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Segregation in America, Does It Still Exist?

Updated on June 7, 2014

Segregation In America Today

Segregation in America, Does It Still Exist?

There are many who claim that segregation was put to rest with the enactment of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964.

Really though, does segregation still exist?

I believe it still exists, however it instills itself so subtly into our culture it doesn't occur to us to identify it as such. Other times it rears it's ugly head revealing how little progress has been made. While the days of segregation as seen in the photos on this page are thankfully long gone, it doesn't mean segregation has vanished from society completely.

I want to know what you think about segregation and whether or not it still exists.

photo credit: public domain - wikimedia

Segregation Defined

To determine if segregation still exists, let's define it:


1. to set or be set apart from others or from the main group

2. ( tr ) to impose segregation on (a racial or minority group)

source: - The World English Dictionary

Cruel Display of Racist Condescension in the Land of Segregation

Did Segregation End With The Civil Rights Bill?

Segregation in the form of separating schools, bathrooms, business establishments and the like ended with the 1964 Civil Rights Enactment, therefore from a legal position, segregation in America no longer exists.

However from other standpoints, for example; demographically or socially, does segregation still exist?

If we look at the definition of segregation: "to separate or set apart from others or from the main body or group", I feel segregation certainly exists and often thrives. And it's often by choice.

photo courtesy of public domain - wikimedia

Drive Through any Town or City

If You Really Look, It's Clear Segregation Still Exists

You know what I'm talking about. In the blink of an eye the crossing of a railroad track or river, you can be taken from a visually stimulating, thriving community to a downtrodden, windows boarded up, depressing area of town that can't begin to claim the title or atmosphere of "community".

It is old, run down, tired and worn out. It hasn't changed a bit in the past 60 years....since that decade that was supposed to change everything.

Does seeing the stark contrast of different neighborhoods in city after city make you wonder if segregation still exists like it does me?

Segregation is Often a Choice

Churches do it. The blogging world does it. Barber shops and hair salons too. College and universities, too many to list here, are notorious for it.

While segregation of schools is illegal, many people and organizations still choose to segregate or separate themselves from other groups of different races. Does this impede the way to end racism and create an environment of division and separatism?

"We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing and Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation."

Dr. Martin Luther King

photo credit: Creative Commons - wikimedia

So What Do You Think?

Anyone can participate and share their opinion. Please offer your feedback on segregation.

Is Segregation As Defined By The Dictionary Alive And Kicking?

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.

~Author Unknown~

My Unofficial Personal Statistics

I grew up in a city of approximately 100,000 in Michigan in the 1960s I started elementary school in 1961 at a school that was, my best guess, 60% black and 40% white. Today that same school reports that 69% of their students are black, 2% Hispanic and 29% are white.

When I was in 5th grade we moved and the new school I attended was 100% white. Really. Today this school claims a "diverse" mix of: 89% white, 1% Native American, 4% Asian, 2% Hispanic and 3% black. Not much changed, did it?

While these are just two schools in one small school district it was interesting to me to revisit the place of my childhood and discover little had changed at all. Interesting and highly disappointing.

This discovery indicates to me, that while segregation is indeed illegal, that doesn't mean it no longer exists.

2001 Perry, Florida

In 2001 this small town just 50 odd miles east of Tallahassee, FL made it big in the media. The residents of Perry still lived in segregated "harmony" until a lawmaker from Maryland, Talmadge Branch, was passing through one day.

Mr. Branch decided to stop in to the Perry Package Store and Lounge to enjoy a beer. He was bluntly told that "coloreds" weren't served in the lounge and he would have to enter through the back in order to enjoy his beer and lunch.

This apparently wasn't unusual in Perry, as according to residents all the bars in that town were segregated. The mayor, when interviewed for this story, actually used the term, "consensual segregation".

Mr. Branch himself was accused of coming to the town, just to "stir up trouble".

For more interviews and instances of "consensual segregation" you can read the entire story right here.

photo credit: public domain - wikimedia

Segregation Stories

Census study: Racial segregation persists in Muskegon-Norton Shores metro area

MUSKEGON - Diversity is hard to come by in Elisia Sparkman's neighborhood.

With a population that's roughly 90 percent African American, her one-story rental home on the 2000 block of Wood Street in Muskegon Heights is among the most racially segregated areas in the county, according to census data.

But the divide isn't necessarily motivated by skin color, said Sparkman, 56, an African American who gets by on social security disability. Income, emotional ties to one's neighborhood, lack of opportunity to go elsewhere - all play a role in the racial makeup of Muskegon County's neighborhoods, she said.

