Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Segregation, Education, Students, School, Children, Society, America, Family

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/19

Introduction

In the “The “Black Table” is still there” story by Graham Lawrence, segregation is not a new term in the history of mankind. Segregation can be as a result of various societal factors such as race/color or even class. In the 20th century, the whites segregated themselves from the Negroes society considering what Graham describes in his account when he was in school of the whites. The implication here was majorly because of race as the blacks society was considered to be of little or no consequence.As a result of this, they were segregated from the whites and they were always seated by themselves during school hours and lunch time on what was called the “all-blacks” table. This is upsetting considering the various efforts to integrate the black Americans into the society and mingle freely with the other citizens even though it was never successful.
Consequently after breaking from the alienation as a result of the efforts of the government through the courts, the integration of the blacks and whites was within reach. The number of the blacks joining schools with the white kids increased significantly to 44% implying that the degree of which the African-American community co-existing with the white American community was also on the rise. However, this was only because of the enforcement of the integration by the courts. Upon the increase in the conjoining, the courts no longer enforced it anymore and the results were indeed catastrophic in the sense that the people literally went back to segregation as if it is the natural flow or order of things around. This statement is further enhanced when Graham goes back to school and finds out that things are all the same with the black table around and this was not what he expected, especially after the integration. This paper seeks to bring out the segregation that exists in our country through Lawrence Graham’s story.

Discussion

Segregation continues to reign even today as Martin Luther King’s dream was never fulfilled everywhere. For that matter, there is segregation accompanied with discrimination against the black Americans in every regard in several parts of the world. According to Graham, segregation is so intense to the extent that the whites and the blacks do not associate. According to Graham, he was at one point the only black student in the whole of his school and the segregation he was facing was more than one could bear. This is best explained when he says that “ I came upon something that I never expected to see again” because he expected to find that segregation has been averted and in its place, integration (‘The “Black Table” is Still There’). In actuality, segregation exists in contemporary aspects of our world today such as education just as Graham experienced it firsthand.
In other words, there still exists segregation in the human society today in very many aspects in the American culture. For example, voting is still an issue that is bent on racism and segregation of the black and white Americans on the society. In addition, education is still another aspect of the American culture that still depicts high levels of discrimination and segregation in the sense that the white kids and the Negroes kids do not intermingle easily considering that they are aware of the historical differences that existed between their ancestors. This culture of segregation is instilled in them especially by the parents who would rather have their children associate with a white kid rather than the Negroes.
Other times in human life, one can be segregates yet he or she is unaware. This segregation might be in terms of race or class or gender or any other aspect of life that the society has given it meaning. Segregation of sort is disheartening to the victims as they consider themselves unworthy of such company. This is what resulted in the fight for freedom from this kind of alienation that the blacks were receiving. The blacks could not get jobs in the industries of the white man, neither could they get motel rooms because he or she was black nor could they take their kids to schools full of white children. This alienation forced the Negroes under the lead of Martin Luther King and his other counterparts to march towards Washington D.C., the capital to demand their rights and freedom.
Sitting at lunch, whether in school or in a work place, alone is not a big deal but one where one is segregated from the others is really not a good site. Despite the fact that this segregation might be in form of racism or gender-wise or class, it is demoralizing to see and individuals who experience this are usually the blacks or the Hispanics who joined a school of purely white kids in the American society. This is indeed a negative social situation because this segregation hampers the natural socialization of individuals either at the work place or school. The kid won’t learn to socialize with his or her peers and at the same time the adult that has been segregated will not be able to learn to communicate and socialize with the colleagues and peers. Disruption of the natural socialization process of an individual has a very negative impact to an individual’s life for one needs socialization skills in order to communicate effectively.
Graham clearly points out the segregation of the students in school being on the basis of race. At first he blamed the black kids in school for being racists and sitting alone at the all-blacks table and so they somehow appeared racists. In the end, he learns that the there are table for the Italians lot as well as the Jewish girls’ table and Jewish boys’ table. It is at this point that Graham understood that “self-segregation seems to be the norm” after the rules of desegregation were lifted. As much as Graham captured the aspect of racial segregation in his school, he did not capture gender segregation comprehensively as he only cited it to be there when he mentioned the segregation of the Jewish boys and girls. On the other hand, he did not mention about the aspect of segregation in terms of class or economy in the sense that the rich rarely associate with the poor in the society.

Conclusion

It is really disheartening that people and even the children segregate themselves on the basis of gender, culture and sometimes class. This is because society and community implies that we work together to make our society to be better and productive rather than settle on petty things such as race. The color is different, but everything else is the same including the biology and chemistry that one individual has and the neighbor. Graham points out racial segregation and discrimination that is truly rooted in the past of the American culture and it does not seem to actually end. Rather, discrimination on the basis of race keeps on changing form implying that that the racism today might not be the same as that in the 20th century but there will be similarities. In a nutshell, segregation, alienation and discrimination should all end in order to integrate and learn more from and build each other just as Graham had hoped.
Graham experienced the levels segregation firsthand in his school and he did not appreciate it to the extent that he blamed his own fellow Negroes. This is when he understood that people would rather segregate themselves from each other rather than stay together unless they are force by the law just like the court forced integration.

Works cited

“The “Black Table” is Still There,” n.p., n.d. p. 349-351.
Kirszner, Laurie G. and Mandell, Stephen R., Patterns for College Writing 12th Ed + E-Book. Bedford/st Martins, 2012. Print.

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