Racism: From Segregation to Disintegration

21 min read
African Americans were often forced to use different water fountains to white people, as shown in this image taken in Mobile, Alabama

This article is apart of the series “.” You may need to read the rest of the series to get the full context.

This is the story of how Segregation helped black people grow and how Integration destroyed them in more ways than one.

Continuing this series, I’ll expose two more systems, and explain the impact they have on black people today. I’m going through these systems because it helps us understand the behavior of so-called blacks and the reason behind their condition.

This series is not setup to excuse sinful behavior but to recognize the systems that play a huge role in engineering conditions and behaviors. Sadly, all of these systems are still going on today. This is not a post-racial America. Many things have not changed.

The last system we talked about was chattel slavery, and how black people were later freed. Now we’ll talk about what happened next.


Three years after slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment, the short-lived Freedmen’s Bureau was set up in transitioning freemen into southern life. It taught them how to read, write and find employment.

Southern states contended that the 13th Amendment could be satisfied if the races were kept separate. The government agreed and left racial segregation up to individual states.

So, for a time in America, there were separate bathrooms, drinking fountains, classrooms, train cars and the list goes on. A court case established the phrase “separate but equal” in which the state was to provide equal, but separate, accommodations for the whites and blacks. But of course there wasn’t going to be any real equality—not in a system of white supremacy.

Although the Constitution required it, the facilities and social services offered to blacks were almost always of lower quality than those offered to whites. For example, black schools received less public funding than nearby white schools—which is still going on today.

Black codes

Soon after slavery was abolished, southern states began to issue laws which freemen called “Black Codes.” These codes had the intent of restricting freedom, and compelling black people to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. Their lives were greatly restricted by the Black Codes.

Black Codes restricted their right to own property, conduct business, buy and lease land, and move freely through public spaces. A central part of the Black Codes were vagrancy laws. States criminalized black men who were out of work, or who were not working at a job white people recognized. Failure to pay a tax was considered a debt and because of the debt, the freemen would be subjected to involuntary labor under the law. That, my brothers and sisters, is the system of the devil.

Northern states however had some positive laws for black people. They legalized black marriages and in some cases increased the rights of freedmen to own property and conduct commerce. The north was a better place for blacks back then.

In southern states, this idea that black people were lazy, thieving, vagabonds prone to criminal activity was their justification for trying to force them back into “work.” In addition to being convicted of vagrancy, some state law enabled forcible “apprenticeship” of children of impoverished parents, or of parents who did not convey “habits of industry and honesty.”

Re-enslaved Blacks building a railroad near Asheville North Carolina, victims of the "Black Codes"
Re-enslaved Blacks building a railroad near Asheville North Carolina, victims of the “Black Codes”

When the north seen that the south was attempting to establish the same slavery system just under a new name, they declared the Black Codes unconstitutional. Black codes only lasted a year after slavery ended (1865-1866) before they were abolished by Congress with the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 14th Amendment, and the Second Freedmen’s Bureau Bill.

Sundown Towns

At the same time, in most states across America, not just the south, there were “Sundown Towns.” These were cities or towns which had laws that stated that black people had to leave the town by sundown, or couldn’t be found walking at night except under supervision of a white resident. If blacks didn’t comply with these laws, they could be picked up by the police, jailed or worse.

negro-green-bookIt got so bad that they had to publish a travel guide for black people called “The Negro Motorist Green-Book.” There were at least 10,000 ‘sundown towns‘ in the United States as late as the 1960s.

This is the power of racism/white supremacy and this mindset is still held today. It’s advised to be very careful when driving through the southern states because the spirit of racism is strongest there. Road trips for blacks can be dangerous, there was this phenomenon back then of black travelers just “disappearing.”

Jim Crow

After the Black Codes were removed, a set of laws were created called “Jim Crow”. Jim Crow was not a person, but a set of laws mandating the segregation of public schools, public places, public transportation, restrooms, restaurants, drinking fountains, the military, and federal workplaces.

