you speak well for a black".

Also, after I left Walmart at one of my jobs my white coworkers, all women, who never spoke to me nor acknowledged my presence in any type of way, all redneck hillbillies, referred to the black boss as a "High Monkey".

Last, my job was notorious for promoting whites with lesser experience and education and work quality and paying them more than blacks. The company is being sued.

Dallas is also hella boring but I give props to its publicity firm for promoting it the way they do. The city is racially segregated and people aren't really friendly. People are also very vain here and not genuine.

Born and raised in Texas. This is a very racist state. I would say Houston is more openly racist. Dallas is more overt. I laugh at when the state tries to advertise itself as diverse. It is in fact diverse on paper yet segregated. Most of the suburbs are monolithic. There are only a handful of cities in this large state that are diverse by neighborhood and not by population. If you are a minority and are seeking employment, you better know someone or your not getting your foot in the door. If you are from out of state make sure you have something lined up before coming here. Minorities are more likely are not to be hired for a job or promoted. No matter how much experience, education or qualifications you have. I don't know what's up with the hiring managers. It seems like some of them are intimidated by qualified minorities and will opt to hire someone incompetent and not deal with their own egos. They will promote a white person with a high school diploma over a minority candidate . more

4 Tennessee Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 17th most populous of the 50 United States.

Yes, I live in Memphis Tennessee and the white people here are the most racist people in the world. I think these white people here are far more racist then the ones in Mississippi. These people are what you would call coward racist. They pretend not to be racist but you can tell by their conversation and body language they they truly are. Even the newspaper (The Commercial Appeal) is used as a tool that the white people use to comment and write bad things about the african-americans and the mexicans but whenever someone comment on the racism this one community (a small community at that) is all about, they delete your post and simply deny that they are bigots. The Commercial Appeal is the only newspaper that print these stupid, false reports by racist magazines like forbes and a few other that constantly down this city because it's mostly black and has mostly black officials. The newspaper does more harm then it has ever done good for this city and need to be moved to Mississippi or . more

Tennessee Racist? You don't say. I went to high school in the Shelby County area but was raised in Hawaii. I didn't even know what racism was until my parents moved here. I was met with hatred from both blacks and whites, as the blacks didn't like me because I guess, I wasn't from their eco system, or didn't fit into their collective mindsets. And the whites didn't like me because you guessed it, I was black. I went though most of High School without any friends or dates, and caught animosity everywhere I went. It wasn't until later when I found some out of state Military kids, that I was able to lead a somewhat normal teenage life. You know friends dates and all. I've never forgiven my parents for bringing me to this backward place and plan on getting as far away from these creatures as soon as I'm able.

I have attended a private school in Tennessee. The school was really racist against Asian students. Some teachers had clearly racist attitude toward Asian students and treated them with cold and unkind attitude. At the school, Asian students were often targeted for mental bullying such as exclusion from friendship, spreading rumors, making fun of Asians or particular countries, not respecting the way Asians are, and dividing the friendship or communication between Asians. In fact, Asian students were treated much worse than black students or any other minorities. Teachers all turned a blind eye on racism against Asian students. Some teachers rather seemed to be enjoying the situation. I felt it was institutional racism. I don't know about other parts of Tennessee, but racism at the school was just awful. My strongest memory of Tennessee was this horrible racism against Asians at school.

For goodness sake! If a few states in the union wish to remain the America it set out to be, leave it alone! If you are not "white", or black, there are plenty of other places to move to like California! Don't go to places that don't want to be part of the "diversity" plan. This is an alternative lifestyle, and it doesn't work for everyone. Some people like their own culture, and their own language and traditions. Respect that! That is also part of equal rights! Live and let live. Like I said, there are other places to live in America that welcome a global feel to their communities. Even parts of those states though, do not so don't move to those places either.

5 Arkansas Arkansas is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. Its name is of Siouan derivation, denoting the Quapaw Indians.

Arkansas is terrible. The state (like many others in the South) is very racist, "backwoods", and ignorant . Most believe we still live in the 60's -70's. Some of this is due to a lack of education and poor parenting/upbringing. Some can be attributed to negative attitudes and a substandard way of life. These are some of the reasons that a lot of people have a negative perception of Arkansas and the south in general.

I'm Asian and lived in the state over five years for attending to a college. I have been so many places in the Unites States and have a lot of acquaintances and friends from over the world.
Arkansas is the most racist states. If you are non-white American, non Christian, or non conservative person. Please don't live in the place. Just visiting the place is no problem because there are a lot of beautiful places and southern hospitality are exist.
On the surface level, they are nice to other people, but when a legal trouble or a local community get involved, nobody help for non-white people because they are afraid of their community if they knew how associate with non-white people. I have had a lot of discrimination. In addition, even local people who used to be nice to you, they start to act stranger.
Behind the Christianity, there are a lot of dirty things going on. They use Christianity.
I am so happy to get out of the depressed place truly.

I'm sick of getting dirty looks because I say something about how the guy held the door for the white lady with full hands but let it slam in my face while I've also got full hands and smirking about it as he watches me struggle. Or lets not talk about how the guy at the register goes out of his way to not hand me my change but would rather slam it down on the counter instead of putting in into my open waiting hand! Or about how they talk about me at the casino and speculate I'm too stupid to understand the game and too broke to play it all while I'm sitting at the same blackjack table 2 seats away within clear and obvious earshot and listening to them and how the dealer (who is supposed to be working by the way) is laughing it up with them! I don't have to deal with this in most other states. Racism is rampant here.

Also I came here from Kentucky, and it's not NEARLY AS BAD AS HERE

I am Hispanic and lived in the Northeast. We moved to Arkansas due to my husband's job. It was a really bad experience. The people will all say they are Christian but most are hateful hypocrites. They don't like people of different ethnic groups and they will not accept you if you come from the Northeast or other parts of the country. Some people were downright hostile when I'd go for job interviews. I can say that although there are some racists in the Northeast, it's much worse in Arkansas particularly if you are not from the area. At least minorities can get good jobs in the NE if they are qualified and good workers. In Arkansas, it was all about where you come from and nepotism. They also discriminate against children in the schools and sports teams, so parents beware!

6 Missouri Missouri is a state located in the Midwestern United States. It is the 21st most extensive, and the 18th most populous of the fifty states.

Saint Louis Missouri should be in the top three. This is a horrible place to live/raise a family. You will not thrive here job wise if you are a black woman/man. The Saint Louis Public School system is horrible. The school system is full of self hate blacks, and racists whites. The Board of Education hired several firms to come in and correct problems. The first firm walked away with over 40 million-dollars, and slashed needed positions and knocked a lot of middle class people out of positions. Why was this firm brought in? Because Missouri is corrupt from the top to the bottom. Though North City is bought up over sixty-percent of the city is sitting vacant. The crime is off the chain, I hate the summer because the killing field is withe open. Whenever a black person is killed, it's not a big deal here in Saint Louis Missouri. Now when white people are attacked/killed/robbed oh the patrols in the area is beefed up to make sure they're comfortable. Look at how long it took them to . more

Missouri or Saint Louis's white supremacist are racist against anyone that do not have the same skin color as them, or sound like them! It is sickening and discussing.

I do not believe that covert racism is still present but my experience as a non-white female living in Saint Louis proved me wrong.
People, both males and females try to show that they are culturally aware, and open toward those from different cultures and ethnic groups, but they fail after one minute's conversation. They can't fake it and they can't help themselves because racism is deeply rooted in their weak corrupt souls.
One piece of advice for non- whites residing in Saint Louis, Missouri ( And also the white young educated open minded people) Get out of that cold hearted state and go somewhere else to thrive and have great life experiences.
God bless you all.

I live in St. Charles, MO. I can tell you when the first black family moved into my neighborhood-- It's only been 6 years. Very white out here, and very mistrusting of poor people. When black people come to this area to shop, it's like they are ready for a fight. That being said, it is becoming more diverse as the years go by, but St. Louis is a complete disappointment. It treats its minority population horribly, provides almost zero effective help for the city schools, and as a result they have closed some. It has created nothing but animosity towards white people, and in turn, that keeps festering racism among whites. It's really sad. Less help for a decent school system means more drop-outs and more crime. No wonder we always make the "Most Dangerous" list. We can't take care of our poor, and we can't seem to fully respect each other.

