Segregation - Definition, Examples, Cases, Processes (2022)

Segregation is the act of separating certain people or things from their main group, and keeping them isolated due to the characteristics of that group. In a legal sense, this includes separation due to such traits as race or religion. Insofar as American history is concerned, an example of segregation can be seen in the practice of separating black and white Americans, and treating each group differently due to their skin color. For instance, water fountains and bathrooms were specifically defined as “black” and “white” as recently as the 1960s. To explore this concept, consider the following segregation definition.

Definition of Segregation

Noun

  1. The act of separating people or things from the main group.
  2. The institutional separation of an ethnic, racial, or religious group from the majority.
  3. The state of being segregated, or separated from the main group.
  4. The practice or policy of keeping people with certain traits (race, ethnicity, religion, etc.) separate from one another.

Origin

1545-1555 Late Latin sēgregātiōn

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What is Segregation

Segregation is the practice of keeping one or several individuals or things separate from one another, or from a larger group. This is usually done so that each group can be tracked or studied, or be given special treatment of some kind. However, just because the treatment is labeled “special,” does not mean that it is positive. In the U.S., segregation is most commonly used to refer to the act of separating groups of people based on their race. Thankfully, while segregation was legalized in 1896, it was not long (1954) until it was officially outlawed once again.

Racial Segregation

Racial segregation is the practice of restricting people’s rights based on their race. People can be racially segregated in the schools and churches they attend, and in the facilities they visit, such as parks, restaurants, and restrooms. Racial segregation has been used by the political majority in many areas of the world, to maintain the economic advantages and higher standards of living that they enjoy as members of the “superior” race.

Historically, while white populations have often been guilty of engaging in racial segregation, conquerors like the Asian Mongols and the American Aztecs have also participated in such practices. Racial segregation can be found in any part of the world where multiple races coexist, save for places like Hawaii and Brazil, where multi-racial people are the norm. Places like these have been found to engage in social discrimination, rather than flat-out legalizing the practice of segregation.

De Jure Segregation

De jure segregation refers to segregation that is enforced by law. An example of segregation that could be considered de jure segregation was the U.S. concept of “separate but equal.” Under this practice, blacks and whites were permitted to be separated by law, so long as they were both provided with equal accommodations. This is where black and white water fountains, bathrooms, waiting rooms, schools, and even hospital facilities came into play. Under de jure segregation, the law dictated that blacks could not use the facilities that were designated to for use by “whites.”

De Facto Segregation

De facto segregation refers to segregation that happens for some reason other than the law. This may be a voluntary practice, such as people of a certain race opting to attend church with others of their race, rather than in an integrated venue. De facto segregation also refers to involuntary segregation that simply occurs, called “segregation in fact,” because of factors beyond the segregated group’s control.

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Although the state of Massachusetts’ Racial Imbalance Act of 1965 made segregation of schools illegal, the schools remained in a state of de facto segregation. This is because people of various races tended to live in their own neighborhoods; their children attending the neighborhood schools. In this example of segregation in fact, primarily black neighborhoods resulted in primarily black schools.

The federal government demanded the actual desegregation of public schools in Boston, Massachusetts, which took place from 1974-1988. During this period, schools were ordered to bus black students to “white” schools, and vice versa. The goal of this was to force desegregation, as black and white students finally attended the same schools together. White parents who were outraged that their children were being bused longer distances opted to enroll their children in private schools, or to uproot their families and move out of the city entirely.

School Segregation Examples

In the 1890s, the landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to maintain segregated schools, as long as the accommodations in “white” and “black” schools were “equal.” This is the doctrine of separate but equal.

The ruling in Plessy was abolished nearly 60 years later, as the Supreme Court heard the case of Brown v. Board of Education. To understand how segregation evolved and eventually met its demise, it is important to study the details of both of these landmark cases.

Plessy v. Ferguson

The details of the case of Plessy v. Ferguson concerned Homer Plessy, a man of mixed race who, on June 7, 1892, took a seat in what was classified to be the whites-only railway car of the East Louisiana Railroad of New Orleans. Plessy specifically did this to challenge the state’s law on separate train cars for blacks and whites, and the railroad had been given a heads-up in advance that he fully intended on doing just that.

