Those who take the position that we must “move beyond race” argue that we already have achieved a level playing field on which people of different races have equal opportunities to succeed.They argue that efforts to make up for past discrimination only perpetuate racial discrimination by classifying people based on race.Formal and informal policies of repression, such as separate public accommodations, limited access to suffrage, and strict control over black labor, were put into place between the 1870s and the 1890s, and Alabama's 1901 constitution rested upon white supremacy as a basic element of governance.The supremacist underpinnings of the constitution persisted until judicial decisions in the 1950s and 1960s rendered them inoperable, and some segregationist language, like the ban on interracial marriage, remained in the constitution until Alabama's voters removed it by constitutional amendment in the twenty-first century.Segregation is usually understood as a legal system of control consisting of the denial of voting rights, the maintenance of separate schools, and other forms of separation between the races, but formal legal rules were only one part of the regime.Some historians list three other important elements contributing to the creation and reinforcement of the status quo: physical force and terror, economic intimidation, and psychological control exerted through messages of low worth and negativity transmitted socially to African American citizens.
In storefront windows, waiting rooms, and public accommodation facilities, segregation signs appeared.
Initially, African Americans were the focus of civil rights protections, but the protections have expanded to cover other racial and ethnic groups, women, the elderly, the disabled, and gays and lesbians.
Civil rights issues remain important today because: (1) the effects of slavery and the Jim Crow laws are still quite evident, and (2) active discrimination is still evident in our society today.
Racial segregation during the Jim Crow era was a system that relegated African Americans to the position of second class citizens, lasting between 1877 and the mid-1960s.
The most common types of segregation mandated that public institutions and business owners keep blacks and whites separated. Here is one example of a state law enforcing segregation in Alabama: “No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro [sic] men are placed.” In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v.