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Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines. The expression refers primarily to the legally or socially enforced separation of African Americans from other races, but can more loosely refer to voluntary separation, and also to separation of other racial or ethnic minorities from the majority mainstream society and communities.|
Racial segregation in the United States has meant the physical separation and provision of separate facilities (especially during the Jim Crow era), but it can also refer to other manifestations of racial discrimination such as separation of roles within an institution, such as the United States Armed Forces up to the 1950s when black units were typically separated from white units but were led by white officers.
Racial segregation in the United States can be divided into de jure and de facto segregation. De jure segregation, sanctioned or enforced by force of law, was stopped by federal enforcement of a series of Supreme Court decisions after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The process of throwing off legal segregation in the United States lasted through much of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s when civil rights demonstrations resulted in public opinion turning against enforced segregation. De facto segregation — segregation "in fact" — persists to varying degrees without sanction of law to the present day. The contemporary racial segregation seen in America in residential neighborhoods has been shaped by public policies, mortgage discrimination and redlining among other things.
Hypersegregation is a form of racial segregation that consists of the geographical grouping of racial groups. Most often, this occurs in cities where the residents of the inner city are African Americans and the suburbs surrounding this inner core are often white European American residents. The idea of hypersegregation gained credibility in 1989 due to the work of Douglas Massey and Nancy A. Denton and their studies of “American Apartheid” when whites created the black ghetto during the first half