Grew up in Mizzurah and attended grade school through medical school. Later went on to attend UCLA were I did residency training. As a Gay Asian American I still recall the innumerable racial epithets I received especially during childhood. My fellow redneck classmates merely reflected the viciousness and ignorance of their parents and they now have a president selected by a non-majority vote who speaks their language. It is through an idiosyncrasy of our electoral process as well as gerrymandering which has allowed such a person to be elected. There were so many painful experiences and try as I may, I never quite assimilated there. My personal politics always lost out to the solidly Republican contingent. Every candidate, every proposal, every law and every group that I supported was soundly defeated. Well it has been 30 years since I "escaped" and now reside in solidly "Blue" racially diverse state on the West coast which has had super majorities in both state houses. Now when I . more

I live in Edmond, OK and the majority of whites are sadly, very racist. They always blast me with exhaust or try to hit me with their cars while I'm exercising. It feels like they hate seeing an African American male not being, "lazy". They all avoid or say little to me when I'm running as if I'm some type of infectious disease. I'm always pushing myself so hard to become stronger so I can join the army after school. I want to protect the people of this nation regardless of where they come from or what they look like. I would die for any of my American brother or sisters without hesitating. It just hurts so much when a certain percentage of Americans you want to protect, treat you like dirt. It can be very discouraging, but I won't give up. I know there is good in every race and I won't lest the action of a few manipulate my will. I just wish they would see me as American Brother first and Black second. SMH

I live in Oklahoma City. I have lived here my whole life and I would have to say that I have experienced racism almost everyday of my life. Blacks are treated completely differently from whites. I worked at Aeropostale and my manager called the police on a black girl for "thinking" that she was stealing when she wasn't and she didn't even apologize. She said that she shouldn't have looked so "suspicious. " I still wonder was it that she really looked suspicious or was it just because she was black. I would go with the last one. A white person was caught red haded and and she let her slide and said "Well everyone makes mistakes, " it's ridiculous. Affirmative Action has now been voted out of Oklahoma. I have a feeling that because of this, I will be moving when I graduate college next year.

I moved here from Chicago when I was 9, lived in southwest Oklahoma, northeast Oklahoma, and central Oklahoma. I have met a lot of friendly people over the past 41 years. With that being said there are a lot of racist people from all across the state. Hateful, disrespectful, holier than thou, "What are you doing in my store" types. The smaller towns are the worst, or I should say that it tends to be more prevalent there and in your face. Deep rooted family upbringing prejudices. From my experience, I do think the Oklahoma City area is far more welcoming than the Tulsa and the surrounding communities. And then there's the folks that will say, "If you don't like our state. well then leave" LOL nice come back. What's sad, is that a lot of my friends that I have met throughout the years, are not even from this state. Right there says a lot.

Here is a two sided perspective. Being a military kid I moved a lot. I grew up in the officers quarters and around white people. We moved to Oklahoma when I was in High School. I was blown away by how bigoted it is. White folks in this state are totally oblivious to the racism they are pedaling. It is totally systematic here. They practice it collectively. You will go nuts trying to understand it. As a black person, getting a real job is next to impossible. Phone interviews get me to the face to face but its all down hill from there. My father was offered a job running the OKC ambulance service in the 80s. He came highly recommended by his superiors in the military. At the signing they happened to notice that he was black and rescinded their offer right there at the signing. He was a hospital commander, responsible for emergency aircraft, choppers and tactical hospital deployments but he was too black for Oklahoma. I have met good Whites here too, but they are indeed the exception.

8 Idaho Idaho is a state in the northwestern region of the United States. Idaho is the 14th largest, the 39th most populous, and the 7th least densely populated of the 50 United States.

Govonor Little signed a bill outlawing teaching about social justice in schools 4/2021. The Lt Governor is actively pursuing a white supremacists ideology. She supports right wing III%ers. There are orgizations actively inviting white supremacists to move to Idaho. Armed white supremacists follow antiracist activists and the cops are complicit in allowing activists to be assaulted by white supremacists.

Idaho can be extremely racist and very far right. I have lived or visited all parts of Idaho my whole life as I'm only 15 and there's very popular road trip destinations. However, I have found that in Boise, and Sun valley. Arguably the states two most popular cities/towns outside of McCall. They are extremely left and not racist. I have not personally been affected by this as I am 15 and white. But I believe if you live in the right parts of Idaho such as Boise, Sun Valley, even McCall. You can enjoy the great wonders of the state while still being treated fairly and the same as everybody else.

I am a Hispanic and have lived in Idaho since 1960. I moved here partly to escape discrimination and racism in Texas. That was a mistake, I have been subjected to the same old racism and disparity I.e. second class citizen status, I have experienced throughout my 77 years on this earth. In the last few years I have witnessed the intensity and pervasiveness of racism and discrimination increase significantly. Due to two primary reasons (1) the tremendous influx of people into Idaho from all over the U.S. (Idaho has become a Mecca for racists and bigots) and (2) the political make up of local,state, and Federal government. We have shifted from a balanced moderate Republican/Democrat
government body to a right wing Republican form of government. That has been detrimental to all minorities.

Idaho is the safe haven for retired racist cops, white nationalist militias, and old school racists, especially in the northern part of the state where many of the residents believe in creating an ethnostate. My last name is Bergman, which is Swedish, but while driving from Spokane to Kalispell, some loser asked me if it was Jewish with an incredibly aggravated tone, and didn't seem to believe me when I explained what it was, something is wrong with this place.

9 Kentucky Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States.

I'm a Kentuckian, born and bred. I love my state, but I really don't like the attitudes of most Kentuckians. They practice selective racism. My neighbors love to call President Obama the N word. I hear a stupid joke almost daily about "getting the coon out of the White House. " It's really pathetic. They know nothing about his policies. They'd believe ANYTHING about him, just because he's black. But on the flip side of things, when it comes to Kentucky basketball, these very same individuals quickly lose their racism. That just doesn't make sense, not to me. They think black people are fine playing sports, but if they are doing something "smart" or "brainy" they quickly get all upset and bent out of shape about it.

As a white man, I can confirm that Kentucky treats white people worse than just about any other race. The white people in the other states are so lucky.

In the 1940s, they used to hang white people for making racist comments towards minorities (especially black people).

- Woodrow B. Stephens, 77, Orlando, KY.

I am from Turkey and I live in south west Kentucky. Cops here will pull you over for anything if you're not white. I got thrown in jail for tinted windows. TWICE!. Who goes to jail for tinted windows?! Another incident happened when I had expired license plate tags. I was actually having dinner at Burger King with my girlfriend and 2 cops were guzzling down whoppers on the table next to me. They actually waited for me in the parking lot to pull me over for my tags! I had no idea they were expired, I thought I would get a ticket but knowing these racist mf I had to spend the night in jail and make a $500 bail the next day. That's the dirty south y'all

I love my state (Kentucky) and I'll never live anywhere else but yea we got a lot of racist people here. Half of them are my friends I'm a hard core redneck but I'm not racist. Now it's time for the full truth. So 99% of "racist people you'll meet here are not really racist. Yes they might call people the AND word and make racist jokes but I've met almost no one who actually has a problem with anyone based on their ethnicity in fact there's plenty of black and Mexican rednecks here and they're are some of our best friends. I realize I sound racist to some people just referring to them the way I do but I'm sorry that's just they way we talk get used to it because it won't change and it's no one should take offense to being referred too as what they are because there's plenty of other black people and Mexicans etc that will deliberately make jokes about us being white and call us that and nothing makes me more pissed off then a double standard. We don't like gangsters and that's . more

I am a white man and I came here in USA to marry my wife. I came from Romania to marry her. She is African-American and I do love her to death. When I got here I didn't expect what I'm gonna pass trough.

We had first the official marriage and we barely found a mayor that would accept to officiate our marriage. Most of them were black and they would find any kind of stupid reasons to look to busy for us. so we found one. we got married and we had as photographer my sister in law. I saw that my wife she got kinda sad later on after talking with her sister something but she didn't told me what they talked about. Later on she told me how she was asked by her sister why she didn't married a black men. they also got in a argument few days after our marriage and I got all our pictures from the marriage deleted by my sister in law.