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Plessy was asked to leave the car and sit in the blacks-only car. When he refused, he was arrested. At trial, which was necessary to legally challenge the law, Plessy’s attorneys advanced the argument that segregated train accommodations violated Plessy’s constitutional rights under the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The trial judge did not agree. He ruled that the state of Louisiana had the right to regulate the railroad, as it ran within the state lines, and sentenced Plessy to pay a fine of $25.

The case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court, as it dealt with the state’s ability to make laws that violated rights granted by the Constitution. The Court ultimately decided that a) Louisiana law did nothing to imply that blacks were inferior in any way; and b) that the law separated blacks from whites as a “matter of public policy,” thereby confirming segregation and the “separate but equal” doctrine under the law.

Brown v. Board of Education

In 1954, history was changed forever when segregation in schools was outlawed, as a result of what was happening at the public school level at that time. The case of Brown v. Board of Education combined four different cases, making it a class action lawsuit. Each of the cases involved was rooted in an act of segregation that had occurred at the public school level, based on the race of the students attending. Specifically, each case concerned a black child who was denied admittance to a white school, according to the separate but equal doctrine.

Oliver L. Brown, one of the parents involved in the suit, was chosen to head up the lawsuit as a legal strategy, so as to put a face to the cause. Brown’s daughter, Linda, was forced to walk six blocks to her bus stop in order to transported to Monroe Elementary, her designated “black” school. Meanwhile, Sumner Elementary, a designated “white” school, was located only seven blocks from the Browns’ home.

The trial court ruled against the plaintiffs, holding that the schools for blacks and whites were equal enough to satisfy the law. When the matter was taken before the U.S. Supreme Court, it effectively abolished segregation, ruling that black students had to be admitted to white public schools. The ruling acknowledged that the segregation of these students was doing them an unnecessary harm. The Court also ruled that segregation in schools did not, in fact, enforce equality, particularly because students were being blatantly discriminated against, and were being provided with lower-quality options due to the color of their skin.

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Segregation in Schools Today

Unfortunately, segregation in schools did not end with the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. In fact, segregation is alive and well in today’s educational system, with black and Hispanic students of impoverished families being crowded together in their neighborhood schools. A report published by the Government Accountability Office in 2016 shows that Hispanic students in particular tend to suffer the consequences of segregation, being deemed “triple segregated” by race, poverty, and language barriers.

The report noted that the number of students deemed eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program has skyrocketed since the 2000-2001 school year. Research has established that students living in poverty tend to do poorly in their studies, compared to those from an economically stable family.

More and more black and Hispanic students are attending high-poverty schools that offer them fewer academic opportunities. The Office of Civil Rights, established under the U.S. Department of Education, handles thousands of cases of alleged discrimination, every year, including complaints of segregation and racial discrimination.

Segregation in America

Segregation in America has largely been based on race. One of the more notable examples of segregation in America is found in the Jim Crow laws, which were in effect from 1876 to 1965. The Jim Crow laws segregated people of color by establishing separate housing, jobs, schools, public transportation, and even prisons for use by “white” or “non-white” individuals.

Disturbingly, despite the fact that blacks had been granted American citizenship and the right to vote as a result of the abolition of slavery, the Jim Crow laws worked as a “one step forward, two steps back” sort of process. They made blacks into second-class citizens, and essentially nullified their right to vote by implementing such exclusionary tactics as literacy tests and poll taxes, to prevent blacks from being able to vote.

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Segregation in America was able to thrive at that point in history because a majority of politicians who were on the side of the black citizens before the Civil War, withdrew their support after the war. They did this in an attempt to mend fences between the Northern and Southern states. Blacks tried to challenge the institutionalized racism that the Jim Crow laws fostered, but that was about the time that the landmark decision in Plessy was handed down, which effectively legalized segregation.

Ultimately, what was left of the Jim Crow Laws after Brown was decided in 1954 were overturned by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The former outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and the latter reinstated black Americans’ right to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment.

