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Tag Archives: desegregation

Mississippi Damn! 50 Years of Ongoing School Segregation

Someone please explain to me how a town of 12,000 people needs two High Schools, two Jr High Schools, and two elementary schools? I mean, you are talking no more than 300-400 kids in each school.

The taxpayers have borne the cost of double the facilities costs, possibly 50-80% more teachers, double the admin costs for 50 years to keep the Schools segregated!

That is $10 million a year poured down the drain for racism.

While integrated schools don’t necessarily mean better schools – the wasted division of funds and limited resources means worse schools for all.

THIS IS A MAY 13, 2015 FILE PHOTOGRAPH.

Court orders Mississippi town to desegregate schools after 50-year fight

A federal court has ordered a Mississippi town to consolidate its junior high and high schools in order to fully desegregate its school system after a 50-year battle the town has waged with the U.S. Department of Justice, agency officials said Monday.

Black students and white students in Cleveland, Miss., are largely separated into two high schools, one mostly white and one mostly black, according to the announcement.

The situation is similar with the town’s middle school and junior high – one has mostly black students, and the other is historically white, officials said.

As a result of the order, handed down late Friday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Cleveland School District will combine the two high schools together, as well as join the junior high and middle school into one, desegregating the secondary schools for the first time in the district’s 100-year history.

School officials could not immediately be reached to comment.

The court rejected two alternative plans posed by the district, calling them unconstitutional and saying that the dual system the district has been running has failed to achieve the highest possible degree of desegregation required by law.

“Six decades after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education declared that ‘separate but equal has no place’ in public schools, this decision serves as a reminder to districts that delaying desegregation obligations is both unacceptable and unconstitutional,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Cleveland, with a population of 12,000, is home to Delta State University and sits in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, where many of the early slave owners ran cotton plantations along the Mississippi River.

A railroad track divides the city both geographically and racially, a common occurrence in many Delta towns.

According to the court opinion, testimony from both black and white community members supported the integration of the schools and noted that the perception had been that white students attended better schools.

“The delay in desegregation has deprived generations of students of the constitutionally-guaranteed right of an integrated education,” the opinion read. “Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the district to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.”

 
 

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Where is the Black Community?

I grew up in an all-black suburban community defined by segregation. Our community was essentially an Island in an otherwise all white sea defined by housing restrictions and covenants.

Living in the suburbs in those days meant having ties to other black communities which existed in sometimes disparate areas defined by post Civil War realities. Your barber or hairdresser might be in another community. The segregated black schools drew from communities which could be 20 or 30 miles from each other leading to long bus rides, and by High School – the students coming from a geographic region, instead of a “community”. Social activities such as house parties could be 30 or more miles away.

Tying this together were the remnants of the 40’s era segregation. Many of the communities, if large enough – had a baseball team. Sunday evenings were filled with crack of a bat as communities met on local fields to root for their respective local teams.

So the “black community”, at least in the suburban sense that I grew up with was always a “virtual” entity.

The stock in trade of black conservatives is to discuss shortcomings of the “black community”. The problem with that line of “thinking” is that the black community in the pre-60’s sense – has ceased to exist. The remnants of those communities, where they exist at all –  largely exist today as urban pockets. The black diaspora has not only changed the nature and makeup of the pre-desegregation black community – it has changed the racial dynamic of previously white communities. The urban pocket community is no more a representation of the black community than $5 million houses in an upscale Jersey community are representative of the “white community” as a whole in the US. Quite simply America has changed – and like any major social change the impact is complex.

John McWhorter discusses the impact of desegregation in this article. I find it amusing when people who never experienced segregation talk about how wonderful it was…Segregation Is Down. Great News, Right?

Segregation Is Down. Great News, Right?

When Newt Gingrich says that housing project people don’t work, our job is to show that they do. When he says that Obama is the “food stamp” president, our job is to show that most food stamp recipients are white. When Ron Paul writes that we’re about to start rioting again, we are to make sure that everybody knows we’re not.

In other words, although this isn’t the lesson usually taken from these recent episodes, it would appear that we are getting more comfortable admitting that progress happens for us. Real progress, even if racism still exists, as it always will. And not just symbolic progress, such as having a black president. When we get angry at whites depicting us as poster children, we are saying that being black is less of a problem in 2012, even if it occasionally still is one.

Well, now there’s more good news. We need to trumpet it to the skies as eagerly as we do the news that not so many of us use food stamps. It’s about segregation: This new report by Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor shows that black Americans are living under less of it than at any time since William Howard Taft was president.

As Glaeser and Vigdor, writing for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, show, “As of 2010, the separation of African-Americans from individuals of other races has stood at its lowest level in nearly a century. Fifty years ago, nearly half the black population lived in what might be termed a ‘ghetto’ neighborhood, with an African-American share above 80 percent. Today, that proportion has fallen to 20 percent.”

Indeed, I used to work for the Manhattan Institute and am proud of it. But I am hardly the only one who will be writing about this report this week, and I would be shouting it to the heavens even if I used to work for Burger King. This is important news.

So often we are told that despite the civil rights revolution, black America’s big problem is segregation. Black people live together too much, we are told. And when everybody is black and poor, then we have to understand that the neighborhood must fall to pieces. Not enough middle-class role models, we are told. About twice a year the New York Times runs a story on segregation that pings around the country madly for weeks, in which assorted people are quoted spinning variations on “We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.”

