Explain How African Americans Were Denied Equality in 1950

604 Words3 Pages
Although the end of the American civil war marked the end of slavery for African Americans, it did not mark their acceptance and equality with white people. Many southern states resented losing their slaves and were determined to keep African Americans as second class citizens. In 1950 segregation was in full force, meaning African Americans had separate churches, public transport, theatres, schools, hotels, swimming pools and many other facilities to white people. Segregation also applied to where people lived, so African Americans could only live in certain areas separate from white people, with these areas being much worse than the white suburbs, despite the separate but equal principle. Even when this was challenged in the Plessy vs Ferguson Supreme Court case the separate but equal principle was found to be constitutional. Similarly the principle of separate but equal in education was also found to be constitutional in the Cummings vs Board of education Supreme Court case. According to the 15th amendment, all African Americans should have been able to vote. However due to high levels of illiteracy and poverty among African Americans this was not possible because of literacy tests and poll taxes, which excluded both African Americans and white people who were poor and illiterate. These voting restrictions were challenged in the Mississippi vs Williams Supreme Court case but it was maintained that the restrictions did not go against the 15th amendment and so they continued. These high levels of illiteracy and poverty among African Americans would have been caused, or at least not helped, by the smaller amount of funding provided for African American institutions. This went against the separate but equal principle and may have contributed to high illiteracy levels which prevented voting. Also, the family income of an African American family was four times less
Open Document