Related Legal Terms and Issues

  • Class Action Lawsuit – The combining of racial groups via marriage, cohabitation, or procreation.
  • Separate but Equal – The doctrine that races could be legally segregated, as long as facilities provided to both were roughly equal.

FAQs

What is segregation and examples? ›

Segregation is the act of separating, especially when applied to separating people by race. An example of segregation is when African American and Caucasian children were made to attend different schools. noun.

What is segregation give an example of segregation? ›

racial segregation, the practice of restricting people to certain circumscribed areas of residence or to separate institutions (e.g., schools, churches) and facilities (parks, playgrounds, restaurants, restrooms) on the basis of race or alleged race.

What are the 3 types of segregation? ›

Types
  • Legal segregation.
  • Social segregation.
  • Gated communities.
  • Voluntary segregation.

How do you explain segregation? ›

Segregation is the separation of an individual or group of individuals from a larger group. It sometimes happens to apply special treatment to the separated individual or group. Segregation can also involve the separation of items from a larger group.

What are the 2 kinds of segregation? ›

Segregation is made up of two dimensions: vertical segregation and horizontal segregation.

What is a sentence for segregation? ›

There continues to be de facto racial segregation in schools. Other research confirms that school segregation is higher than it has been in decades.

What is food segregation explain your answer? ›

Segregation rules are designed to minimise the risk of incompatible substances coming into contact with each other due to a leak, spill or vehicle accident and reacting dangerously. Segregation is also important to prevent food from becoming contaminated.

What does segregation mean in education? ›

(c) The term “segregation” means the operation of a school system in which students are wholly or substantially separated among the schools of an educational agency on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin or within a school on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

What do you mean by segregation Class 9? ›

Answer: Segregation means a practice when trains, buses, taxis, hotels, hospitals, schools and colleges, libraries, cinema halls, theatres, beaches, swimming pools were all separate for the whites and the blacks in South Africa. Question 11. What treatment was given to the blacks?

What is the cause of segregation? ›

America's separate and unequal neighborhoods did not evolve naturally or result from unfettered market forces. Rather, they resulted from plans, policies, and practices of racial exclusion and disinvestment that primarily targeted Black people and laid the foundation for the segregation of other people of color.

What causes social segregation? ›

Social and cultural segregation are related to economic causes like globalisation and deindustrialisation, and also to social causes like the caste system in India. Religion has a part to play, as have people's attitudes and values.

What is waste segregation? ›

Waste segregation is the sorting and separation of waste types to facilitate recycling and correct onward disposal.

What is segregation kid definition? ›

Segregation means keeping people apart. In many cases it is a form of discrimination because one group of people is treated unfairly.

What was the purpose of segregation quizlet? ›

Integration is an act to bring together blacks and whites, segregation is an act to separate blacks and whites.

When did segregation in schools start? ›

1849 The Massachusetts Supreme Court rules that segregated schools are permissible under the state's constitution. (Roberts v. City of Boston) The U.S. Supreme Court will later use this case to support the "separate but equal" doctrine.

What are the consequences of segregation? ›

Violence often resulted from efforts to breach the wall of segregation. The areas relegated for people of color were typically lower quality, with unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions, high density, inadequate public infrastructure, poor schools, and little, if any, public transportation.

What does legal segregation mean? ›

Legal Definition of segregation

1 : separation of individuals or groups and especially racial groups — compare desegregation. — de facto segregation. : segregation of racial groups that arises as a result of economic, social, or other factors rather than by operation or enforcement of laws or other official state ...

How does segregation affect health? ›

Researchers have found racial isolation to be associated with host of health risks for Black residents, including higher levels of overall mortality, premature mortality, infant mortality, along with a range of other poor health outcomes such as preterm birth, and low birth weight (3).

Is segregation a negative word? ›

The word Segregation has a bad connotation – and rightfully so. The practice of restricting a person's rights and privileges in society, based on skin colour, faith or ethnicity, has become unacceptable in our Western culture, even though it's still practiced in some isolated areas.

