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Migration and the Change in the Racial Relations

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The US followed state-sponsored racial segregation throughout its territory for decades even before the great migration started in 1910. The state-sponsored segregation, through which the blacks were made to travel in separate transportation systems, eat in separate hotels, stay in separate colonies, attend separate entertainment places and study in separate schools under the guise of ‘ separate but equal’ facilities policy, was declared legal and constitutional in a judgement by the US Supreme Court in 1886 ( Law Buzz).   This state-sponsored policy of racial discrimination continued until 1954 when again a judgment by the country’ s highest court declared it unconstitutional (Rochon, 2000: 63).

This means that full racial discrimination existed at all levels in the US during the great migration and also during most part of the second great migration as well. But it is also true that racism and the discrimination against blacks were more rampant in the southern cites of the USA than its northern cities (Gomez, 2005: 166). One can broadly classify the American race relations into three types; mono racial, biracial and multiracial. (Pulera, 2003: 7).

While mono racial people are those born to parents of the same race, biracial people are those born to fathers and mothers of two different races. Multiracial people are those whose descendants belong to more than two different races. While this certainly is the result of co-existence of blacks, whites, and others for decades and a gradual growing of understanding of minds between whites and blacks, the second great migration of blacks into the northern and western cities of America had undoubtedly strained the racial relations in several ways for a long time after the migration, though it had also brought racial amity on several scores in the long run.

(Meyer, 2001: 79-80).   In fact, the migration of blacks has totally transformed the face of racial relations in American cities and towns. But, it must not be forgotten that the transformation did not take place overnight. Rather, it was a slow process that took decades for attaining the present shape of racial amity.             The strain in racial relations appears multidimensional. The strain appeared in racial relations among school and college students, youngsters, adults and of course in social life including the marriages.  

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