Seminar 7 Outline – March 16, 2021

Race Together: Learnings about and Race and Racism in America
Arturo Pierre Lewis

Seminar 7: The Degradation of Segregation: How division has damaged America

Changing Patterns of Majority-Minority Relations in the United States – Topic/Chapter 6

Chapter Objectives:

  • Define the theory of internal colonialism and apply to various minority groups in American society
  • Describe life in both the North and South during the shift to rigid competitive race relations in the United States
  • Explain the shift from rigid competitive race relations to fluid competitive race relations in the United States

Living under Segregation

What was it like living under segregation? 

Lynching in the United States
What is lynching? How does it differ from murder? Is lynching by definition racially motivated? Are victims necessarily African American? What circumstances must have occurred before it would be considered a specific crime resulting in a lynching?

The Four-point definition that the NAACP often used for determining whether a specific incident should be categorized as a lynching. 

  1. There must be evidence that someone was killed
  2. The killing must have occurred illegally 
  3. Three or more persons must have taken part in the killing 
  4. The killers must have claimed to be serving justice or tradition 

Why do you think the NAACP would have set forth this set of criteria to define lynching?

Segregation to Integration

Internal Colonialism
     Colonized Minority
     Immigrant Minority

Black and White Relations

      Antebellum North and South    
              North: Abolitionist, Integration and Segregation
              South: Slavery and Lynching 
      Postbellum North and South
              North: Fight for equality and integration
              South: Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Lynching, and Economic exclusion
      Urbanization and Industrialization

              The Black Migration (The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson), Migrants/ Refugees, Assimilation and Discrimination

             The Reagan Impact:
                      The Southern Strategy, Urban Joblessness, New Laws (War on Drugs) to increased incarceration

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander:

                     Joblessness, Criminalization, Incarceration and Prison Industry

Cultural Racism

           A concept that is applied to prejudices and discrimination based on cultural differences between ethnic or racial groups. 

Scapegoating: Blaming the Victim

Integration: Diversity, Inclusion, Equality, Equity

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the theory of internal colonialism and how can it be applied to the experiences of African Americans in the United States?


  2. How was the segregation system imposed on African Americans in the south after Reconstruction?


  3. What were the “Zoot suit” riots and how was the press involved in inciting the anger directed toward Mexican Americans?


  4. How did the presence of a sizable and growing middle class among American minorities help fuel the change from rigid competitive to fluid competitive race relations?


  5. Define cultural racism and explain how this type of prejudice has developed with the shift to fluid competitive race relations. 

Web Links

Jimcrowhistory.orgWebsite aimed at teachers and students to provide information about segregation between 1870s and 1950s.  A website to remind people of what segregation meant to people who were white and those of color and to encourage people to remember MLK day.  A website with pictures of segregation signs. Website for the film series, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. A website from the Oklahoma Historical society about sharecropping and tenant farming. Website on the history of reconstruction.

Key Words and terms

Colonized minority          Internal colonialism           Social distance

Immigrant minority        Segregation

Suggested Readings

South by Southwest: Mexican Americans and Segregated Schooling, 1900-1950. 2001. Vicki Ruiz. Organization of American Historians Magazine of History. 15. Winter. 
The Ethics of Living Jim Crow: An Autobiographical Sketch. 1937. Richard Wright Viking Press

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. 2009. Douglas Blackmon. Anchor Press. 

Before Us Lies the Timber: The Segregated High School of Montgomery County, Mary land, 1927-1960. 2003. Warrick Hill. Bartleby Press. 

Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism, and the Freedom Struggle. 2000. Michel Honey. University of California Press. 

From Slavery to Sharecropping: White Land and Black Labor in the Rural South, 1865–1900. 1994. Donald G. Nieman, New York: Garland

The Origins of Southern Sharecropping. 1993. Edward C. Royce. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.