What is an example of racism in a sentence? ›

Examples of racism in a Sentence

due partly to the racism of booking agencies that didn't take on black acts until the mid-'30s, when Henderson's career was on the downswing.

Is Segregational a word? ›

Segregational definition

Of or pertaining to segregation.

How does segregation make us fat? ›

Racial segregation has been shown to influence obesity-related health behaviors of Black Americans. These studies indicate that Black neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets and a poorer selection of healthful dietary choices, such as fruits and vegetables, as compared to predominantly White neighborhoods (21, 27, 28).

What is the example of food and kitchen waste? ›

Kitchen Waste means, but not be limited to vegetable and fruit waste; dairy, meat and fish products, non recyclable paper. Kitchen Waste means Organic Waste arising from private residential kitchens to include fruit and vegetable peelings, meat and fish scraps and any other food Waste.

Why is it important to separate food? ›

Keeping raw and cooked food separate stops the bacteria from raw food re-contaminating cooked food. Cross-contamination is what happens when bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one object to another.

Is there segregation in schools today? ›

U.S. schools remain highly segregated, government report finds A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that public schools remain highly segregated along racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.

Why are schools segregated today? ›

School segregation is intrinsically tied to the racial gaps in housing and income. The end of court-ordered integration in 1991 led to the reemergence of color lines in school districts.

What is the opposite of the word segregate? ›

The verb desegregate is the opposite of segregate, or "separate by race or religion." Both words are often used in connection with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

What is constitution Class 9 short answer? ›

A constitution is defined as the set of written rules, that are accepted by all the people living together in a country. It determines the relationship between the people and the government.

What is constitution Short answer? ›

A constitution is the rule book for a state. It sets out the fundamental principles by which the state is governed. It describes the main institutions of the state, and defines the relationship between these institutions (for example, between the executive, legislature and judiciary).

What does segregation Class 10 mean in geography? ›

Segregation is the initial stage of waste disposal. The waste can segregated according to their features like sharp edged waste like blades, knives, plastic glass, bottles, etc. Concept: Methods of Safe Disposal - Segregation, Dumping and Composting.

When was segregation abolished? ›

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which legally ended the segregation that had been institutionalized by Jim Crow laws. And in 1965, the Voting Rights Act halted efforts to keep minorities from voting.

What are the effects of segregation quizlet? ›

What are the consequences of segregation? food, and other health resources. higher levels of poverty than Whites, even when they are not poor themselves. These inequalities persist across generations.

What is this discrimination? ›

Discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of people and groups based on characteristics such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation.

What is population segregation? ›

Segregation in a population is indicated by the unevenness of. the distribution of its members across places or categories, such as the. segregation of smokers from nonsmokers in the workplace. Arguably, the most. common analysis of segregation is that which measures the racial unevenness.

What causes segregation in cities? ›

Trends in residential segregation are attributed to discriminatory policies and practices, such as exclusionary zoning, location of public housing, redlining, disinvestment, and gentrification, as well as personal attitudes and preferences.

What is another word for racial segregation? ›

Hyponym for Racial segregation:

Separatism, segregation.

Why we should segregate waste? ›

When we segregate waste, it reduces the amount of waste that reaches landfills, thereby taking up less space. Pollution of air and water can be considerably reduced when hazardous waste is separated and treated separately. It is essential that waste is put in separate bins so that it can be appropriately dealt with.

What are the benefits of segregation? ›

Waste segregation is included in law because it is much easier to recycle. Effective segregation of wastes means that less waste goes to landfill which makes it cheaper and better for people and the environment. It is also important to segregate for public health.

What is special needs education segregation? ›

Definition. 'Segregation occurs when students with disabilities are educated in separate environments (classes or schools) designed for students with impairments or with a particular impairment.

What is the definition of segregation quizlet? ›

Segregation. a practice of restricting people to certain areas of residence or to separate institutions (e.g. schools churches) and facilities (parks playgrounds restaurants restrooms) on the basis of race. integration.

What is segregation quizlet genetics? ›

The Law of Segregation states that the two alleles of a given gene will be separate from one another during gamete formation (meiosis).

