Race Segregation

October 8, 1952

Report Outline
Postwar Changes in Segregation Pattern
Retreat of Separateness in Education
Effects of Rise in Negro's Economic Status
Differences on Anti-Segregation Strategy

Postwar Changes in Segregation Pattern

Segregation of the Negro in the United States is falling away today at a faster rate than at any time since the American pattern of race separation came into being. The change to date has been evolutionary, not revolutionary, in character; it stands as the result of a gradual erosion or chipping away of long-standing barriers to contacts between the races. While the attack on “Jim Crow” has been strongly pressed by Negro organizations, the retreat of segregation appears to be due in the main to postwar social and economic changes, and particularly to the rapid rise in the status of the American Negro.

Legal action has been the principal weapon of Negro organizations in their fight on segregation. Walter White, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has noted postwar progress toward racial equality “in at least 15 different areas”. He cites 19 recent decisions of the U. S. Supreme Court, ten of which have cut ground from under segregation or disfranchisement of the colored minority. However, the Court has not yet overthrown its 1896 decision (in Plessy v. Ferguson) sanctioning separate treatment of the two races if the treatment in question is equal.

Postwar Changes in Pattern of Segregation

Breaches in the color line have taken different forms in different parts of the country. Interracial housing, schooling, and transportation now exist in sections where only a few years ago segregation seemed firmly established. However, there are other sections and other areas of community life in which there has been little change.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Segregation and Desegregation
Apr. 23, 2004  School Desegregation
Oct. 18, 1996  Rethinking School Integration
Feb. 24, 1995  Housing Discrimination
Dec. 26, 1975  Busing Reappraisal
May 03, 1974  Desegregation After 20 Years
Aug. 24, 1973  Educational Equality
Sep. 06, 1972  Blacks on Campus
Mar. 01, 1972  School Busing and Politics
Aug. 16, 1967  Open Housing
Apr. 29, 1964  School Desegregation: 1954–1964
Feb. 06, 1963  Interracial Housing
Aug. 27, 1958  School Integration: Fifth Year
Jan. 15, 1958  Residential Desegregation
Oct. 16, 1957  Legal Processes in Race Relations
Oct. 17, 1956  Enforcement of School Integration
Jan. 12, 1955  School Desegregation
Sep. 03, 1954  Segregation in Churches
Oct. 08, 1952  Race Segregation
Nov. 07, 1947  Negro Segregation
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: African Americans
Diversity Issues
Segregation and Desegregation