I'm a handy man and I agreed to lift up the valor of my mother in law's house. So I replaced all the carpet in the house with wooden floor . more

Yes. Louisiana is racism at its worst. I am an educated, full time working wife and mother. My kids go to good schools and my husband and I have good jobs. However, people cannot see past my skin color. Being a black woman in a male white dominated field they only see you as the '"help". You are constantly looked over for promotions even though you have more qualifications and education than your counterparts. It is the good ole boy system everyday. Once Obama took office people were down right bitter and it exposed a harsh reality about racism in America. It's not over. Yes there are still separate proms for whites and blacks as late as 2015, white only neighborhoods, white only schools, unspoken rules to not travel in certain areas regardless of the time of day. My state, Louisiana, has just traded in their KKK robes for police uniforms, agency officials, and politicians.
So sad but so true!

Though I grew up in a military family, I am originally from Louisiana and most of my family still live there. As an adult, I moved back and lived there for a little over a year. It wasn't home anymore. Once I left and experienced the rest of the world, I clearly saw the racism. This problem is not completely on the whites either. I am causian/native American. While I was living there, my husband and I went into a bar and grill to eat and watch football. We were met at the door and told we were on the wrong side of town and we should leave. I told the man I lived across the street and this was my neighborhood. He just smirked at me and said then you are definitely in trouble because this is the black side of town and you aren't welcome. What followed was that we were robbed several times and finally moved back to the northwest. It's a generational problem. Until the people of Louisiana white and black and say ENOUGH!, nothing will change.

I live in houma Louisiana, I'm black and my girlfriend is white, I grew up in a white neighborhood and everyone is cool most of my friends Are white and my parents love them and there parents love me, it's not about your skin color here it's about the person u are, we have a lot of bi racial and Indian people and Hispanic and we all get along just fine, you can't control the color of your skin but you can control the content of your character, but as for other parts of the state racism does exist because neither white people nor black peoples want to break the border and be friend one another, we're all gods children so why should we be at war with one another because out differences, Lets all get together, assist each other and succeed in life. Racism is played out

11 South Carolina South Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state is bordered to the north by North Carolina, to the south and west by Georgia across the Savannah River, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

I've lived in South Carolina my entire life. With the most balanced racial make-up of any state, South Carolina may get a bad rap, but it's not grounded in fact. In the midwest and northeast, a lot of racism appears not to exist --- however, when in some cities it's hard to even meet people of color, how can a judgment on racism be made? When people move to South Carolina for the first time or visit, they always comment on the fact that there are "a lot of black people." Why, yes, we here in South Carolina do have a balanced racial population. That being said, racial issues that may be ignored in some other cities become big topics here. I love our state and the fact that the Confederate flag is now gone proves that this state continues to progress.

This state should rank in the top 5 for racism because it's filled with uneducated, ignorant people who discriminate against each other at all costs! If you are black, white people discriminate, if you are white, blacks discriminate, if you are not racist and stick up for someone being discriminated against, both blacks and whites will discriminate against you! This was the first state to succeed from the union and it's citizens sport the confederate flag like it's the latest fashion. I lived here only two years after being born and raised in the Midwest and I have to say, I have never witnessed and experienced so much hate, stupidity and hypocrisy in my entire life. I'm relieved I no longer have to deal with the people there who had issues with me for not being racist and refusing to compromise my values for their skewed version of how poeople should conduct themselves. There are so many churches there for a reason because it's filled with so many racist sinners who have a LOT to . more

I am Latino and I have been living in Columbia, SC for 11 years. This place is very racist. Blacks and Latinos here cannot excel in anything and if they do they pay for it daily. It is forbidden by a bunch of uneducated rednecks who believe they own the place. It is sad to see how they treat the Mexicans here, really sad. Coming from a very progressive South American country I find it difficult to understand people around here. Sometimes I even feel as this people would not be human. There is a place in the suburb call Lexington, if you are black you better do not move there as people told me in my face that they usually start thinking about selling their homes when they see black people moving in. I am trying to move out, I can not believe I lasted so long here. These place is living hell for minorities.

Yes this place is hell you have the white people who come from out of state to live here just so they can show there true colors with out fear, and the black people who were born and raised here still have that slave way of thanking. Which they pass down from one generation to the next. The white people here hate to see a black person with an education, make it or have just a little more then they do or who can stand toe to toe with them on any level. I came here 13 Years ago from New York and I must say I have never seen such a thing am getting the h out of here just as soon as I can. I can go on and on about life here but I will leave it at this stay away from this place

12 Georgia Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies.

Georgia is big time racist .stay away from the small towns in Georgia especially . They are so racist in Georgia that even if your white then they will arrest you for no reason and will act hateful to you if they find out your not a racist like they are . and if you don’t have a redneck accent like they do ..then forget it ! another reason for them to give you a hard time . doesn’t matter how manner years you have lived there . They only accept other racists and people like them that have a redneck accent . Athens is not bad . Some people are nice there ,but definitely don’t go to hartwell Georgia or royston Georgia .

I am A black male born and originally from Los Angeles but lived in Atlanta for many years. Atlanta is a very racist city and every race is to themselves. However some parts of the northeast Atlanta (including parts of Gwinnett County) are somewhat diverse, but mostly still segregated. Whites are on the northside and they view all blacks as criminals, uneducated, and crackheads as if whites don't have those problems. For Example: Bush did a lot that was criminal when he was still in office, plus he is very uneducated, and to top those he was part of the reason crack cocaine was affecting blacks in the black community. So because he was white they overlooked all that he had done to mess up the country, but now that Obama is in office everything he does is bad according to the racist whites that can't except the fact a black man is now in office. Blacks on the other hand are on the southside and they are just as backwards and racists towards other blacks and mostly blacks have treated . more

. Georgia, "Capital of The South" as the saying goes. To me it is more like the headquarters of segregation. The metro Atlanta area is place is where as soon as a couple of decent black people move in to a white area you will soon see a convoy of moving trucks with whites fleeing like refugees in a war. I know this is not exclusive to Georgia and this is an all American sport but white flight happens on a massive scale around here.

The commute times to work for many whites are very long because they have moved so far in the suburbs that taking a commuter air flight would be faster than sitting in traffic. Mass transit is more for blacks on young hipster whites.

The hate is getting obvious again with many white areas now forming their own cities because the law prevent them from forming new counties which has been tried a few times.

Interracial dating is low compared to the west coast. The schools in black areas are horrendous. The negative rap video culture . more

To the black man who was born in Los Angeles. uneducated. You said the George Bush was the reason people had to go to prison for crack laws. Wow, do your homework before you give your input!

Washington -- President Clinton signed into law yesterday a bill to continue punishing crack-cocaine crimes far more severely than powder-cocaine crimes -- a difference that civil rights activists say is racist.

"I am not going to let anyone who peddles drugs get the idea that the cost of doing business is going down," Mr. Clinton said in nullifying a plan by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make punishments the same for crack cocaine and powdered cocaine.

13 Florida Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Florida is the southeasternmost U.S. state, with the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

I live in Florida and my family has been here since The Spanish first landed in 1513, people always ask where I'm from and when I tell them I'm American they say no no your ancestors, and I'll say my family been here almost 500 years, they just don't know how to process it. They automatically think I'm a foreigner. A friend once said that he'd wish all racist's would just die and I responded that would be about 95% of the population. Being comfortable in your own skin is where they should begin, most people have low self esteem which makes them defensive and in tolerant of others especially if they are poor, which is common in Florida.

I was shocked to hear this kind of attitude when I made a visit to Tallahassee. I had a friend (originally from Colombia, going to FSU) drive me around Tally and I noticed in a certain part of town, he scrambled to roll up his windows and lock the doors. I asked him why and he said, "We are in a bad neighborhood. There are a ton of blacks here. " What really made me upset was when I was grabbing food at a Checkers, a man murmured in disgust, and started to yell various, "racially charged" profanities at the woman in the drive thru. I honestly was shocked to hear this and convinced myself never to come back to Tallahassee. I'm sure other parts of Florida are nice, or at least I'm hoping.

