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For twenty years after 1877 a fluid situation existed in the South, during which different philosophies of race relations competed for acceptance. Segregation, or the policy of setting black people apart, had been used in the North prior to the Civil War, but it was not introduced full-scale in the South until the end of the nineteenth century.
During the 1880s the whole country suffered another severe economic depression during which many people suffered dreadfully from poverty, hunger, and insecurity. The U.S. government began to fight colonial and racist wars to control the raw materials of the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The Supreme Court held, in a series of decisions, that segregation was compatible with the U.S. Constitution, although earlier the Court ruled segregation unconstitutional. The message went out that colored and black people were to be considered inferior. There had to be a scapegoat for the cruel disappointment of hopes suffered during the depression.
Between 1900 and 1920, the years of Septima Clark's coming of age, the South affirmed racism, and state after state enacted laws that legalized a full-scale system of segregation. These laws, which required blacks and whites to avoid contact as much as humanly possible, applied to all forms of public transportation, to sports and recreations, to employment, prisons, hospitals, schools and ultimately to funeral homes, morgues and cemeteries.
|Finding Septima Clark||6|
|Finding Rosa Parks||13|
|Part I||The Movement|
|The Turning Point||30|
|Highlander and the First Citizenship School||41|
|Raid on Highlander||55|
|All Over the Deep South||60|
|The Role of Women||77|
|Part II||The Beginning and the End|
|Teaching, Marriage, and Children||103|
|Retirement and Contentment||119|
|Note on Sources||131|