The word segregation is commonly used to describe the obligatory separation of certain ethnic group based on the racial prejudice. The racial segregation in America was viewed as a discriminatory practice that oppressed the African American. This is because it was associated with the consequences such as perpetual urban poverty, lack of affordable houses, and economic oppression of the minority community. Although this led to the Civil Right Movement in the history of America, the segregation practice prevails in the present lives and is mainly affecting the American minority groups. For instance, from the education perspective, the African-American student experiences prejudice and discrimination in schools resulting to stress that adversely affects their cognitive development. In the school, the causes of racial segregation in United States are associated to the historical trends of unequal race relations and slavery. Additionally, even after the passage of the Fair Housing Act after forty years, the racial segregation is still common in the United States where the discrimination in the housing markets and real estate prevails. However, there is an emerging claim the segregating is not harmful because it can be seen as individuals from different races living in different societies. Therefore, the issue of the social segregation is not connected to the social inequality.
The segregation in the American history benefited the African American in the sense they staying together helped them to share and support their common heritage. Through togetherness enhanced by the racial segregation the African- Americans were able to acquire some strength that helped them to overcome segregation and discrimination. For instance, the common heritage helped the black community to acquire work ethics that helped them to overcome the hostile environment and attain achievements. The African-American used the ethics as their cultural strength to help them improve the quality of their lives (Freeman et al. 118). They needed to improve the lives of their children and make them self-reliant. Ultimately, the racial segregation helped the black communities to stick together, encourage each other and fight for their liberty with the aim of improving their lives and lives of their children. In addition, their goal was enhanced by the rich-functional and structural diversity and variability that existed among the black communities. For years, the racial segregation enabled the black community to form a consistent history of cooperative, egalitarian efforts and arrangements (Freeman et al. 118-119). Through the collaborative efforts, the black Americans improved their lives in terms of employment and education. For instance, according to the 1990 census in United States, the black Americans represented around 12.3 percent of the U.S. workers (Freeman et al. 119).
In addition, the collaborative efforts enhanced by the racial segregation enables the African American to join hands and form movement that helped them to acquire their freedom. Through the uprising rebellions, the African American challenged the colonies to the extent that they were seen as a security threat. As a result, the colonists had to reduce the number of the Black Americans in the northern America. They also retrieved the Blacks who were escaping to Florida (Horne 74).this illustrated that the togetherness of black Americans was benefit to them and challenged to the slaveholders. The rebellion and struggle by the African Americans lead to the civil right legislation in the 1960s that earned their freedom. As a result, the American Africans were able to improve their health, income, education and living conditions. Therefore, from the argument above, the racial segregation benefited the black community in a way that they acquired freedom. Although, the segregation oppressed the blacks, they used the tribulations to reunite and fight for their freedom.
Racial segregation created a political empowerment of the black community. The discrimination of the blacks placed them on segregated cities, and this created cohesion and unity amongst them. They joined hands to fight a common enemy. Community cohesion was imperative as it raised awareness in the society. The leaders in the blacks’ community encouraged their people to understand each other so that they could advocate for equality and fairness in the society. In addition, the blacks had the opportunity to create a business class within their ethnic enclaves. The population of the blacks had the ability to air their grievances, and the government respected their concerns. Their union led to the development of infrastructure as the leaders pushed the authorities to develop their roads, schools, homes and hospitals. A healthy relationship was created, and the infrastructure within the community members improved. The whites felt insecure as political empowerment of the black helped them to fight for their rights. The lifestyle and living standards of the black community improved compared to the past (Laveist 1729). Additionally, the government improved the housing facilities of the blacks to foster political stability in the larger United States. Political empowerment was instrumental in improving the social and economic status of the black community. The empowerment helped the blacks to have a common voice, and when they had the right to vote, more blacks came into power. The election of the blacks was a major step because whites no longer decided on the blacks. The segregation created strong bonds among the African Americans, and other races found it difficult to interrupt with the unity created (Laveist 1725).
Although the New Deal/Roosevelt era failed to bring racism to an end, the blacks benefited a lot from it. During this era, the blacks had the opportunity to present their protests to the government. The New Deal revealed racism as a national disaster, and it could not be ignored. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt contributed to improved civil rights to the blacks. The population hope came back to life, and their future continued to brighten. The struggle was real, but blacks shared their opinions and views to instill a sense of belonging in the community. The increased number of the African Americans benefited from employment since their grievances increased the job opportunities. The Work Progress Administration employed more blacks, and they occupied more than 15% of the total workforce.
As expounded above, racial segregation may have seemed to jeopardize the lives of the black community, but at some point, the blacks greatly benefited. Unity and cohesion were created and the opportunity to raise grievances presented itself. The blacks were united because of political empowerment. Election of black candidates into elective posts marked a positive transformation that improved the living standards of the community. The development of better infrastructure enhanced better livelihoods. Better housing and construction of hospitals led to a decreased morbidity and mortality rates. Though segregation was associated with numerous negative consequences, the black community benefited from the segregation.
Horne, G. The counter-revolution of 1776: Slave resistance and the origins of the United States of America. N.p., 2014. Print
Freeman, Edith M, and Sadye L. Logan. Reconceptualizing the Strengths and Common Heritage of Black Families: Practice, Research, and Policy Issues. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas, 2004. Print.
Laveist, Thomas A. "Racial Segregation and Longevity among African Americans: An Individual-Level Analysis: Racial Segregation and Longevity among African Americans." Health Services Research 38.6 (2003): 1719–1734. Print.
Rothstein, Richard. "For Public Schools, Segregation Then, Segregation Since: Education and the Unfinished March." Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 27 Aug. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.