Historical Perspective of Racial Segregation in America

Thesis Statement 

The historical experiences of racial segregation continue to impact on the current life of the African-Americans across all classes. 

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Description of the Project

This paper is focused on developing a proposal for an original paper comprising an evaluative bibliography. The paper seeks to evaluate the historical perspective on racial segregation in the United States. America has been hit for a long time by scenarios of racial segregation that saw the black community treated as lesser citizens compared to the rest of the population. It is to be noted that in the nineteenth century, racial segregation had taken a counterintuitive pattern. The situation was worse in the southern cities that had been characterized by an extended history of racial inequality. Racial segregation in the U.S. was largely evident in areas such as education, residential distribution, and political engagement. Residential segregation represented the nature in which two or more groups dwelled apart from each other. Racial segregation in schools was evident in the Southern States where the doctrine of separate but equal was largely prevalent. This model had garnered the support of the Supreme Court through the ruling in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which made it legal to uphold the model of separate but equal. This led to the initiatives intended to separate whites from colored people by having different social amenities such as schools, public transport, and parks for each race. This paper recognizes the importance of racial segregation on the history of the United States. For this reason, the project aims at carrying out an evaluation annotation to determine how different articles portrays the concept of racial segregation in the United States, and thereby, help gain a historical perspective of the social issue. 

Evaluative Annotated Bibliography

Cook, Lisa D., Trevon D. Logan, and John M. Parman. “Racial segregation and southern lynching.” Social Science History 42, no. 4 (2018): 635-675.

The article sought to determine the nature of the relationship between racial residential segregation and lynching. The article had been informed by the prevailing economic, social, and political theories of lynching that were comprised of implicit hypotheses, concerning the nature of the relationship between racial segregation and racial violence. The article indicated that it came up with a household measure to assess racial segregation in a way that distinguished between the effects of increasing racial composition of a certain area and the tendency of segregation in a given area. The research article revealed that racially segregated counties are much more likely to have lynchings. It was indicated that segregation is highly correlated with African American lynching but uncorrelated with white lynching. This article will be important to the research proposal as it will help understand the effects of social interaction and interracial proximity and paints the true picture of the situation in the rural areas and the urban areas. 

Bhambra, Gurminder K. “A sociological dilemma: Race, segregation and US sociology.” Current Sociology 62, no. 4 (2014): 472-492. 

The article observed that the U.S. social set up has been segregated at least up to 1960. It is indicated that the social set in the U.S. was structured into two distinct institutionally organized traditions of sociological thoughts; a black and a white one. The article points out that this segregation has been highlighted in describing the dominant historiographies. The article discusses the situation where African American sociologists are missing from the U.S. sociological platform. The article further discusses the implication of this situation to the understanding of the core sociological concepts. This article will be effective in this research by offering in-depth information on how understanding the works of the African American sociologists can be integrated into creating the interpretation of the core themes. The nature of this article is descriptive and this introduces a weakness of being biased in the manner at which it presents the information. 

Hahn, Robert A., Benedict I. Truman, and David R. Williams. “Civil rights as determinants of public health and racial and ethnic health equity: Health care, education, employment, and housing in the United States.” SSM-population health 4 (2018): 17-24.

The article seeks to examine how civil rights and their implementation influenced and continue to influence the health of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. This reviews how lack of civil rights for minorities including Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians faced health disparities. The article explores the issue of civil rights in its four domains; healthcare, education, employment, and housing. The article highlights how the civil rights laws were structured and implemented and provide a summary of the evolution of the civil rights laws in the U.S. It also highlights the evidence on the effects both positive and negative of the civil rights laws on the population that had previously been denied those rights. This article will be very informative in the research, especially based on the broader outlook that it offers to the topic of racial segregation. It also introduces the aspects of civil rights laws that are known to go hand in hand with the elements of racial segregation. 

Massey, Douglas S., Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina. “The changing bases of segregation in the United States.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626, no. 1 (2009): 74-90.