I'm from California and Florida is racist because the nation witness the trial of Zimmerman and he was found not guilty of killing a unarmed Trayvon Martin, a black kid who was walking home from a mini-store. He lied to the police, his family, and friends that he shot the kid for self-defense, but what started the problem is that he followed him and the police told him DON'T follow him. Look at Zimmerman now, he is getting into more trouble and his girlfriend even called the police. The other case is a black woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison, because she shot the ceiling as a warning sign to let her abusive husband know to step away from her. That tells you racism is still alive in the USA and it's still going strong as well.

Florida is the most racist state I have lived in. I have lived in several cities in Florida, and it never fails. If you mixed people stop, and stare at you like you came from planet mars. Most churches are "politely" racist here too. And this may shock some people, but the worst racists in this state are the Jewish people. They will come right out and ask you "What are you? " I have lived here for 27 years. and can tell you that the Zimmerman incident is nothing new. I have had cops follow me, and almost rear end me running my plates for no other reason except I am a light skinned mixed person. I saw a car on Craig's list, and went to see it. The guy refused to open the hood, and told me to go back where I came from.. Where would that be? The best state I have lived in so far is North Carolina.. I currently live in Brandon, Florida.

14 Illinois Illinois is a state in the midwestern region of the United States. It is the 5th most populous state and 25th largest state in terms of land area, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country.

Chicago is the most racist city in America.
Blacks are racist towards whites
Whites towards blacks
Hispanics towards blacks
Racism is everywhere in Chicago like crime. If want no racism avoid Chicago.

I attended Western Illinois University and my Gmail was constantly bombarded with emails from the University's president about racist incidents that occur at or around campus. From offensive symbols being painted on school property, to racists social media posts, to racists comments being made to students at restaurants.

I was born and raised in Chicago. Chicago is one of the most racist cities in America. The neighborhoods are racially segregated, and even Mayor Daley lives in the most racist neighborhood in Chicago, Bridgeport. Young people have to worry about being in the wrong neighborhood wearing the wrong colors, but the Chicago Police Department is the biggest and most deadly gang in Chicago. The Chicago Police use people of color, the homeless, small children and even the elderly as punching bags and for target practice with their guns. The judicial system of Chicago and Cook County is terribly racist and corrupt. Many blacks are murdered every year, due to racist cops. If you have children, don't raise them in Chicago.

Chicago IL is a great city with many fine qualities. However, some times people in Chicago are extremely racist towards people of color especially Indians. They are proud Americans and cannot contain their pride by looking down upon people from other race. Violent crime plagues the city and amidst that, people sometimes derive vicarious pleasure by passing snide remarks towards people of Indian ethnicity. Only men can't be blamed, women are equally racists and they leave no stone unturned in abusing people of brown color. These people forget that they themselves lack many things which are necessary attributes of a civilized population, their only objective is to impose their superiority over people of other race. They tend to forget that sons and daughters of their soil mostly confine themselves to desk jobs or spend precious time in experimenting with vicious substances like drugs, instead of actually doing something constructive. Whereas their country heavily depends on outside . more

15 Arizona Arizona is a U.S. state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states.

Went to Arizona to work, I'm a travel nurse. Was told I had to get an Arizona driver's license within a week of arriving. Three different locations denied me the process. I am also a military veteran. Was asked "Are you Mexican? Are you able to pass a competency examination if necessary?" I provided my birth certificate and skepticism was written all over the clerk's face. I cancelled the contract and went to and relocated to a different sate. Arizona? NTY.

Arizona is SO racist. Extremely, racist. I am African-American and what I'm about to tell you is 100% true with ZERO exaggeration. First off, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Census, there is only 5% black population and we DOUBLE the unemployment rate. That right there should tell you something. I hold 3 college degrees: B.A. in History, B.A. in English, and a Master's degree in Education. It is EXTREMELY hard for me to find work. I've been out of work for almost 7 weeks now. I have submitted my resume over 200 times. My resume is chock full of experience and education. I've been contacted by employers and been granted a phone interview. I am always practically hired over the phone (I sound "white"), then told to come to the office to fill out my new hire paper work. I'll get there and all of a sudden the position has been filled. White people who see me show up always have that same "look" on their faces. It's a look of, "Oh no. You're BLACK? " And their eyes look very, . more

I moved to Arizona to experience leaving my small city in Texas. I never experienced extreme racism until I moved. I'm a hispanic American who was not naturalized because a law made it so. I was naturalized by birth my mother and father were naturalized by birth and my grandparent migrated in 1912 naturalized in 1914. Never have I been treated so different due to my skin color. I treat everyone equally, although I'm very sadden by my experiences in Arizona. It hasn't been all negative I never envisioned me marrying but after years of dating someone who also is not originally from Arizona a White American who views individuals for who they are. We are considering moving due to my most recent work experience where my race has become an issue among work associates. I don't understand why racism exist. I only know I wish goodness upon all. Equally I feel alone and knowing others have shared similar experiences helped. I'm not blind either I know racism can exist anywhere but it has been . more

I'm Italian, originally from New England, never in my first 39 years of life did I ever had an issue. Until I moved to Arizona. I've been pulled over by DPS for the "2 second" rule, whatever that is. Threatened by rednecks while riding my bicycle. Passed over for jobs, and looked at suspiciously. All because I get a little dark in the summer. Some have accused me of being a Muslim. Really, with my Black Sabbath shirt on? Also, people here all hate Obama, think he was born in Kenya. Poor people vote Republican, then blame Democrats for their woes. Some of the most ignorant people on the planet are flocking here in droves. Lots of Mormons have been elected to state positions too, try to push their religious agenda down our throats. Thank goodness, after 12 years in this hell hole, I'm finally in a position to sell my house and move to California!

16 California California is a state in the Southwestern United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 square kilometers), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento, and the largest city is Los Angeles. . read more.

California is very accepting of minorities, a little too accepting. It's great that California welcomes Hispanics and Asians, but they are treated better than we whites. If you're white, you have to fill out all this information to get a driver's license, including making sure you are from the state of California. But undocumented immigrants can get a license just like that WITHOUT being from California, let alone having citizenship in the USA. Sounds quite racist to me. Also, the white people in California are really nice to people of different races (not to say there aren't racist whites in California), but the other races will group together and want nothing to do with the whites because they think they are "racist". If you are Asian, African American, Hispanic, etc.. You will not experience as much racism as in most other states. If you are white, however, you will most likely experience some degree of racism.

San Francisco is the worst. It is similar to living in French Canada mostly Jews who manipulate, tell untruths about a black person even though she or he will possess a four-year university degree.

The United States is merely the "United States" not a United People. These American residents are extremely afraid of me but I am not afraid of them because I know who they are: the children of slave traders. I simply feel compassion for their soles and lack of intelligence.

What can I say to a group of people who are brainwashing the world through the media: radio, cable television, Internet, etc. To hate others without hesitation.

I'm from the South, and California is still the most racist place I've ever been. The South has a bad past to live down, but it's integrated and we live and work together and we share a culture. Racism is dying here. The races are more separated in Los Angeles than any other place I've seen. Everyone I saw working was Latino, and the white people all just seemed to be wandering around shopping or eating. I saw almost no blacks at all and was told that they stay in their "own areas." There was very little interaction, and a big discrepancy among who was working what kind of job. I know the South has a bad reputation, but I've never seen that kind of separation down here.

It is very racist in San Diego, even though I have degrees and certifications it remains very difficult for me to obtain suitable employment. It is no secret that most medical jobs here in San Diego ask for those who are bilingual which is almost always those who are not black. It is a shame that you cannot live in certain places in San Diego either, I have tried to live here but it is very hard if you want to make progress in your life. I am not a racist individual, I hope that people will someday re-frame from their fears about blacks doing as good or better than themselves in life.P.S. I hate San Diego California with a passion.

17 West Virginia West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, . read more.

I recognize everyday these racist simple minded bugs are so stuck in there ways its ridiculous because minorities will never get equality for any circumstance.I have friends in all races, but it seems whites look at us like we came along to destroy them and don't want anything out of life WRONG! They are scared of living in peace, but we get stereotyped and harassed by the police,denied places of employment and all types of stuff called silverbacks list goes on if people had respect for the next individual regardless of their race wv might have a chance otherwise this place will be a cesspool..

I believe West Virginia is a racist state. At my school, children make racist comments towards Russians, Arabs, and African-Americans. They say that they should stay in their own country and America is only for them. They say that the world would be a better place if all Russians and Arabs died because "Russians are mean and rude and want to kill you" (yet never met a Russian) or "All Arabs would shoot you". They deny their racism, because they do not know of it as it is so deep in the culture here. Confederate flags are everywhere, and the KKK meets regularly.

