RACE RELATIONS. The interactions among different racial groups, which may be described as conflictual or harmonious, competitive or cooperative, or dominant or subordinate, or may involve integration* or separation. Race relations are affected by discrimination,* prejudice,* and racism.*
According to Marger ( 1991), three periods of black-white relations have existed in the United States: slavery, the Jim Crow* era of segregation,* and the contemporary era. To rebut the attacks of abolitionists on slavery from 1830 to 1860, southern slaveholders developed the ideology of racism, that blacks were innately and permanently inferior to whites. While many whites may have previously held a negative view of blacks, such attitudes were generally based on a view that negative characteristics were not innate but rather the result of cultural factors. Segregation during the Jim Crow era reflected the racist ideology of white superiority and black inferiority and was a reaction to the abolishment of slavery, a shift in power and resources to blacks, and the end of paternalism and the beginning of competition between blacks and whites. The Compromise of 1877,* which led to the withdrawal of federal troops from the South,* marked another turning point in race relations. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's* conclusion in Plessy v. Ferguson* in 1896 that segregation should not necessarily be viewed as an indictment of either race, white efforts to segregate blacks clearly grew out of a racist ideology of superiority. While many blacks moved north to compete with whites for jobs in the increasingly industrialized cities of the North, segregation of schools, housing, transportation, and a vast array of public and private facilities increased throughout the South. World War II, with the nation's fight against a racist Germany and the return of black as well as
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Publication information: Book title: Historical Dictionary of School Segregation and Desegregation:The American Experience. Contributors: Jeffrey A. Raffel - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 205.
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