The article provides a description of the evolving nature of segregation in the United States. It indicates that the nature and organization of the segregation in the US have been shifting throughout the twentieth century. It is noted that the initial two-thirds of the century entailed segregation that was considered through the framework of the spatial separation of whites and blacks. This notion changed with the racial segregation shifting from the macro-level to micro-level of the states. The last third period of the century included a new outlook of racial segregation that was comprised of moderating racial-ethnic segregation and expanding class segregation. The strength of this article that will be helpful in this paper is that it offers a descriptive analysis of the situation of segregation, which is thereby likely to be more detailed. However, the nature of the article makes it prone to instances of bias and the authors may only present what they feel the audience needs to understand. 

Johnson, Neal Andrew, and Jamie Harris. “Racial and Class Segregation Patterns in the United States.” (2012).

The article observed that segregation patterns evident in the twentieth century were varied in scope and implementation. It is observed that majority of the Americans were aware of the racial segregation, which was evident in many cities throughout the country. The article sought to establish the nature of segregation along class and economic lines, determine whether there existed any correlation between racial segregation and class segregation. It also sought to give an outlook of the patterns of racial segregation throughout the twentieth century. The analysis of the racial segregation is carried out for Chicago and Atlanta. Among the findings from this analysis, it was noted that there were density-zoning accounts for the spatially dispersed segregation, by income and class. Among the strengths of the article is that it offers an extensive analysis of the underlying issue of racial segregation. A key weakness of the article is that it concentrates mainly in two regions, which may not be representative of the situation in the entire state. 

Pinder, Kamina A., and Evan R. Hanson. “360 degrees of segregation: A historical perspective of segregation-era school equalization programs in the southern United States.” Amsterdam LF 2 (2009): 49.

The article explores the impact of a historic attempt to maintain the de jure segregation through an equalized school funding program on black and white schools. The article then compares the program and its effects on the prevailing levels of funding and achievement in the South due to de facto segregated schools. In the first part of the article, it offers a brief overview of the American’s South early system of public education all the way to the mid-twentieth century. Part two of the article discusses the political factors with an aim of dual objectives to the preserve segregation and improved education. Part three provides an update of the Southern public-school system and highlights the educational challenges that black and poor children experience. This article will thus, be informative in this research work as it will highlight the aspect of racial segregation, which was prevalent in the education set up. 

Walter, Rebecca J., Nathan Foote, Hilton A. Cordoba, and Corey Sparks. “Historic roots of modern residential segregation in a southwestern metropolis: San Antonio, Texas in 1910 and 2010.” Urban Science 1, no. 2 (2017): 19.

This research article aims to understand the historical roots of modern segregation by making a comparison of residential racial patterns in the city in San Antonio. The article recreated San Antonio as it was in 1910 through georeferencing and digitizing historic Sanborn maps. The historic point data are aggregated to the census block level after which a comparison is made with the 2010 householder race data. The findings depicted in the article reveal that around 1910, San Antonio was already a segregated city with residential segregation matching the situation of contemporary San Antonio. A key strength of this article is that it uses a statistical method to analyze the dimension of residential segregation. Residential racial segregation was observed in the Hispanic concentrated southwestern section of the city. In this case, the statistical methods used are dissimilarity and Theil’s index.  A key weakness of this article is that it focuses its analysis on racial segregation in Texas, which is not representative of the situation in the entire country. 

Grigoryeva, Angelina, and Martin Ruef. “The historical demography of racial segregation.” American Sociological Review 80, no. 4 (2015): 814-842.

The article observes that the standard measure of residential segregation normally relates it spatial with the social proximity. The article highlights that this assumption has faced a lot of critique by demographers and ethnographers. The analysis using the standard measures of the situation in the late nineteenth-century reveals a counterintuitive pattern. This was evident in the Southern cities, which are observed to have had an extended history of racial inequality and lower residential segregation as compared to the urban areas that were observed to be more racially accommodating. The article highlights how it utilized census enumeration procedures to come up with a sequence measure that could better assess the backyard pattern of segregation. This type of segregation is observed to have white households dominate the front streets while the blacks were positioned in the alleys. The analysis allowed the documentation of the different forms of segregation across the postbellum of the United States. On the other hand, the Northern cities are indicated to have developed segregation through racialized neighborhoods, which replaced residential inequality for inequality of slavery. A key strength of this article in being essential for the research is that it provides a snapshot of the different forms of racial segregation that were differed between the Northern Cities and the Southern state. 