I am mixed race asian-black but look Hispanic to be honest I am from Virginia and had to drive for work to service and deliver power chairs for the disabled there are nice people but by far is the scariest place for me to go is west Virginia on 2 seperate trips I have experienced racism there. Once when me and my uncle who worked with me and is fully Vietnamese we were driving and some construction workers walked in front of the vehicle and laughed yelling racial slurs like gook and wetback while one dragged his thumb across his throat basically saying he'll kill us the second time I was working on a lady's chair and she told me straight up look I really like you but you need to leave this area as soon as possible because of the people there. it is a beautiful state but going there is scary especially because it's essentially lawless towns are very small and hours away from eschother and you barely see police anywhere I also experienced rascism in my home state in convience stores . more

WV is a great state. I'm an Asian American, and have never had a problem with any racism except from blacks. I have been called slope / chink / gook / slant / jap / the list goes on and on as they are very creative in their bigotry. We all need to look in the mirror. There has not been any racism shown toward me by whites or any other race but blacks. In at least 15 instances blacks have been prejudice in their actions and especially words in interactionswith me.

18 North Carolina North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

Currently xperiencing racism by black social workers against white baby. Social workers trying to take white baby from perfectly good and willing white grandparent care giver of 21 mo old since birth.

I lived in North Carolina for 10 years. I'm 21 years old. I was born and raised in atlanta where the city is so extremely diverse you can't tell who is white and who isn't so to be racist would be a waste of time. So when we moved to NC I couldn't believe how segregated the town was and still is, my parents bought a store in the town and people blatantly said they didn't want to come to our store because we were black. And the white people are just as trashy and low class than every other race. They are all just stupid and very uneducated. How can you hate someone without knowing exactly why? I used to feel sorry for them but now I think they deserve to be stuck in a town that's 15 miles long for the rest of their lives, they have no common sense.

One night my car was hit by a drunk driver. A state police officer responded. My neighbors came to my aid and the witness to the accident, all white. I look white but am mixed. The cop and the drunk who hit me going 80mph were black. When the police report came out, it said that the driver wasn't suspected for alcohol and didn't have passengers, of which he had two. The officer was apparently coaching the driver through the interview, telling him how he thought it went down. I don't trust the law out here and others living here have told me to leave it alone or suffer negative repercussions from the police in the future ( ie longer response times to alarms etc.). The driver was physically staggering and smelled of alcohol. even had the audacity to talk about the drinking he had done in front of two of the neighbors. Racism is racism and it goes both ways. I see A TON of black on white hate here in NC.

I served in the US military proudly eight years of my life. I was raised in Los Angeles for the better part of my life before joining the service. I made the huge mistake of requesting to be stationed in the East Coast. Somehow I ended up in this horrible state. I have been fired twice for not being able to "fit in" not being a "good fit" with my coworkers. My coworkers have treated me with so much disdain because I look and walk like a Hispanic. I am not a kiss ass and maybe I ought to be given that if you're not part of the crowd you're doomed. I hate North Carolina with a passion. I had an immaculate resume with a bunch of awards from working in medical labs while in the Navy. I became a civilian and all those good all evaluations turned to horrible evaluations from managers who cannot accept me because the crowd doesn't accept me. I know just as much if not more but my skin tells a different story, one where people think I am and will always be a subordinate. I have defied society . more

19 Massachusetts Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England part of the northeastern region of the United States.

I lived in MA for most of my life and began to realize how little opportunity there was for me. I am a person of mixed race with a very light complexion. I was too dark to be considered white and other people of color would treat me badly because I was too light. There was discrimination at every turn. I was followed around stores, discriminated against in college classes, denied employment opportunities, paid less than whites doing the same job, and heard all kinds of racist statements from both sides. I moved to Alabama, which is also very racist in a different way. At least now I have my bachelor's degree so I will have better opportunities but I will leave soon. I believe racism has transformed into more of a class issue. If you don't have a lot, you're treated terribly. I think this is a problem throughout this country. Those who can afford high rent are able to live more comfortably than the rest. Meaning they don't have the same issues to deal with. Their children go to better . more

Here in Mass, we've got on one side the left-wing apologetic whites - who do everything they can to make certain that everybody knows that they aren't racists. This includes recognizing race to the n'th degree, resulting in racism. Ask these people about other races, and they have no real clue. In fact, they almost all say things like, "Oh, I have a black friend, or an Asian friend or so on and so forth. Really? They only have "token" friends, and do it to prove that they are PC. And as for the other side, we have loads of white trash Yankees (no, not the ball team) that hardly have any education that use N almost as they use the female derogatory term "B" (not to offend), and would rather spend their hard-earned cash at the local pub than on their own families.

In 2007, I joined the MA National Guard. I was promised to be attached to a unit near the metro area. After returning from Ft. Benning, GA. I check my orders, and surprise! it turned out I had been attached to a unit in Lexington, MA. On my first day of drills, I entered the armory where the assemblies take place never seen so many colored eyes eyeballing me (I'm dark skinned AND Latino). The following drills were the most difficult days in my life, I had never be so covertly hated I could feel it. Only person of color in the unit, and the only who had to clean, sweep, and mop the armory, yet called the "laziest". At least I would demand respect where I lived, but this was crazy. Best thing I ever did was to move to NYC and get educated. Now, I even have white friends who are educated and open minded about other people's culture. Once a guy from with some southern accent insulted me, and my white friends joined me in insulting back the guy. If they have their racist moments, . more

I experienced racism against Hispanics often in my teenage years - from racial slurs being yelled out at a distance in high schools, and jr. Colleges from people I didn't know. I experienced being a teenager and filling out employment applications for approximatally 60 summer job part time openings advirtized in the local newspaper (even low paying fast food places) for the entire summer and never given even an interview. I was forced to sign up for a special minority youth summer program so I could get some employment the following year.

20 Utah Utah is a state in the western United States. It became the 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. Utah is the 13th-largest, the 31st-most populous, and the 10th-least-densely populated of the 50 United States.

I've lived all over Utah. I'm not black or brown, I have light skin but definitely not white. White people here will stare at you as long as you're not white. It's either the stare or being nosey, staring in your car or through your window and watch you. They do it to gossip and judge, the reason I know this is because they do that"small town" loud whisper, where they want you to kind of hear but they're gossiping with their friends. No matter how nice I try to be, they give me the disgusting look of hate that I'm very familiar with with these racist religious people. On a regular basis I'm stared at and they don't look away when caught. Utah people have such a serious staring problem and if you Do ANYTHING they have something to gossip about. I don't dress weird I dress normal like anybody else, it's the fact that I'm not white. The other thing is, I get ignored when I'm eating out with my family or friends. They don't look at me or talk back when I order, they take my order and say . more

I actually have a lot of Mormon friends, although I am not Mormon, I am Southern Baptist. but I am white

I used to attend church with my Mormon friends and they were cool with me.
I stopped attending with them but they remained cool with me and often bug/annoy by email/social media to come back and see or hang out with them, but they're still cool with me.

. Pretty sure being white helps with that lol

It's ironic b/c it's kind of like in Minnesota where Mormonism/Utah is basically just a "cover up" for racism against blacks and Mexicans lol

I mean it's obvious when my white Mormon friends would invite me over to spend the night, play ball with them/frisbee, while just barely knowing me off the bat

White privilege is pretty sweet lol

This is the most racist state in the west, by far. Almost every time there as a tourist hiker, 4x4 touring, skiing and mountain biking I have seen it. Just for having facial hair! Locals have turned their backs to me if I ask a question. Even simple questions such as is this the mountain biking trail head. Last time there I picked up a Navajo hitchhiking. He had been walking for 30 hours yet no Utahns would pick him up. On a ski trip there in my 20s I asked a young waitress where to have fun at night. She said, '
"You wanna have fun, go to Colorado". She was right! However the skiing and mountain biking are great. Also the worst state for road kill as they just don't build game fencing around highways. Arizona, California and Idaho should all be lower on the list than this state.

