Guide How Long? How Long?: African American Women in the Struggle for Civil Rights

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Quadagno argues that it was pressure from the welfare state through Medicare and enforcement of its anti-discrimination provisions that brought hospitals into compliance with CRA desegregation principles Quadagno However, enforcement of Title VI has been partial and inconsistent Yearby Almond et al. Most changes occurred in southern states in which hospital segregation was previously widespread. The concurrence of the timing, abruptness of the rate changes following , the sharp decline in death from infant conditions treatable in hospital settings, and the contrast with minimal changes among Whites suggests the CRA as the cause of these trends.

The researchers estimate that, between and , approximately 38, Black infant deaths were prevented by implementation of Title VI of the CRA Almond et al. Using the same reasoning, the same researchers examined the childbearing outcomes among adult daughters of Black and White women born between and to assess whether the CRA was also associated with the childbearing of these women and their daughters born in the s and s Almond and Chay Black women born in the late s were less likely to have low birthweight infants or infants with low APGAR scores indicating poor health and the need for immediate medical care than women born earlier, while no similar changes were found for White women.

Thus, not only were Black infants born after the CRA healthier than those born before, but their next generation descendants were also healthier Chay and Greenstone Krieger et al. This classification avoids the assumption that only Southern states had segregationist policies and adds Kansas and Wyoming as Jim Crow states. The researchers find that the ratio of Black infant mortality rates in Jim Crow versus non Jim Crow states fell from 1. The finding suggests health disparities in infant mortality between states with and without Jim Crow laws were eliminated following enactment and enforcement of the CRA Krieger et al.

Available evidence suggests that the CRA greatly affected infant mortality rates among blacks previously excluded from full access to hospital resources and probably affected the health of the succeeding generation as well.

Did You Know: Women and African Americans Could Vote in NJ before the 15th and 19th Amendments?

In the early 20th century, substantially different educational resources were provided for black and white children. For example, in Alabama, resources were markedly less for Black than for White students Margo In a remarkable study of both the immediate and long term effects of school desegregation, Johnson Johnson, analyzed all U.

He evaluated effects on school resources, high school completion and other educational outcomes, as well as adult earnings and health. Johnson controlled for an array of potential confounding, comparing siblings exposed and not exposed having completed school prior to desegregation to court ordered desegregation, also controlled for policies related to the War on Poverty, and Head Start, and community political affiliations associated with segregationist policies. Johnson found that, following the school desegregation orders, there was a notable increase in school district integration; the dissimilarity index ranging from 0—no segregation to 1—complete segregation fell from the mean of 0.

Finally, the gap in adult self-assessed health status between Blacks and Whites was reduced by between one third and one half. Thus, it is possible that much of the infamous gap between Blacks and Whites in academic achievement is attributable to school segregation and that countering segregation is part of the solution to this persistent and consequential problem. There was little change in school segregation following Brown until the late s, followed by a substantial decline in segregation at least until the mids Reardon and Owens In recent decades, the Executive Branch of the federal government, and in particular, the U.

While most states had already adopted their own anti-discrimination regulations, this was not the case in eight southern states. Chay assessed the effect of the addition of the 15—25 employee category on the relative employment and wages of Black men compared with White men in southern and northern states. Following enactment of the new requirements, the relative employment of Black men increased by between 0. Similarly, Kaplan, Ranjit, and Burgard assessed the consequences of anti-discrimination provisions on employment opportunities, wages, and life expectancy of Black women from to The researchers analyzed trends before and after and compared northern and southern states.

From through , life expectancy for a Black woman aged 35 years increased 2. Major trends and contrasts in employment, occupational levels, and wages centered on , the year of the CRA, are consistent with the hypothesis that the CRA substantially benefited the employment opportunities and long term health of Black men and women. Housing is a basic human need, providing shelter and, with home ownership, investment and security. Through multiple causal pathways, the quality, location, and value of housing are major determinants of health Acevedo-Garcia and Osypuk However, while laws prescribe standards of non-discrimination, implementation has been minimal and inconsistent.

Fulfillment of these rights was long delayed. Realtors, licensed by the states to control the acquisition of housing, are responsible for informing, showing, and assisting in the purchase of available homes, as well as in the procurement of mortgages.

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At each phase, realtors may facilitate or restrict access to desirable housing by clients of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Until at least , the manual of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, recommended that:.

In , the Supreme Court declared these agreements unconstitutional Buchanan v. In , in Shelley v. Kraemer , the Supreme Court declared that enforcement of these agreements was unconstitutional United States Commission on Civil Rights Additional federal laws and Supreme Court decisions that established expanded opportunities for fulfillment of civil rights regarding housing have also been minimally enforced. Supreme Court case Jones V Mayer , , extended coverage of the prohibitions to private properties. The U. Black, Hispanic, White, and Asian interviewers pose as renters or purchasers with equal qualifications; they record available housing they are informed of or shown.