"Our generation, when we stay still, it's because.....Read entire story


Black Northerners Migrating South in Record Numbers


(NEWSER) - The Great Migration may have come full circle. African-Americans are leaving large cities in the East and Midwest and moving to the South in the greatest numbers in decades, say demographers. Black New Yorkers... Read entire story

Where Do You Stand On Segregation? - You don't have to be a member to participate

Do You Feel We Have Made Progress In Bridging The Racial Gap In America?

See results

Got Something To Say? - I'd Love To Hear All About It

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great information, I enjoyed your lens a lot

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      The piece about Perry is amazing - thanks for a great article.

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great topic! Very thought provoking!

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Featured this on Nearer my God and renewed the blessing, Hugs

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      Dropped back to feature this on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2. A great wake up call on the inhumanity of man towards others. Hugs

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Lovely lens, I admire you for your hard work on these important issues.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Returning with a well deserved angel blessing...*

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks so much for bringing up this topic! Blessed!

    • BruceJackson1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for tackling such a tough issue.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think segregation is still around, just in a more subtle form. People choose to live in different areas separated by demographics and income, all sorts of people. Integrating isn't something that can just be done through law, but is something that people will have to overcome by not fearing others who don't look the same as them.

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such a difficult topic and just today the Moslems in Australia are claimed by the media to be targeting Jews in this country because of what is going on in Pakistan. For me multi-culturalism does not work because religious prejudices and hatred taught from the pulpits of mosques, churches, temples and so on will not allot to. You did a good job here and I have featured this on Complex Thought or Complexity of Thinking

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I see the largest problem in America today and all over the world for that matter is politics and judicial systems create the hate among any race, color, creed or religion. We need to put real people at all levels of a society as a whole that have the values and principles of serving the people equally. Then and only then will the world be free from hate and segregation will cease to exist and the meaning and purpose of LIFE will thrive. _/\_

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I don't know if I am a pragmatist...but in my many years of life, I have seen people will always want to be better than someone else...Mississippi Burning "over whom are we better then?"

    • QuinnWolf LM profile image

      QuinnWolf LM 

      7 years ago

      Most segregation these days is a result of economics and lack of education. Poor kids in the ghetto grow up thinking their only hope for a future is to become a basketball star or rapper. Middle class kids grow up thinking they will get a skilled trade position. Upper class kids grow up thinking they will be a doctor, lawyer or CEO. It's up to the parents to break these stereotypes by ensuring their children follow the path of higher education.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      May there be a day when segregation is truly only a word that we have to look up and not a reality in any part of our society.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I think that racial problems mostly exist in those communities where there are people with a negative attitude towards African Americans. When children have been brought up to believe that black people are inferior, it takes a lot to change those beliefs. Where this has not been the case I do believe that racialism has very much disappeared.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I no longer remember who said it, but somewhere, someone once said something like this: Until every last person is free, none of us is free. That remains as true today as ever. I pray every day for all our hearts to be healed and for our differences to be cause for joy, not sorrow.

    • sheriangell profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Jennifer Einstein: Einsteinium - thanks for visiting as well as the heads up on the MLK quote. It looks normal on my end....I'm wondering if it's a browser issue?

    • Jennifer Einstein profile image

      Jennifer Einstein 

      7 years ago from New York City

      Don't need to publish this, but thought you would like to know that your MLK quote comes up in white on white and it looks completely blank until I highlighted it with my mouse.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well written article. This topic is a huge tabu in society.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Not sure much about the US, but people are definitely viewed with different shades according to the races. Does not essentially have to mean a racist view, but it is more of a cultural barrier, which exists in the minds of the beholders (IMO). Cheers for the wonderful topic. :)

    • retta719 profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Even in the "melting pot" areas I see a lot of self-segregation - I'm not sure what's worse being excluded or intentionally excluding yourself. Someday we'll get to a more cohesive place, but I think as long as we continue to make progress and move forward instead of backward we'll be okay.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      I think these kinds of open conversations are really important. Thanks for creating a forum for the discussion of such a vital topic. We have much to accomplish in this arena.

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 

      7 years ago

      Segregation is still alive and well in this country in certain locales. Most of the time the people that it affects can't be bothered to try to change the situation. See you around the galaxy...

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      7 years ago from Washington KS

      Segregation of all types exists today, not only racial but socioeconomic.

      Go to any town of any size -- from a major metropolis to the tiniest rural town.

      The wealthy people live in certain areas out of choice. No one except very

      wealthy people can live in these upper crust areas.

      The very poor people live in run down areas because it's all they can afford.

      Rich people choose to segregate themselves. The poor have no choice.

      This is true regardless of race or color.


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