I've lived in Utah for going on eleven years and, as an educated man of African descent, I can justifiably say that the prejudice here is strong, the racism is systemic, and culturally ingrained. I am often defined by the color of my skin and treated poorly or alienated for it, especially when I don't live up to the stereotypes that inform the ignorance of those who seek to describe me. "Hey who's your favorite artist? " I might be asked. "Oh, I really like Maynard Keenan (Lead singer of rock band "Tool" for those who aren't sure)," I might remark. GASP! "But you're BLACK! You're supposed to like Lil Wayne," or whatever. They will do everything they can to cast a non-Caucasian person in an inferior light. An Indian man can say: "There are five flowers in a vase," and be scoffed at. A Caucasian man can say "There are five flowers in a vase," and recieve a gold medal. They are extremely passive aggressive and covert about it, but any person of deeper tones who has been the victim of . more

21 Hawaii Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state of the United States of America, receiving statehood on August 21, 1959.

You'd be surprised. In this past year ALONE there have been many revelations of even the people running this state being racist. I'm looking at you, HPD. There has also been a revelation in one of the police chiefs in the state advocating for anti-Asian sentiment, despite the state holding the highest Asian population percentage in the nation. In addition to this, there has been several reports of race-linked police brutality and police-caused death in the past month or so. Parts of the police refused to admit this shortly before stepping down. I am saying this as someone who lived in Hawaii their whole life and seen enough of the racial discourse that constantly circulates this state under both a personal and impersonal perspective.

People posting here seem to have a wrong misconception of how things here work. 1. Haole means no breath. This definition originated when westerners first came to Hawaii and would not do the ha, or the exchanging of breath, which was understandable, they didn't know what it was. People of European descent are called haole because of this. 2. Almost all of the racism in the state stems not from rude locals who just want to be mean, the Hawaiian people are jaded and hurt because western influence nearly destroyed our culture. White people are scowled at because they come here and buy all the land and destroy the environment, thusly hurting our people even more. The Hawaiian people did not want to become a state, colonizers overthrew our kingdom and did not give the natives a right to vote. When we were voted to become a state, it was the white people who came here and took our land and our language and our culture that chose for us to become a part of this broken, bigoted nation.

How is Hawaii not first? If you are white, there are going to be a lot of people here who DO hate you. Many people like to claim that people here only dislike "ignorant haoles (white people)", but in reality, a lot of view people view white people as ignorant simply because of the color of their skin. The racism I have seen and heard on these islands has been absolutely disgusting. To make matters worse, it is practically enforced by a lot of state officials, as many will actively fight any racism they perceive against people with native Hawaiian blood. But as soon as an incident springs up against white people (which is literally all the time), it goes ignored most of the time because of the double-standard. If you are black, you get treated better than whites, but not that much better. The really ironic thing is that this is supposed to be the land of aloha.

Just because the rest of the country tolerates rude and disrespectful behavior doesn't mean we do in Hawaii. If you act like an ass, you'll get treated like an ass, simple as that no matter what the color of your skin is. If you're respectful of other cultures and act like a decent human being, then you'll fit in just fine. By the way this is coming from a white girl with blonde hair and green eyes that grew up in WAIANAE and not a single person has ever had a problem with the color of my skin. So maybe look at the way you carry yourself before you go around throwing out the racism card at every corner.

22 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

I am white and I live in a predominately black neighborhood. Pretty much all of my friends are black. I live just outside of Pittsburgh and I have noticed racism in surrounding towns. But I have also seen racism in my town and not from white people. The only problem I have about this is that everyone assumes that only white people are racist. Black people assume that they can say whatever they want to a white person and get away with it. I am far from racist and have no animosity towards any people group because I flat out think racism is the dumbest thing on the planet. I just want all of you to realize that though there are a lot of racist white people, there are also a fair amount of racist black people too. For example, an African American woman wrote this below, "I found out that this Area of Pennsylvania is full of German/PA Dutch White people and I discovered that even if they are educated they lack common sense, their comprehension is low""I have also discovered that this . more

I grew up in Erie, Pa and I have to say that it is very racist toward people of color and also prejudiced against people who aren't protestant or catholic. I worked at an amusement park there and they were horrible to black people. They never hired any black people and did not like to hire poor people either. Even Jewish people were whispered about behind their backs. My growing up was very white and although I knew there were a lot of blacks in Erie, I hardly ever saw them. We grew up to be afraid of blacks and to not include them in anything. I'm glad I moved out of there so I could see a larger perspective and examine my own beliefs. I rarely go back now, but I know its no different than when I was growing up.

Everyone talks about how the south is so stupid and racist. I moved here 2 years ago from Georgia and I am still ahead in school. I sit there bored in my classes. Not to mention, right across the street from the school a confederate flag is hanging. Pennsylvania was part of the Union, they don't even have an excuse. Also, when the school started to ask for them to take it down, 2 students walked over after school and told the owners of the flag, "Keep it up, people should be offended." It gets worse the farther you get from cities. Central Pennsylvania is roughly 95% white and is the only reason Trump won Pennsylvania. At my school I have about 5 black students in my grade, they only get stereotyped by racist peers.

I live in Philadelphia. My dad can get mean, and he's got bad road rage problems, two out of the three that I witnessed that I remember got race involved somehow. The last one that I saw was very recent, and it got race involved, but it wasn't really about that. After having driving related problems with another person on the road, the person pulled up in the lane next to my dad. She rolled her window down, she was black. She called my dad racial slurs used for white people, and he just called her ugly. I didn't see her because I was so busy hiding in the backseat. As you see, it isn't just the typical whites being rude to blacks or Mexicans. Many people here discriminate all races. When it comes to race, it sucks here, but not as bad as Southern states.

23 Maryland Maryland is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

Maryland is very racist undercover to see if I could get information on that group and their supporters. I was letting other organization but plenty of friends I was surprise I did manage supporters that were politicians police and on the Board of Education what state of Maryland.. If you ever seen a Klansman in Maryland double that 1000 times over you have the number of members in that state.. If the truth I heard you would be surprised and what they have got done in that state and what they are still doing today behind the scenes yes I was black I would not live in Maryland.

I'm from NZ and had a homestay girl Tiffany Joy Grove from Maryland who is here as a student teacher (internship) with a local school for 8 weeks. My husband is Caucasian, I am not. She asked to be moved out of our homestay purely on the grounds that she did not want to live with me! How racists is that! WE OPEN OUR HOME TO AN AMERICAN AND SHE IS RUDE AND RACIST TO OUR FACE! If she s going to be a teacher with such racists views I wouldn't offer a job at my school. New Zealand is very multi cultural and not racists. Such racists sentiments should be kept in MARYLAND!

I used to live in Montgomery County, MD. I had lived there since I was born. I moved about 6 months ago at age 15. In all my time living there, I have never experienced racism. Because Montgomery County is SO diverse, there really was no reason to be racist. The high school I went to had 50% White 50% other. Maybe even more of other. If I went into a store, I'd see a mix of all races. My neighborhood though. was filled with whites, but there were also Hispanic, Blacks, Asians, people from the Middle East, and Indians. My closest friend was from Pakistan. I'm Hispanic and so were most of the people I went to school with. If I were to go into one of my Honors classes you would see only 10 whites out of 30 students. I have moved to South Carolina, and now I can say that I have experienced racism. All of my neighbors are white. My family is the only colored people here. If I'm friends with a white person, it's because they are from upper north, not down here. I've been shunned by so many . more

My relatives are from MD and PA and are some of the most racist people I've known in my life. Luckily I was raised in a military primary family and know people of lots of races from living all over the US and the world. But one situation that happened with my cousins, I took my best friend and her two children with us to one of our family reunions b/c I always considered her a sister even though not by blood. She is originally from Puerto Rico and her ex husband was from another S. American country. can't remember which) so their son was a little darker skinned than the rest of their family. While we were out at the picnic, it started to pour down rain (one of those quick ones), so my Aunt and family that hosted the reunion asked that those kids who got wet to see if they could wear any of her grandkids' clothes while theirs dried out. When it came time to give my bff's son a dry shirt, I overheard my cousin's son ask, "do I have to loan a shirt to that'? I was so embarrassed . more

24 Wisconsin Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States, in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

