What We Cannot Speak About We Must Pass Over in Silence Historical Context

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Race, Imprisonment, and the Socioeconomic Divide

In the later half of the nineteenth century, some American states passed laws restricting privileges given to emancipated African Americans after the Civil War. These so-called Jim Crow laws segregated African Americans from the white population and denied them equal status with whites in all aspects of their lives, including the use of public services, public places, schools, poling regulations, and so forth. These local laws remained in place until the civil rights movement, which gained momentum in the 1940s, pushed the Supreme Court to declare segregation laws illegal in a series of decisions beginning in 1954. In 1964, the U.S. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act which outlawed state laws requiring segregation. However, this law did not end the practice of segregation, which continues unofficially, mostly due to the economic factor of poverty. Thus, in many parts of the United States, African...

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This section contains 571 words
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