Black Lives at Arlington National Cemetery: From Slavery to Segregation

Insights into the lives of African Americans at Arlington and other plantations in the Upper South before and after the Civil War. In the following excerpt from Civil War Places, William A. Blair reads the inscriptions on the headstones in Section 27 of Arlington National Cemetery for insights into the lives of African Americans at[…]

Jim Crow Laws and the American Experience

It would take several decades of legal action and years of nonviolent direct action to spark real change. Introduction The segregation and disenfranchisement laws known as “Jim Crow” represented a formal, codified system of racial apartheid that dominated the American South for three quarters of a century beginning in the 1890s. The laws affected almost[…]

Jim Crow and Racial Segregation after 1876

It was not until 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education and later 1964 with the Civil Rights Act that these laws were finally abolished. Introduction Jim Crow laws were state and local laws enacted in the Southern and border states of the United States after 1876 requiring the separation of African-Americans from white Americans[…]

‘With All Deliberate Speed’: Brown v. Board and the End of Racial School Segregation

White citizens in the South organized a “Massive Resistance” campaign against integration. A Segregated Society An 1896 Supreme Court decision, Plessy v. Ferguson, had declared “separate but equal” Jim Crow segregation legal. The Plessy ruling asserted that so long as purportedly “equal” accommodations were supplied for African Americans, the races could, legally, be separated. In[…]

A History of Racial Segregation in the United States

De facto segregation continues today because of both contemporary behavior and the historical legacy of de jure segregation. Introduction Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, refers to the segregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation in the United States along racial lines. The[…]

The Civilian Conservation Corps, Racial Segregation, and the Building of the Angeles National Forest

Obscured in the Angeles’ history is the role that all-African-American CCC camps played in the development of forest infrastructure. By Daniel Medina The Angeles National Forest, granting Los Angeles County 70% of its open space, is today considered the most accessible and popular “playground” in Southern California. Its prominent recreational legacy is rooted in the[…]

A Brief Overview of Post-Civil War Segregation

In the South, segregation reproduced the racial inequality found under slavery. By Angelina Grigoryeva and Martin Ruef Segregation took various forms across the postbellum United States, with important regional differences between the Northeast and South.  In the American Northeast, segregation largely assumed the form of racialized African-American districts, similar to those today.  By contrast, the[…]

Elegy and Effigy: The Struggle for Integration

The similarities between the effigies of James Meredith and the thousands of black bodies hanged and burned by southern lynch mobs over the years were intentional. An effigy dangled outside the second-story window of Vardaman Hall, a men’s dormitory on the University of Mississippi campus. Its head crooked from the rope tied around its neck,[…]

The Voices of Civil Rights

Photographs documenting pivotal events in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. Overview This exhibition draws from the individual accounts and oral histories collected by the Voices of Civil Rights project, a collaborative effort of AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and the Library of Congress. The exhibition celebrates the donation[…]