I lived in Wisconsin for basically my whole life, and when I went to College I had trouble with three teachers because I'm a mixed race, one teacher failed me because he saw me talking to a cast student in the hall 10 minuets before class, and told me to my face "you shouldn't talk to those people" I was shocked we weren't even through with the semester and he failed me. The second teacher gave me a "D" when really I should have been given an "A", because when it was my turn to use the Laser Cutter he demanded me to step aside for this other student, just before me in line. The third teacher told me he wouldn't allow me to use paper from the printer to take notes for a test, so I walked over their anyway and went to grab a hand full, he was angry then, and he said, "go to Wal-mart because people like you find notebooks there all the time out in the parking lot"!. I had to restrain myself from fighting. After I graduated I landed a job I felt was okay and later was asked to leave for a . more

I lived in Wisconsin for 4 years. I never experienced such racism. People were out right nasty. I am from Northern Maine, and have never been treated so badly. In Wisconsin I was a counselor in a Shelter for teenagers. I do not think it helped me being black and knowing all of their family secrets. I am a attractive black woman with a very compassionate heart. I was never taught hate. By husband is white and I have two adult children. Our families get along fine. There really is not that much difference in people. I have found that in the hearts of most people, we want the same things. To have a job, family, freedom to enjoy our lives and worship as we please, and try to be happy. I am so sorry some wish to hold on to something that has caused so much pain and suffering in our country and the world. Before you dislike someone because of the color of their skin or the slant of their eyes. Stop and think behind their clor is a person with thoughts and feeling just like you.

The successor organization to the original American Nazi Party, The New Order, relocated in the mid-1980s to a secluded 88-acre rural property called "Nordland" in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Members of a neo-Nazi group and counter protesters peacefully rallied within yards of each other here on 09/03/11. According to local police, five arrests were made and no one was injured as members of the National Socialist Movement organization and a local coalition of community groups rallied in the afternoon near New Berlin, WI.

The Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting was a mass shooting that took place on August 5, 2012. Wade Michael Page, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi, fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple near New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee Wisconsin is the most segregated city in the country.

Remember they incarcerate more Black men than any other state, They have also reenacted slavery through their Child support system, Black or White men have to pay it up to 55 years. Parents have up to 20 years to restart child support order for arrears, so lets say a young lady has baby, she gets public assistance for 10 years then she claims child support on some unknowing mark, first he can't fight it because Wisconsin law will say he waited too long to claim DNA.. Which it was not possible for him to do? "he didn't know he was a father? " Next mother just played herself because Wisconsin will never give her money that was collected from said father due that she made the mistake and used food stamps WIC Hudd, because she was on public assistance, so she now owes them money. But they know she has none, so now they go after the father for (child support), (court order) (arrears) (Bench warrants) court fee, hospital fee, lien on taxes, his drivers, license, garnish checks, . more

25 Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state located in the South Atlantic region of the United States.

I am from Virginia, and let me tell you, it is indeed quite racist. I am mixed race-half black, half white, I experience more racism from black people than I do white or Latino people (though I am a light brown complexion and have kind of straight hair). I've had some black friends who thought I was fully black until they met my mother (who is white), they all of a sudden stop associating with me. There has been some black people that have tried to make me "do their work for them" and when I ask them why, they said because I was a "half breed" and that I have never experienced the things that they have been through from white people! Even when I applied at some jobs where the manager was black, I was always turned down despite that I'm very well educated with a college degree and the job was given to black people, a majority of them had just gotten out of jail or didn't even finish high school (one job I applied for, I was turned down and a black guy who had committed murder and had . more

I'm from Northern VA, lived there all my life and it disgusts me how people who haven't lived here all their lives are judging a state by 1 or 2 years. The Confederate flag is really nothing, it's been there for a century to show Southern pride, and if that is too much to take, I don't know what you can take. Virginia is a Southern state but it is also a Blue & Red state, as far as I know, the most racist region here is Appalachian Plateau, a very redneck area. Here in NoVA we don't get much racism, but as I am Asian, and Indian, people ask why my eyes aren't small like all Asians, so I'm not a Asian because of that. So yeah, most racism here is directed to Asians rather than Blacks, Latinos, and Whites. But I may be wrong as I am Asian which gives me another perspective.

This place should be in the top five at least. Don't be fooled by the DC suburbs. As soon as you cross the Fairfax county line you are in the heart of Dixie. Confederate flags are literally everywhere and the KKK is alive and well and regularly distributes recruitment fliers in the Richmond area. All of the "segregation academies" that opened in the 1960s when the public schools were closed down during "massive resistance" are alive and well. Sure they all claim they don't discriminate anymore but few minorities can afford the $10K + tuition at these private schools.

Honestly Virginia is probably more segregated today than it was in the old days of Jim Crow. Before the 1960s blacks and whites in Virginia lived in the same cities and towns but in different neighborhoods. Now due to white flight they don't even live in the same localities anymore. The blacks are pretty much confined to the urban areas, while the whites for the most part live in the suburbs.

I see segregation and no room for opportunities to make an honest dollar as a young person because of one's skin color or as an immigrant. It is like those in authority are loudly saying "go back to where you come from." This is how one feels going in circles, being stagnant not going anywhere. Trying countless of time to find a job is frustrating and the job sites does not make it easier. When a person does call you for a job opening and from one's answer that you are not a citizen, 9 out of 10 hang up the phone on you.Its hard, it's like each man to his own self. Nearly everyone is grumpy, skeptic and individualistic. It's only prayers that keeps one going and faith. But I thank God there are one or two persons who helped me to get a job which was church related. It has since closed down but was grateful nevertheless.

It really is sad how the society operates not being kind and equal but again this is facts am sharing.


The view across the former Cabrini-Green housing project site toward downtown Chicago in 2007. Public housing was one way the city became so segregated. Photograph: Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune

The significance of the Metropolitan Planning Council/Urban Institute report I wrote about yesterday is that it puts new numbers to an old truth: that Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the country, if not the most. (There are different ways of measuring that, but Chicago is usually far up the rankings no matter how it's approached.)

But what is it about Chicago that made it that way?

It's impossible to answer definitively, but the most satisfying answer I've encountered comes from Carl Nightingale, author of the book Segregation: A Global History&mdashit has a lot to do with timing. When I interviewed Nightingale about the book, this is what he told me:

Perhaps it was the chance of historical timing. The city&rsquos population exploded in a still-developing city as the flourishing of racial and eugenic &ldquoscience&rdquo overlapped into the nascent fields of sociology and real-estate economics.

&ldquoThere is a regional Midwestern thing where all the cities with the highest segregation indexes until this day are all in the Midwest,&rdquo says Nightingale. &ldquoI&rsquom not sure exactly why that is true. But it is true that Chicago had this enormous and booming land industry that the Chicago real estate board&mdashwhich is founded in the 1890s&mdashcould claim, plausibly, that it was the most powerful real estate organization in any city, and in the world, and was then strong enough to then create a national organization located on Michigan Avenue. And in so doing really fell into the position, after the demise of Buchanan vs. Worley, as the center of power that people who wanted to divide cities had to rely upon.&rdquo

A substantial part of Nightingale's book is about how Chicago was a laboratory for segregation. Tools of analyzing real estate and racial data were being created in Chicago in the early 20th century. Tools to segregate the city based on race were created here, such as restrictive covenants. This came up in one of my favorite interviews I've done, with the historian Elaine Lewinnek, author of The Working Man's Reward: Chicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl.

Myths around property values needing to be in segregated space, those myths come from Chicago in the 1910s. Chicago wasn&rsquot just interesting because of the social workers and the sociologists and the boosters and the advertisers, but it&rsquos also interesting because of the real estate industry.

Chicago&rsquos real estate industry was a national leader. The first texts of real-estate appraisal were written by Chicagoans. The first real-estate lobby, which is one of the most powerful lobbies in America, was formed in Chicago. These ideas that we need single-race, single-use spaces in order to have our property values go up&mdashthese are actually new ideas that can be traced back to Chicago in the 1910s.

The city was growing quickly, particularly because of the Great Migration, during this period. That meant a new influx of migrants&mdashwho were perceived as a threat to property values&mdashflooded the city just after prior waves of immigrants had struggled to establish modest wealth that was tied up in housing. Lewinnek's book goes into detail about how they did it, and she talked to me about that as well:

[I]n earlier Chicago, the poorest people weren&rsquot getting money from banks anyway. They were forming their own banks, what I call immigrant microlending institutions, what they called building and loan societies. They were finding different ways to access credit. That story of who gets to access credit and how is a really important story about who gets to access upward mobility in America. I think it&rsquos a story that&rsquos still playing out. Our most recent recession has a lot to do with who gets to borrow money for housing and what that money means.

