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In 1901 WEB De Bois argued that the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line that divides individuals based on physical characteristicsIn 1950 he reflects on the changing patterns during the first half of the century and discusses some of the progress that has been made in educational political and economic institutions as well as basic civil rights for those on the other side of the color line Although society has come along way since 1901 the problem of the color line still persists in US society We have not broken the color line that De Bois speaks of and it can be said that the color line is the problem of the 21st century The color line is a socially constructed conceptual line that we use to sort people into groups based on common physical criteria that are deemed significant by society such as skin color hair texture and the shape of ones eyes This line creates advantages and disadvantages for the groups on either side Its used as criteria for granting or denying opportunities and becomes a source of inequality There are two sides on the color line white and other and where one falls on this line has consequences for his or her life The color line creates a system of stratification where if you fall on the side other your access to opportunities is limited A society in which minority groups systematically receive less of valued goods and services is one that is stratified In the United States minority group status or being the other is powerful in determining access to wealth income prestige power and life chances If one is on the white side of the color line he or she is more likely to have higher income higher education to live longer to own a home and to exercise political power simply by virtue of having less melanin in his or her skin Its
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