Engaging in my favourite hobby, reading about those wacky Nazis, came across the unsurprising fact that if you were a Jew you were legally barred from entering any public shelter during an air raid.
Got me thinking…during the bad old Jim Crow days, or in South African apartheid, were blacks prohibited from entering shelters from say, tornadoes, hurricanes or other natural disasters, or nuclear fallout shelters? Or were there ‘separate but equal’ facilities where the whites only was a hardened bunker and the blacks got a corrugated iron lean-to?
Related - if you have a private emergency shelter, is there any law saying you have to let people in (say, if a comet is about to strike) or can you legally lock the door and stretch your legs?
In the American South, the minimum requirement for making a place “segregated” was to draw a line on the floor with a piece of chalk. In theaters or sports arenas, all they did was place a sign in a certain section, designating seating for colored patrons, and it fulfilled the requirement for segregation.
While there were entire buildings that were specified for white only, this was applied only where they had the luxury to do so and could plan the structure in advance.
Note that on the Montgomery buses (like the one where Rosa Parks was arrested), they had a small sign that was attached to the rows of seats, which could be moved back a few rows if more seats were needed for whites.
(That is what actually happened to Rosa Parks – it was a ‘colored’ row of seats when she sat there, but more whites got on the bus and the driver moved the sign to make that row ‘whites only’ seating, and told her to get up and move, and she refused.)
In 1964 just at the end of that phase I worked in the portable toilet business in Florida and there were white only and blacks only portable toilets on construction sites. But it was all black guys cleaning both units. No white guys would have applied for the job! I was in management, not pumping poop.
Probably a stupid question; but, did it ever work the other way around? – few white passengers, lots of black passengers, more black passengers boarding: sign accordingly moved, at least temporarily, toward front of bus…?