Did Desegregation Really Help The Black Community

If desegregation was such a good thing, why is the Black community worse today than it was during segregation? There has been a great deal of disconnect from how the Black community should be from the vision of our past generation to what has become of the Black community of today. The Black family was a lot more stable fourthy or fifty years ago and this was during a time when the conditions were much worse than today.

One of the byproducts of desegregation is more poor communities with a high crime rates because of abandoned commercial structure. However, this could be attributed to the fact that Blacks want to be accepted by the white community, so they leave their neighborhoods for the nicer homes and nicer schools. This could also just as easily be ruled out as socio-economics, when you make more money you want nicer things and aspire for your family to have and enjoy nicer things and a better environment.

In the past, the neighborhood would consist of black doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners and preachers. There would also be the blue-collar type worker such as plumbers, electricians, contractors and carpenters who also lived in the neighborhood. These were the workers and families that helped stabilize the neighborhood. They were the role models to the youth of the neighborhood who showed a positive presence of a working class and thriving neighborhood.

On the economic side of desegregation, our money does not circulate as it used to in the community. For instance money circulates zero to one time in the Black community. Compare that to the more than six times it circulates in the Latino community, nine times in the Asian community, and unlimited times in the white community according to the University of Georgia’s Selig center for economic growth. When the Black community was still segregated the money would not leave the community and the neighborhoods were successful the business thrived. With a buying power of nearly a trillion dollars the Black community should not be as desolate as it is today. Black business should not be struggling to stay afloat. The mindset of the grass is greener has indeed hurt our very own community and is taking a drastic toll on our neighborhoods.

This has also carried over to our schools, the civil rights movement never intended for desegregation and equality to resemble what we have today. When the civil rights movement took place it was with the understanding that the Black community would grow together and prosper just as other communities. This was to start with education by allowing Black children to get educated in the better schools, which were assumed the white schools. In addition, with the better education that would help strengthen the community and help better the Black economy. With affirmative action more Blacks would be afforded the opportunity to become more than the laborers or tradespeople. They could now go to college, go for challenging jobs, and enter a level of society that was mostly shut to them. Nevertheless, this still had an adverse effect on the Black community because with the talented Blacks being sifted out through the social program of affirmative action and forced housing desegregation. These now educated Blacks did not want to return to the neighborhoods they had escaped.   These were the salad days of desegregation but it was a blessing in disguise because the migration of Blacks from the neighborhood left a huge void.

No longer were there the doctors, lawyers, teachers and the carpenters and plumbers electricians in the neighborhood. The role models that kept the neighborhood together and for the youth to look up to. They had all but left the neighborhood behind for the greener pastures and took the money that had moved throughout the community before. The Black owned banks that used to be there for the families of those neighborhoods were gone also and business that thrived before desegregation were now dying. The schools turned into less than desirable because only certain kids were being given the chance at the white schools and the teachers were not as good and did not have the technology they needed to bring these kids up to date.

Desegregation was a great idea. However, I do not think those that were on the front lines fighting for equality wanted to gain the equality at the risk of losing the neighborhoods and communities they had already built. I think what they wanted was more of a balance, one in which our neighborhoods would not suffer, but would grow and our schools would not become inadequate.


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Nekia McDonald Sr.

Nekia McDonald Sr. has been writing for over 20 years, primarily writing poetry, but also developing a talent for editorial writing. His poetry has been published on www.helium.com. Nekia is also in the process of having a poetry book published. In addition to poetry, he also has published political articles on Helium.com as well. Nekia enjoys writing about important issues that deal with the Black community and uplifting the Black community as a whole. It is his personal goal to make a difference within his community. Read more articles by Nekia.

Nekia McDonald Sr. has 19 posts and counting. See all posts by Nekia McDonald Sr.


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