Racial Segregation In American Education

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Racial segregation amongst African-Americans was a serious controversy raging in the southern region of the United States. They lived in a real-world where their freedom is prohibited. Whether that was going to a restaurant, a park, or colleges, for the most part, they were discriminated in reference to their color and were not able to be like others. In the short story Graduation by Maya Angelou, the setting of the school resembles one racial group. In the essay, Angelou, who portrays herself as an eighth-grade student named Marguerite Johnson, faces a reality about color. The hardships of that consist of not having better education nor having equal opportunities in a career or jobs.

During the ceremony as class of 1940, Johnson expresses the thrill while graduating in 8th grade; let alone, going to accept her diploma. However, it changes suddenly when she began to have strange thoughts about how different white schools could possibly be compared to black ones. At any time, anyone who ponders about the future on how would life be if things never change is evitable and perhaps that may be one of the reasons Johnson’s state of mind changed. The narrative continues with her approach to how she conveys the reality and consequence of going to such a segregated school consisting of African Americans.

During the segregation era, blacks were divided from whites and were forbidden from doing anything considered. Specifically, both parties weren’t allowed to be present in the same atmosphere. Educationally, schools were ought to be taught by teachers of an identical color as their students. There was an excess amount of cases, the people of the United States fought for the rights of racial equality, and otherwise over a long period of time. It happened to be a strong argument when in Graduation, Edward Doneleavy, a white American man, presents a speech based on the wide contrast between the two schools of different colors, setting the students in exposure and a feeling of failure.

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In a blink of an eye, Doneleavy’s declamation profoundly conflicted with Johnson herself, and she “was overcome with a presentiment of worse things to come (Angelou 81).” She knew exactly what she objected from his claim and thought about the absolute abnormalcy of being part of a community where there was no equality just because of a pigmentation shade that doesn’t match others. The white staff made her and the rest of the class feel irrelevant, almost implying that they don’t deserve to have the freedom or privileges white schools did. This kind of negligence that Johnson got while at her eighth-grade graduation had been seen in all schools of color, yet she pushes through that failure and discrimination. Even though she and her peers didn’t get the same kind of attention as white schools, Johnson worked with what she had and succeeded to push through it.

Angelou’s approach in this passage was to display the hardships of being a different colored student during the racial segregation period, and that was what she or Marguerite Johnson faced along with other students just like her. It was impossible for African American students to walk anywhere in the streets of the southern states without getting attacked verbally or brutally. For example, some couldn’t get jobs or simply go to a public library. These students were treated like domestic pets. They were to stay in their own lane and anyone who would fight back resulted in either an injury or death. Undoubtedly, countless amount of them gone on strikes to battle for their rights of racial equality and a better life in the future.

Overall, black and white schools in the Segregation Era were considered to be divided from each other. Racial isolation schools of these two were taught differently. Their education contrasted with percentages of college degrees and high school graduation rates, and they both have cultural differences.

Generally, African Americans and Americans were prohibited from engaging with each other. Marguerite Johnson’s approach to this kind of hardship didn’t make her speechless. Instead, it made her speak up and share her voice in terms of changing for the better in her community. Angelou has inspired many readers to fight for what is right in racial equality as of education and outside of that.

Each person has their own color of background and culture and should embrace that with nothing stopping them from being who they are. As a suggestion, schools and colleges in the present should consider sticking with accepting all races so everyone can learn as equally and happily as one. That even goes for every place in the nation, visualizing the country would be in a much happier condition with respect and love for one another.

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