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Essay on Sociological Perspective: Separate but Equal

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Sociological Perspective: Separate but Equal
African Americans (blacks) give different meaning to the word equal than others. The social product that blacks assigned to the meaning of equal suggest that is has the same value. Plessy v. Ferguson was instrumental in dealing with separate but equal. Plessy believed that separate was not equal. Plessy was a man who was born free and was one-eighth black and seven-eighths white. Just because he was he had a small percentage of black in his blood, he was forced to move from a white only car on the train to the colored car on the East Louisiana Railroad. He was arrested then jailed for civil disobedience. Plessy argued that his 13th and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution were violated. The Plessy case suggested that separate was equal.
Others might think of equal as everyone getting the same treatment amongst one another. Blacks always had lesser education, different water fountains and dirtier bathrooms. There was a “colored only” sign posted outside of the black’s bathroom facilities. Even though they were both public facilities and one had “colored only” on the outside, the assumption was that both facilities would be of equal quality. Blacks saw it as they weren’t getting fair treatment but others saw it as equal just because they had a bathroom period. Just because the blacks had their own bathroom didn’t make the situation equal. Say that the “colored only” bathroom was out of order, there would be no place for them to use the bathroom unless they used the other bathroom. This is significant because the black people had a different meaning of the word equal. People who were not black thought that just because there was a bathroom to be used by bl...


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...ater. As they were approaching the water fountain in front of the diner, they were told that they had to go around back and drink water from a hose. They thought it was equal just because the blacks drank water. It did not matter that the water traveled through a hose rather than traveling through a purified apparatus
This writing should illustrate and demonstrate the meaning that blacks assigned to separate but equal. It is significant to understand that blacks defined equal as being the same, as opposed to others defining equal as the same but separate. The social construction and consequences due to the aforementioned is a reality to blacks. The life experiences of a people are their reality. The consequences of the realities mentioned in this writing assisted in sustaining the black thought of being treated different rather than being treated the same.



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