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VARIOUS TEXTS: THINGS YOU DID NOT DO, BOY

One by one - beginning with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision in 1954, which outlawed school segregation, reaching on through the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1964, 1965 and 1968 - the barriers against blacks in the South have come tumbling down. But it is shocking to recall how high they were in 1954, and in many cases much later than that. By statute, ordinance or custom that had the force of law, blacks in most parts of the eleven states of the Confederacy, plus some border states and Washington, D.C., did not:
Serve on juries.
Send children to white public schools.
Drink from 'whites only' water fountains.
Use a 'whites only' restroom.
Rent a room in a white hotel, motel or apartment building.
Try on clothing in a store.
Sit down in a white restaurant.
Sit on the main floor of a movie theater, concert hall or other public arena.
Sit in the front of the bus.
Visit a white public park, beach or swimming pool.
Marry a white or even whistle at one.

Emmett Till, 14, from Chicago, was beaten and shot to death in Mississippi in 1955 for such a 'crime', and other blacks were routinely beaten for 'reckless eyeballing', i.e. looking at a white female.
To most Southern whites, blacks were not entitled to normal courtesies in courtrooms, black witnesses were usually called by their first names or 'uncle' or 'gal'. In some Southern towns, blacks were obliged to step off the sidewalk into the street to make room for passing whites. In some areas they were warned to be out of town by sunset. The few black policemen could not arrest whites.
....
Southern newspapers routinely relegated announcements of black births, deaths and marriages to special Jim Crow pages. In 1956, the Wilmington, N.C., Star went to press with a frontage photo of four Marines who were to testify in the court-martial of a drill instructor charged with brutality. When an editor noticed that one of the witnesses was black, he ordered an employee to chisel the Negro's image out of the press plate. The paper appeared with a ragged white space where the black face had been.
In some rural areas, remnants of the barricades remain. Voter registration is occasionally made difficult for blacks, and without it, they cannot serve as jurors. There are neighborhoods and apartment buildings that still exclude blacks. Courtrooms where blacks are not accorded the courtesy of Mr or Mrs still exist. Interracial couples face severe - often unbearable - harassment in small Southern towns. But because the other vestiges of a segregated society have largely disappeared, there is reason to hope that those remaining will disappear as well.

Assignments:
1. What were the things blacks most suffered from by 1954?
2. How did the newspaper 'Star' handle the black problem in 1956? Describe the incident and comment on it.
3. What were the landmarks in the Civil Rights movement and have the hopes of the blacks been realized?


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