Monday, January 14, 2013

Segregation--alive and well in 1963

"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

Today is the 50th anniversary of George Wallace's fiery declaration, in 1963, during his inaugural address as governor of Alabama. 1963--nine years after Brown v. Board declared segregation unconstitutional. Also the year I was born. As Americans, how could we not still be living with the legacy of slavery, the failure of Reconstruction to produce any sort of racial equality, and the long era of segregation (with the lynching, KKK, and disfranchisement that went along with it)? How can we be post-racial if we're barely post-segregation? That's not to say that racial categories and attitudes haven't changed. It's just to say you can't wipe out history that fast. It was current events for a lot of folks still around.

Here's an NPR Radio Diaries story remembering Wallace's speech:

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