While vagrancy laws were abolished and black people supposedly had rights as equal citizens, they were still being discriminated against. Jim crow segregation went on from 1892-1965—that’s 72 years. Later on, the remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but years of action and court challenges were needed to unravel numerous means of institutional discrimination.

The impact of Segregation

Segregation didn’t quench the anger of southerners for their lost of the war, or the lost of their slaves—it made it all the worse. The fact that they couldn’t profit off of free labor, and that most blacks didn’t return to Africa, bothered them greatly having to see them everyday. The idea that black people were destined for servitude also remained in their minds which led to them finding “creative” ways to oppress and control them.

Racism operates in the spirit of Jezebel. Jezebel is like a parasite to its victims. It needs them to survive, and it absolutely hates when those people wake up and get free from its control. Likewise, freedom often results in punishment as southern whites frequently terrorized blacks for theirs. From my research, between 1880 and 1951, there were some 3,437 lynchings of black people. These people were so barbaric they would take pictures with their children, wife and kinsmen along with the dead body as if the black man was wild game.

After lynching Rubin Stacy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1935, the lynching party held a family picnic. It doesn’t seem to bother the little girl in the right-hand corner, she must be used to stuff like this.

How segregation affected blacks

Segregation was setup by whites so naturally the provision given to black people by their former oppressors was low quality. It would’ve been great if blacks were simply left alone, but that’s not how it works in Satan’s kingdom, and as we know, their freedom led to whites frequently terrorizing them.

The Negro National League---the Detroit Stars 1920
The Negro National League—the Detroit Stars 1920

However, segregation had some positives. It kept blacks together. They were able to rebuild their families. They built businesses and flourished. When whites didn’t accept them into the baseball league, they created their own baseball league. When they weren’t accepted at the white-owned diner, they created their own. When they weren’t represented in the local newspaper, they created their own newspaper.

While there was still white terrorists throughout America, the black community was coming together and repairing itself. They had to stick together—the majority of everyone else hated them. From the late 1800s to the mid 1950s, black people were growing and recovering. Marcus Garvey and his UNIA and the Nation of Islam were notable movements at that time which sought to improve the conditions of blacks, apart from government assistance and begging whites.

Successful black communities

In 1910, there was Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma famously known as “Black Wall Street.” This was a neighborhood home to several lawyers, realtors, doctors, and prominent black businessmen, many of them multimillionaires.

There was a variety of thriving businesses such as grocery stores, clothing stores, barber shops, banks, hotels, cafes, movie theaters, two newspapers, and many contemporary homes—all black owned and operated. Greenwood residents enjoyed many luxuries that their white neighbors did not, including indoor plumbing and a remarkable school system. The dollar circulated 36 to 100 times, sometimes taking a year for currency to leave the community.

In the early 1900s, the population in Rosewood, Florida had become predominantly black. Some people farmed or worked in local businesses. Rosewood Blacks had three churches, a school, a large Masonic Hall, turpentine mill, a sugar cane mill, a baseball team and a general store. The village had about two dozen plank two-story homes, some other small houses, as well as several small unoccupied plank structures.

Around the same time, Washington DC’s black community was the largest and most prosperous in the country, with a small but impressive upper class of teachers, ministers, lawyers and businessmen concentrated in the LeDroit Park neighborhood near Howard University.

black-wallstreet-memorialI could go on and on about the worldly successes black communities had under segregation but I’ll stop here. Tragically, the three communities I mentioned and many more like it ended up being destroyed by media-manipulated angry mobs of white people who massacred most of the inhabitants, stole any remaining wealth, and burned these towns to the ground (read about these massacres here).

Were communities like these rebuilt? They were. But why is it that, today, the great majority of black communities are ghettos, with nobody really owning anything? One word: Integration.

About Nealreal

I'm a follower of Christ, a Bible teacher, a Hebrew, and a husband. I'm tasked with helping people understand and enter the kingdom of God.


  1. You took the words out of my mouth, that is exactly how I feel, Wow! I have spent all 2016 searching for truth. Something has felt wrong to me with all of the police shootings, not seeing any black owned businesses around, knowing the lack of identity I have and knowing there has to be a real reason why things are as they are. I’m spreading the truth to every black person I know.

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