Social Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

During racial segregation did they have four public washrooms?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (19453points) September 11th, 2018

One each for white and coloured men and one each for white and coloured women?

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13 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

Yes. I attended a middle school here in Charleston SC. There were like 4 water fountains, and bathrooms, always together. It seemed REALLY weird to me. I had just moved here from Europe.

I found out that all the water fountains, and restrooms, were from the era of segregation. It seems crazy now…..

MrGrimm888's avatar

Edit. There were usually three water fountains, but they were always oddly close….

JLeslie's avatar

Just thinking of the irony that parts of the South bitched about putting in a bathroom for transgender kids in schools and people in general, but at one point they put in bathrooms for different races. Not that I think transgender people should use a separate bathroom, but some argued it might be good to have the option available for transgender or anyone who prefers it.

However! Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures? The black women did not have a bathroom to use in every building on the campus. They had to walk to another building, sometimes through rain or snow, to the building that had bathrooms for black peoples. The whites were often given more conveniences. Seems so crazy to me. Even crazier that friends of mine grew up that way. For me, it was just something I learned in history class or reading literature.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@MrGrimm888 That’s interesting. I started attending school in the south shortly after segregation ended. The schools only had two bathrooms (one for males, one for females) on each floor because there were separate schools for black and white people.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not quite the same thing, but if you drive on some of the small country roads in rural Georgia (and I imagine South Carolina), you will lots of paired towns. There were the white towns, with nice buildings, lots of stores, fancy schools, wide roads, looking prosperous. And about 2–3 miles away, the black towns, with cinderblock buildings, narrower streets, and just a look of shabbiness about them.

The black towns were where the employees lived, and the white towns where they worked. And you can tell.

Lots of these paired towns exist even today – all over Georgia. Some of the black towns have pretty much closed down as a result of economic conditions, but others still exist.

My point is that even though desegregation took place, supposedly, 50 years ago, there are still visible effects of its existence.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer . The school I mentioned was old. It was the only school I remember attending that had the extra restrooms. They were only in the older wing of the building. I’m not sure if the school is even in use anymore.

@elbanditoroso . Yes. Great points about the separation of towns.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@elbanditoroso Our town had a ‘colored’ town nearby, and a seperate school here in Missouri. It was called (ironically) Nogo.

YARNLADY's avatar

The town I lived in from age 3 to 7 had no black people, and has 0.2% today. I was fascinated when we moved to a big, racially diverse city.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@KNOWITALL – right, I would say that the paired town dynamic was all over – anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line. I grew up in Ohio, no such difference by towns. There were neighborhoods, for sure, that were all black or all white (or all Slavic or all Czech), but not whole towns.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@YARNLADY @elbanditoroso I actually asked why our population wasn’t very diverse, compared to other parts of Missouri and the answer is that after the war, they needed workers at the factories in Detroit and offered really good money, so there was a mass exodus which ended up causing the school to close. So according to the historical society, it had nothing to do with racial issues (skeptical.)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@MrGrimm888 You lost me there with the second response. So the school was for all children, but there was a separate wing for those of a different color, thus separate bathrooms?

MrGrimm888's avatar

No. Sorry. The school was comprised of multiple wings. The oldest wings, had the additional restrooms, and such. The newest parts didn’t.

I guess the older parts were from the 50’s…

janbb's avatar

I did a little internet sleuthing because the question interests me and found images that show bathrooms in the South labeled “Ladies”, “Men” and “Colored.” It seems that Black people’s bathrooms were not separated into men’s and women’s. And this article discusses this point further if you read it to the end.

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