The creativity of early Chicagoans wasn&rsquot as possible after the 1930s, for very good reasons&mdashwe got national banking laws that imposed a rigidity on what had been a flexible system. The variety of [homeowners in] early Chicago became less possible after the 1930s.

This whole process is finishing when the Great Migration ramps up, and so the backlash is very bad.

[A]t first they wanted to build public housing in poor white areas as well as poor black areas. But Chicago&rsquos white people, even the very poorest, had managed to access home ownership through these very creative methods. And they fought fiercely to save their homes. So very little public housing was built in white areas. Public housing became black housing, and hurt an entire group of people. We didn&rsquot have to inherit this.

I thought back to this when I came across something that didn't make it into my piece yesterday. In the mid-1980s, one thousand Chicagoans presented an explicit "white ethnic agenda" to Mayor Harold Washington, in a conference that, according to the New York Times, "brought together white groups that had deserted the Democratic Party last year rather than vote for a black mayoral candidate." In 1994, David Roeder profiled one of the organizers, Jean Mayer, and wrote about a key plank in that agenda, and one that resonates with a historical fear of collapsing property values:

Much of the 1980s at [Save Our Neighborhoods/Save Our City] was consumed by its campaign for home-equity insurance, which it finally won in 1988. That's when the General Assembly approved the program after seeing Mayer send legions into the Capitol wearing buttons depicting an upside-down donkey and saying, "Home equity or else." The buttons were a warning from a faithful Democratic constituency that years before had left the party in presidential elections.


The home equity battle was so prolonged because it was a perfect red-flag issue in Chicago's ongoing racial tensions. The proposal called for setting up an insurance pool, funded by slight additions in homeowners' property taxes, that would reimburse those who had to sell their houses for less than an appraised value. Participating homeowners had to sign up for the program and were ineligible for claims for the first five years. It would apply only in specifically defined white communities.

The plan is at work today and has about 2,000 participants on the southwest side and another 1,000 on the northwest side. Supporters say it has stabilized the communities by curbing fears about rapid racial changes and real-estate panic peddling. Critics say it keeps minorities out of those neighborhoods by discouraging current residents from putting their homes on the market.

As WBEZ's Natalie Moore reported in 2014, the program still exists and, at the time, had banked $9.6 million dollars.

In short, when the Great Migration grew, Chicagoans had both the motive and the means to segregate the city. Meanwhile, cities that have seen their explosive growth come after those means were taken away&mdashand after the motives for it dwindled&mdashtend to be more integrated, as William Frey observed in 2014:

Declines in black-white segregation continued through the 1980s. Between 1970 and 1990, segregation dropped from 87 to 63 in Dallas, from 82 to 66 in Atlanta, and from 78 to 66 in Houston. Many such areas were beginning to attract black migrants, part of the emerging reverse black migration to the South. Because substantial suburban growth in these areas took place after the enactment of the Fair Housing Act, the impact of that law in reducing segregation was greater than in more stagnant areas of the country with little new housing development. Yet as of 1990, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit continued to show segregation levels above 80, and the majority of their northern counterparts registered levels in the high 70s or above. Within these areas, old stereotypes persisted about which communities were appropriate for whites and blacks, with whites expressing a strong distaste for integrated neighborhoods.

So when the MPC wanted a less-segregated comparison to Chicago, they chose Houston.

Cities have taken steps to increase integration, like Louisville and Cincinnati. European countries, Carl Nightingale has written, are the most aggressive in desegregating. But it's harder to integrate than to segregate, and to do so the city that practically invented modern segregation will have to reinvent itself.

School Segregation and Integration

The massive effort to desegregate public schools across the United States was a major goal of the Civil Rights Movement. Since the 1930s, lawyers from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had strategized to bring local lawsuits to court, arguing that separate was not equal and that every child, regardless of race, deserved a first-class education. These lawsuits were combined into the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that outlawed segregation in schools in 1954. But the vast majority of segregated schools were not integrated until many years later. Many interviewees of the Civil Rights History Project recount a long, painful struggle that scarred many students, teachers, and parents.

Three years before Brown v. Board in November 1951, students in a civics class at the segregated black Adkin High School in Kinston, North Carolina, discussed what features an ideal school should have for a class assignment. When they realized that the local white high school indeed had everything they had imagined, the seeds were planted for a student-led protest. Without the assistance from any adults, these students confronted the local school board about the blatant inequality of local schools. When the board ignored their request for more funding, the students met by themselves to plan what to do next. In a group interview with these former students, John Dudley remembers, &ldquoSo, that week, leading to Monday, we strategized. And we had everybody on board, 720 students. We told them not to tell your parents or your teacher what&rsquos going on. And do you believe to this day, 2013, nobody has ever told me that an adult knew what was going on. Kids.&rdquo They decided on a coded phrase that was read during morning announcements. Every student in the school walked out, picked up placards that had been made in advance, and marched downtown to protest. The students refused to go back to school for a week, and eighteen months later, Adkin High School was renovated and given a brand-new gymnasium. It would remain segregated until 1970, however.

Desegregation was not always a battle in every community in the South. Lawrence Guyot, who later became a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, grew up in Pass Christian, a city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that was influenced by the strong labor unions in the shipyard industry and the Catholic Church. He explains how the Catholic schools were desegregated there: &ldquoThe Catholic Church in 1957 or '58 made a decision that they were going to desegregate the schools. They did it this way. The announcement was we have two programs. We have excommunication and we have integration. Make your choice by Friday. Now there was violence going on in Louisiana. Nothing happened on the Gulf Coast. I learned firsthand that institutions can really have an impact on social policy.&rdquo

In an interview about his mother, civil rights activist Gayle Jenkins, Willie &ldquoChuck&rdquo Jenkins describes how she demanded that he would be the plaintiff in a school desegregation suit, Jenkins v. Bogalusa School Board in Louisiana. He became the first African American student to attend the white Bogalusa Junior High School in 1967 and remembers how he had one foot in each world, but was increasingly alienated from both: &ldquoAnd I caught a lot of slack, like, from the black community, because they used to say, &lsquoOh, you think you&rsquore something because you&rsquore going to the white school.&rsquo They didn&rsquot know I was catching holy hell at the white school. I had no friends, you know. So, it was just always a conflict.&rdquo But in the end, he thinks it was worth it. He states, &ldquoBut it was hard, but you know what? If I had it to do all over again, I would do it exactly the same way. Because it was a cause that was well worth the outcome, even though I feel like people in Bogalusa are still not as accepting as they could be.&rdquo The high school continued to have a separate white prom and a black prom until very recently. But his mother, Gayle Jenkins, would serve on the Bogalusa School Board for twenty-seven years.

Julia Matilda Burns describes her experiences as a teacher, parent, and school board member in Holmes County, Mississippi. Her husband was an active civil rights worker and her job as a teacher was threatened when she associated with members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). When her son and other African American children attempted to integrate a school in Tchula in 1965, it was burned down twice. The local white community started their own private white academy, a common plan to evade integration across the South. She continued to teach in a public school and discusses the difficulties rural African American children and young adults face in getting an equal education today.

While Brown v. Board of Education and many other legal cases broke down the official barriers for African Americans to gain an equal education, achieving this ideal has never been easy or simple. The debate continues today among policy makers, educators, and parents about how to close the achievement gap between minority and white children. Ruby Sales, a former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member who later became the founder and director of the nonprofit organization Spirt House, points out that few people look to the past for answers to our current problems in education: &ldquo…We have been dealing with the counter-culture of education, and what might we learn from that counter-culture during segregation that would enable black students not to be victims in public schools today. And one of the things that disturbed me so tremendously – and this is about narrative again: these southern black teachers created outstanding students and leaders. And many of them still exist. And no one has bothered to ask them, &ldquoHow did you do it? What might we learn from you? What were your strategies? How did you deal with complicated situations? How did you invigorate young people to believe that they could make a difference even when the white world said that they couldn&rsquot?&rdquo

The American Folklife Center in collaboration with Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture


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