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Readings on Slavery and Racial Segregation in the US

There are certain themes expressed in the readings that are too surprising to be true. Many years after slavery was abandoned, the black generation is still suffering its consequences. Despite the fact that some of the black parents have succeeded and are involved in high-profile jobs in the United States, an attitude of slavery is still being held against them by the whites. The blacks have literally decided to work against odds to prove to their counterparts that they have similar capabilities. This is however not be taken positively by the whites who seem to be determined to put the black man where they belong, and that is their slaves (Ogbu, 1992). To the white, they feel that because the blacks came to their country to serve them, they should continue being in their position even after they were liberated from the same. Racial segregation in the United States seems to be a war that is far from being won. This is not only because the whites don’t want the blacks to succeed but also because the blacks have accepted their position.

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It is so surprising that even the parents warn their kids as they grow up. They let them know that they can not outsmart the whites even if they prove to be brighter than them. Their smartness has to be double the smartness of the whites for them to experience half of their success. This is a statement that is basically to tell them to work hard in school but not to accept being more prosperous than the whites. This is the kind of attitude that the children grow up with and also pass it to their generation. Even after their liberation from slavery, the blacks seem to be intimidated by the success of the whites. They have not really accepted the fact that they are the citizens of America and hence having similar rights as their white counterparts (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986). They still look at themselves as foreigners who have to live under the mercies of the whites. This basically means that whatever they do, they should ensure that they are not outsmarting the whites. This is a wrong attitude that undermines the efforts that were put across by their freedom fighters to see them free. Martin Luther King played a great role in liberating the blacks from slavery and racial segregation; it was his hope that after the freedom has been achieved they will live in it. An analysis however shows that there is much that needs to be done to the blacks in terms of awareness so that they make their children know that they are no longer under bondage (Kohl, 2007). This will make them grow with the right attitude in their minds and hence not accepting any kind of intimidation from the whites no matter how real it may be.

Racial segregation may be prominent in some situations and not be experienced in others. There are some places where racial diversity has been accepted and appreciated. These are the places where the concerned authority works to ensure that students have access to equal opportunities. Those that have different disabilities are also accommodated and helped to perform better. For instance, from the previous writings, we find a school that is composed of all categories of people yet the administration is willing to make adjustments to accommodate them. They realize the need for them to access the necessary facilities for them to be equally competitive in the future. From this, we realize that it was what is planted in the minds of the children that will determine how they will treat each other. If they are trained to equally esteem each other despite their differences, this will be the attitude that they will display as they grow up.


Fordham, S. & Ogbu, J., 1986, Black students’ school success: Coping with the “burden of acting white”.

Kohl, H., 2007, I won’t learn from you!: Confronting student resistance, in Rethinking our classrooms: Teachingfor equality and justice, ed.W. Au, B. Bigelow & S. Karp, Milwaukee.

Ogbu, J., 1992. Understanding cultural diversity and learning, Educational Researcher.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Readings on Slavery and Racial Segregation in the US'. 15 December.

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