segregation, racial


segregation, racial

Practice of restricting people to certain circumscribed areas of residence or to separate institutions and facilities on the basis of race or alleged race. Racial segregation provides a means of maintaining the economic advantages and higher social status of politically dominant races. Historically, various conquerors—among them Asian Mongols, African Bantu, and American Aztecs—have practiced discrimination involving the segregation of subject races. Racial segregation has appeared in all multiracial communities, except where racial amalgamation has occurred on a large scale, as in Hawaii and Brazil. In such places there has been occasional social discrimination but not legal segregation. In the Southern states of the U.S., public facilities were segregated from the late 19th century into the 1950s (see Jim Crow law), and in South Africa a system of apartheid sanctioned discrimination against nonwhites until it was abolished in the 1990s. The U.S. civil rights movement and Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped end racial segregation in education and public facilities, though other forms of racial discrimination continued.

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