The effects of racial prejudice and segregation aimed at African Americans in the south on their lives and opportunities were deep-seeded and long lasting. The effects of segregation were perhaps the most destructive because they were legal and above-board. These laws illustrated to the African American population that their struggle was not limited to battling the backward notions and violent actions of cowardly southern rednecks, but that they had to overcome the mentality and ideology of a national government and, in fact, an entire society, that was failing to recognize them as citizens worthy of the basic rights and freedoms to which they were entitled as Americans.
Proper and equal education was probably the opportunity that was most blatantly infringed upon by segregation. This probably also dealt one of the most devastating blows to the Movement, simply because it occurred on such a fundamental level in such a critical stage. Young minds were taught at an early and impressionable age to accept unquestioningly separation and inequality between themselves and their white counterparts. The employment of primarily Uncle Tom principles and teachers was intended to insure that ideas of freedom and equality did not make their way into the classroom.
Education was only one of the many opportunities that blacks were not afforded because of white prejudice. Even after African Americans gained the right to vote, most were still kept from the polls through the use of threats, violence, and unfair polling and testing procedures and policies. This had the crippling effect of denying African Americans a voice in their future and that of their country. It further alienated them from society an...
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... the well being of her family. Perhaps most of all, she knew rage. She had felt the choking anger brought by watching young blacks beaten to near death in the streets. She knew the frustration of working within a system that Scontinued to oppress her people. She experience the despair of losing leaders like Medgar Evers and J.F.K., whose presence alone had held the promise of change. She felt the guilt and heartache of losing loved ones who had done no wrong and the anger of seeing justice unserved time and time again.
Coming of Age in Mississippi defines an era and a people through the eyes of a girl who lived through it and overcame it. It tells of her struggles, her triumphs, and her failures. Through her experiences and the experiences of those around her, it illustrates the impact of prejudice and discrimination on the African Americans of that period.
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