When most people think of the Civil Rights Movement, I think a majority of our minds automatically go to the South. This makes sense because all throughout school in history classes, teachers only discuss the Civil Rights Movement that happened in the South. However, the Black Civil Rights Movement in the South was not the only movement taking place. In California, a Latin American Civil Rights Movement was occurring because millions of Latin Americans were being deported back to Mexico. In the Northern part of the country, an Asian American Civil Rights Movement was taking place because of the injustices and discrimination that they were facing. I think it is important to know that there was more than one group of people who were being discriminated against during this time, and that it was not just a regional problem in the South. The civil rights struggles that took place in New York City and Boston`s schools challenges that view in many ways. I think a big problem that the article discusses that happened in the South was Little Rock, and Brown v Education which outlawed “segregation in schools, determining that separate could never be equal and laying out a promise of equal education” (Theoharris, 35). Just as in the South, the New York education system was segregated. Black schools were overcrowded, lacked teachers and materials. Areas in the city were also very segregated. This is because of the Home Owners Loan Corporation that would rank areas lower if there was a higher percentage of Black people living in the area. This caused people of color to live in those lower areas and caused segregation between nonwhite and white communities and schools. However, when white liberals in the North were accused of segregation and racism they would use coded language to avoid these accusations. One way they did this was by referring to the “city`s segregated schools as separate or racially imbalanced” (Theoharris, 38). By doing this, it made it seem that it was not the school`s fault that schools were either primarily white or colored. Instead, it made it seem that it was a city problem and that there was nothing that could be done about where people settle.
Honestly, I was not too surprised about this history. This is because in one of my education classes our class spent a lot of time learning about Civil Right Movements that did not take place in the Southern Region. At the time, when I first learned about all the different movements I was very shocked because it is something that I never learned or heard about in my classes during high school. I am sure that there are many people who have not heard about this history and that they would be shocked by this article just because of the fact that when we think of Civil Rights Movements our mind goes to the South.
2 thoughts on “Week 7: Civil Rights”
I like how you expanded even further than the article to consider other demographics of people who were fighting for rights during the 1960s. On top of not recognizing the full extent of racist tendencies in the North, I feel like a lot of history books have a narrative that excludes other marginalized groups. I think that it is important that the article detailed parts of the Civil Rights Movement in the North like the fight against education and housing discrimination, because those aren’t talked about enough. After reading your post, I want to learn more about the Latin American and Asian American movements at that time, as I’m sure they also have a lot of underrepresented stories to tell of their struggles.
I completely agree with your statement about schools only teaching us about the south and the Civil Rights Movement, but never about the north. Personally, I never remembered being taught anything about the north until reading this article. In the paragraph, you mentioned how neighborhoods were being segregated by a rating that was given by the government. With this program, the government was trying to hide its racial profiling. I also put this in my blog post because I found this to be a very important thing to include because the government was trying its best to segregate the cities without being caught. I do get why these cities would do this to people of color when they promised a safe place where they wouldn’t get discriminated against. I feel like this history should be taught in class more often to expose the north.