Asians were informed of Similar findings were reported in Wienk Only a miniscule proportion of instances of housing discrimination are investigated or remedied. Most instances of racial discrimination occur with impunity. Simonson estimates that approximately 1,, incidents of discrimination against Black home-seekers occur annually. HUD investigates several thousand claims of racial discrimination and initiates several suits annually; in , there were fewer than 4, claims brought for racial discrimination US Development UDoHaU, — about 0.

Gautreaux et al. Overall, Black home ownership in the U.

Fighting Chance: The Struggle for Woman and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America

HUD has been repeatedly sued for failure to effectively pursue its own fair housing mandates Ellen and Yager The Gautreaux decision required the Chicago public housing authority to give vouchers to qualified recipients of public housing benefits in low income, segregated areas of Chicago. Participants who moved to higher income suburbs were more likely to be employed and their children had improved educational outcomes Rosenbaum and Zuberi Better-designed studies of programs such as Moving to Opportunity have found benefits for low income recipients—including improvements in housing, employment, and reductions in obesity, diabetes risk, and alcohol abuse Sanbonmatsu et al.

Three recent events indicate crucial opportunities for increased civil rights in housing. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. Examination of consequences of the historical denial of the civil rights of racial and ethnic minority populations and the effects of civil rights laws, Supreme Court decisions, and implementation, including enforcement actions to right those wrongs, indicates that civil rights can be a powerful social determinant of health.

Deprivation of civil rights has been a prominent factor in the poor health of Black people in the United States. Protection of civil rights of racial and ethnic minorities by laws, regulations, and court decisions and redress of violations of those rights have been associated with marked improvements in the health of covered populations and of intermediate outcomes such as education and income known to produce health benefits. However, also clear from evidence showing the limited consequences of housing civil rights legislation, public health benefits depend not only on the existence of civil rights and regulations, but on their implementation , including their enforcement.

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Unless implemented, civil rights are promises without benefit. While the scope of efforts to protect civil rights has greatly expanded in recent history, evidence presented here and elsewhere Reskin, , Smith, , Chemerinsky, shows that enforcement of civil rights has been uneven and incomplete, and, at least in domains of health care, education, and housing, resistance to civil rights laws and their implementation persists.

The public health benefits of civil rights implementation can be large and long term. Civil rights thus may be considered a productive arena for public health theorizing, research, policy, action, and practice. Systematic evaluation of the health consequences of civil rights law and surveillance of law enforcement and its consequences will expand basic knowledge. As public health promotes food safety and seat belts, the public health community can also promote fair housing and school desegregation for public health.

The public health community has the opportunity to collaborate with agencies responsible for the enactment and enforcement of civil rights, promoting civil rights as a means of advancing public health and reducing health inequities. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This study did not involve subject participation or ethical issues. Brennan Professor of Law, and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University reports not being aware of any studies of the public health consequences of civil rights law with either no effects or negative effects.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. SSM Popul Health. Published online Nov 2. Truman , b and D. Williams c. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Hahn: vog.

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Copyright notice. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract This essay examines how civil rights and their implementation have affected and continue to affect the health of racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. Coates Open in a separate window. Effects of civil rights laws on public health and health equity.

A brief history of the pursuit of civil rights in the United States In the United States, the principal roots of current and historical racial and ethnic health inequities are found in the societal distribution of resources and power that underlie long-term health. Table 1 Major laws and court decisions related to civil rights, United States to Ferguson J all U. Kraemer J housing covenants Enforcement of exclusive housing covenants ruled unconstitutional Brown v. Board of Education J all U. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital J hospitals Hospitals receiving federal funds were no longer considered private, but as arms of the state subject to federal requirements.

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How long? Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 3 of 4. Check copyright status Cite this Title How long? Subjects Afro-Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century. Afro-American women civil rights workers -- History -- 20th century. African American women civil rights workers -- History -- 20th century. African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century. Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century. Sex role -- United States -- History -- 20th century. Man-woman relationships -- United States -- History -- 20th century.

Contents 1. Women and the Escalation of the Civil Rights Movement 4. Sustaining the Momentum of the Movement 5. Sowing the Seeds of Mass Mobilization 6. Bridging Students to the Movement 7. Race, Class, and Culture Matter 8. Cooperation and Conflict in the Civil Rights Movement The Movement Unravels from the Bottom The Study App. Interviews App. Archives and Primary Sources. Notes Includes bibliographical references p.

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  • Still, many unmarried women voted in New Jersey in the s and the very early s. African Americans in the state could vote if they met the residency and property requirements. In , the New Jersey government required voters to be free inhabitants. We do not know if enslaved African Americans voted before this law was passed -- the property requirements made that unlikely, but no law specifically prohibited them from doing so. In , the state legislature restricted suffrage voting rights to tax-paying, white male citizens. This was done to give the Democratic-Republican Party an advantage in the presidential election.