How does segregation affect education? ›

From their inception, schools serving students of color received significantly less funding than schools serving white students and faced overcrowding, inadequate supplies, and insufficiently paid teachers. Such disparities resulted in gaps in the educational opportunities available to Black and white communities.

How does race impact education? ›

Black students are two times more likely to be suspended without education services compared to their white peers. Schools with 90% or more of students of color spend $733 less per student. Black students may experience microaggressions and censoring from peers.

What ended segregation in public places? ›

Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 marked a milestone in the long struggle to extend civil, political, and legal rights and protections to African Americans, including former slaves and their descendants, and to end segregation in public and private facilities.

What does segregation mean in education? ›

(c) The term “segregation” means the operation of a school system in which students are wholly or substantially separated among the schools of an educational agency on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin or within a school on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

What is segregation of garbage? ›

"Waste segregation" means dividing waste into dry and wet. Dry waste includes wood and related products, metals and glass. Wet waste typically refers to organic waste usually generated by eating establishments and are heavy in weight due to dampness.

What is food segregation explain your answer? ›

Segregation rules are designed to minimise the risk of incompatible substances coming into contact with each other due to a leak, spill or vehicle accident and reacting dangerously. Segregation is also important to prevent food from becoming contaminated.

What is the principle of segregation Why is it important? ›

Principle of Segregation and its Importance

The principle of segregation defined that the individual has two alleles for each particular characteristic, and during the development of gametes, these alleles become segregated. In other words, there is one allele in each gamete.

What is social segregation? ›

Social segregation has been defined. as 'the separation or isolation of. a race, class, or ethnic group by. enforced or voluntary residence in a. restricted area, by barriers to social.

What do you mean by segregation Class 9? ›

Answer: Segregation means a practice when trains, buses, taxis, hotels, hospitals, schools and colleges, libraries, cinema halls, theatres, beaches, swimming pools were all separate for the whites and the blacks in South Africa. Question 11. What treatment was given to the blacks?

Is there segregation in schools today? ›

U.S. schools remain highly segregated, government report finds A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that public schools remain highly segregated along racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines.

What are the 4 types of waste? ›

For the purposes of this review these sources are defined as giving rise to four major categories of waste: municipal solid waste, industrial waste, agricultural waste and hazardous waste.

Why do we segregate waste? ›

When we segregate waste, it reduces the amount of waste that reaches landfills, thereby taking up less space. Pollution of air and water can be considerably reduced when hazardous waste is separated and treated separately. It is essential that waste is put in separate bins so that it can be appropriately dealt with.

How does segregation make us fat? ›

Racial segregation has been shown to influence obesity-related health behaviors of Black Americans. These studies indicate that Black neighborhoods have fewer supermarkets and a poorer selection of healthful dietary choices, such as fruits and vegetables, as compared to predominantly White neighborhoods (21, 27, 28).

What is the example of food and kitchen waste? ›

Kitchen Waste means, but not be limited to vegetable and fruit waste; dairy, meat and fish products, non recyclable paper. Kitchen Waste means Organic Waste arising from private residential kitchens to include fruit and vegetable peelings, meat and fish scraps and any other food Waste.

Why is it important to separate food? ›

Keeping raw and cooked food separate stops the bacteria from raw food re-contaminating cooked food. Cross-contamination is what happens when bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one object to another.

What is stated in the law of segregation? ›

Gregor Mendel's law of segregation has four parts. First, it defines an allele. Second, it states that organisms inherit one allele from each parent. Third, it states that gametes only carry one allele for each trait. Fourth, it defines the difference between dominant and recessive genes.

What does the law of segregation ensure? ›

The law of segregation ensures that a parent, with two copies of each gene, can pass on either allele. Both alleles will have the same chance of ending up in a zygote. In sexually reproducing organsisms, the genome is carried in two identical copies. A copy was inherited from each parent, in the form of a gamete.

What is segregation and what is the result of segregation? ›

What is segregation? Segregation is the separation of alleles during the formation of gametes. What is the result of segregation? The result is that each gamete carriers only one allele for each gene.

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