Picker, Les. “A history of residential segregation in the US.” World Economic Forum, 2015.

The article presented an analysis of data that has been carried out from the federal census to establish the level of segregation in the U.S. between 1880 to 1940. The analysis was carried out for all regions in the United States thereby, offering an in-depth outlook of the variation in segregation across time and space. The findings showed that the possibility of having opposite-race neighbors reduced precipitously in all regions of the United States. It is indicated that segregation was prevalent in regions with small population shares, regions with large black population shares, and sections with net inflows of black residents. The article offers an opportunity to understand the relationship that exists between segregation, urbanization, and populations flow, which was highlighted to assist in explaining the dynamics of segregation in the cities and rural communities in the twentieth century. This article will be effective for this research as it analyzes the impact of Jim Crow laws, racial violence, European immigration, and internal migration. It also makes a comparison between the trends of racial segregation in rural regions and urban centers in the United States. 

Thomas, Melvin E., Richard Moye, Loren Henderson, and Hayward Derrick Horton. “Separate and Unequal: The Impact of Socioeconomic Status, Segregation, and the Great Recession on Racial Disparities in Housing Values.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 4, no. 2 (2018): 229-244.

The article highlights that sociological research has mainly focused on establishing the effects of race, class, and residential segregation on housing values. It is observed that there was a knowledge gap to assess these factors of the great recession of 2008 and 2009. The aim of the article was to asses the level at which the great recession affected housing values for African Americans and whites based on the joint effects of race, class, and residential segregation. This research article uses the Integrated Public Use Micro-Data Series, the 2010 metropolitan area dissimilarity and population density scores, and hierarchical linear modeling. Through these statistical analyses, it was noted that the great recession exacerbated racial differences in housing values. The article indicates that the higher status African Americans were more disadvantaged as compared to the whites, which contradicted the state of African Americans in the lower class as compared to whites based on housing values.  A key strength in this research is that it relies on statistical methods to carry out the analysis and thus, can be relied upon. 

Contribution to Scholarship 

This research paper seeks to contribute to the scholarship by creating a picture of the historical perspective of racial segregation. The final paper entails synthesizing the existing information, which would help the scholars understand the trend and changes in the literature on the issue of racial segregation. Racial segregation has for a long period of time shaped the social life in the U.S. The final paper will offer an outlook of how racial segregation was evident in social aspects such as education, healthcare, employment, and residential. Thus, will help to understand the consequences of the racial segregation, as well as, understand the barriers to equal opportunity. This will help appreciate the current situation in American in terms of racial segregation. There are lines of segregation that are still prevalent in the current society. Gaining this understanding will be important to understand that the experiences of segregation continue to impact all blacks across the economic classes. The trends of segregation based on color lines have expanded to even involve the Hispanics and the Asians.

Bibliography

Bhambra, Gurminder K. “A sociological dilemma: Race, segregation and US sociology.” Current Sociology 62, no. 4 (2014): 472-492. 

Cook, Lisa D., Trevon D. Logan, and John M. Parman. “Racial segregation and southern lynching.” Social Science History 42, no. 4 (2018): 635-675.

Grigoryeva, Angelina, and Martin Ruef. “The historical demography of racial segregation.” American Sociological Review 80, no. 4 (2015): 814-842.

Hahn, Robert A., Benedict I. Truman, and David R. Williams. “Civil rights as determinants of public health and racial and ethnic health equity: Health care, education, employment, and housing in the United States.” SSM-population health 4 (2018): 17-24.

Johnson, Neal Andrew, and Jamie Harris. “Racial and Class Segregation Patterns in the United States.” (2012).

Massey, Douglas S., Jonathan Rothwell, and Thurston Domina. “The changing bases of segregation in the United States.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 626, no. 1 (2009): 74-90.

Thomas, Melvin E., Richard Moye, Loren Henderson, and Hayward Derrick Horton. “Separate and Unequal: The Impact of Socioeconomic Status, Segregation, and the Great Recession on Racial Disparities in Housing Values.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 4, no. 2 (2018): 229-244.Picker, Les. “A history of residential segregation in the US.” World Economic Forum, 2015.

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