After the Civil Rights Movement: What Now?

Although racial segregation has been abolished, America is still being torn down by discrimination and prejudice. Why do we continue to block out our problems by causing more hate? The Civil Rights Movement helped confront the problem that America was not living up to the statement "all men are created equal". Even after the Civil Rights Movement there is still discrimination in education, our social environment, and in the work place.

The effects of the school segregation that was dominant during the 1950's are still being seen. Before the 1960's and 1970's, white mobs would torment blacks when trying to enter an all-white public school. Over the past years blacks academic performance during high school and college continues to be distressingly low. In 1982 only 205 blacks were able to score above a 700 on the math section of the SAT's. This forces the white majority to thinking back to the days of slavery the blacks wanted to learn but were not given the opportunity.

Another place were segregation happens is in social settings. Some people believe now that not all blacks' problems are due to discrimination. Choices of friends, neighbors and business partners are often influenced by racial segregation. We can also think back to the Rodney King verdict and how the century's deadliest riots broke out. Was it because Rodney King was a black man in America who had not been given equal rights or because the cops were white and had been following the law of the land known as due process of law? America needs to re-examine its racial attitudes if the phrase " we shall overcome" can become a reality.

The work place is also another good example of how discrimination is evident in America today. In the business world, mostly whites work with whites and black work with blacks. In the U.S. in 1988 the income of $40,000, which is considered a good income for minority groups, was received by 45% of whites and only 18% of blacks. What does this say about America's socio-economic structure? Change continues as a glacial pace.

In conclusion, discrimination is still active in America today. Even after the Civil Rights Movement, a disparity still exists in education, the work place and society. Today, unfortunately, discrimination and social segregation are more evident than it has ever been.

Bambi B.
Bethany S.

1) Ethnic Groups volume 4

2) Ethnic Groups volume 3

3) Juan Williams, Eyes on the Prize, Blackside Inc., 1987

4) Langston Hughes, A Pictoral History of Negro in America

5) LeRoy W. Barnes, Social Problems, 1987 and 1988

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