Segregation

Many Americans believe segregation was only a southern issue and not an American problem. As a result, when one hears the term “segregation,” one thinks of lynching, voter disfranchisement, and separate water fountains, the Jim Crow South. Prior to the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, the majority of scholarship and the term “segregation” connoted de facto or legalized segregation, and civil rights activists fought to eliminate de facto segregation. From 1909 to 1965, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had won numerous court cases that challenged de facto segregation in the South.

The civil rights movement fought to end de facto segregation in the South; but de jure segregation had a long history in the North. According to the historian C. Vann Woodward, “Jim Crow . . . was born in the North and reached an advanced age before …

This essay may be found on page 194 of the printed volume.

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