Here, then, is a story about the way we’ve come. From 1970 to 2010, segregation declined for black people in all 85 of the nation’s largest metro areas. From just 2000 to 2010, segregation declined in 522 out of 658 housing markets. By 2010, out of 72,531 census tracts, only 424 had no black people in them. And as recently as 2000, that number had been 902. In 1960, there were 4,700 all-white neighborhoods in America. Today there are 170. We’re everywhere! (More)

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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“The Problem” Rockwell Painting Now Hangs in White House

This image, done by famous American Painter, Norman Rockwell remains as one of the most poignant and powerful pieces done about the Civil Rights struggle in America.

Not sure why so many are trying to make a big deal out of this, other than the fact it demonstrates how far backward we, as a country, have slid since Raygun.

Norman Rockwell?s "The Problem We All Live With" / AL

Rockwell painting hangs in White House

Famous Rockwell painting in White House

All this - so one little girl could go to school...

Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting “The Problem We All Live With” is hanging temporarily in the White House at the request of President Barack Obama. Executives from the Norman Rockwell Museum, where the painting is usually displayed, visited the White House and Obama last week to view the painting in a West Wing hallway near the Oval Office.

Obama requested the painting, which depicts a black child being escorted to school by U.S. marshals, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ruby Bridges’ historic walk Nov. 14, 1960, integrating the William Frantz public school in New Orleans. It inspired Rockwell’s bold illustration for the Jan. 14, 1964, issue of “Look” magazine.

Rudy Bridges Hall, who serves on the board of the Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, Mass., also visited the White House, met Obama and stood before the painting.

“I was about 18 or 19 years old the first time that I actually saw it,” she said. “It confirmed what I had been thinking all along — that this was very important, and you did this, and it should be talked about.

“At that point in time that’s what the country was going through, and here was a man who had been doing lots of work — painting family images — and all of the sudden decided, ‘This is what I am going to do. It’s wrong, and I’m going to say that it’s wrong.'”

“The Problem We All Live With” was the first painting purchased by the Rockwell museum in 1975. Support by the Henry Luce Foundation made the White House loan possible.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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North Carolina School Board Rocked Over Diversity

Racial tensions roil NC school board; 19 arrests

Protesters take over the Wake County Public School board meeting in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 during a protest on the school board decision to eliminate a busing policy focused on diversity. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

I can tell you from personal expereince, School Board Meetings can be the next best thing to Mixed Martial Arts. When you have concerned parents, fighting for what they believe is the best thing for their kids…

The slings and arrows can fly!

The source of this one in Wake County, North Carolina appears to be a new 5-4 conservative majority elected last fall, which is out to remake the school system. I have no idea what the housing patterns look like in the Raleigh area, but if they are like much of the South, they are defacto largely segregated. Meaning, if the conservative majority’s decision to implement “community schools” is passed, it will result in a re-segregation of the school system.

Hundreds rally against Wake schools plan

The current – in place plan utilizes a certain amount of busing, based on economics, and not race and apparently has become a sucessful model for other school systems. I have a feeling this is another one of those issues which is going to wind up in court.

Racial tensions roil NC school board; 19 arrests

Protesters and police scuffled Tuesday at a school board meeting in North Carolina over claims that a new busing system would resegregate schools, roiling racial tensions reminiscent of the 1960s.

Nineteen people were arrested, including the head of the state NAACP chapter who was banned from the meeting after a trespassing arrest at a June school board gathering.

“We know that our cause is right,” the Rev. William Barber said shortly before police put plastic handcuffs on his wrists before the meeting started.

Inside, more than a dozen demonstrators disrupted the meeting by gathering around a podium, chanting and singing against the board’s policies.

After several minutes, Raleigh police intervened and asked them to leave. When they refused, the officers grabbed arms and tried to arrest the protesters. One child was caught in the pushing and shoving, as was school board member Keith Sutton, who was nearly arrested before authorities realized who he was.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, resegregation has got to go,” some protesters chanted. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2010 in Stupid Republican Tricks

 

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On Massive Resistance and School Integration in Virginia

Black students recount early days of integration

I remember this period vividly, as I was one of the first wave of black students in my County to integrate a previously white school. In my case a Junior High School, covering grades 7 and 8. There were 7 of us, 5 girls and 2 boys, who in 1963 volunteered as part of the rolling integration plan, which had started in 1960 with the integration of a few Elementary Schools by a few volunteers. We were a select group, considered the brightest kids in our area, out of the pool of potential candidates, and received some special counseling by both our parents and the local NAACP relative to how to react to some of the things which undoubtedly would be thrown our way – both physically and mentally.

Farmville School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, serving white Children

Modern, brick, Farmville School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, serving white Children

Monton School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, for Black Children built out of plywood and tar paper

Moton School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, for Black Children built out of plywood and tar paper

RICHMOND — For some of the black students who took the first steps toward integrating Virginia’s public schools more than a half-century ago, the memories of their hardships have not faded with time.

“That was the worst two and a half years of my life,” said Andrew Heidelberg, one of 17 black students to attend previously all-white Norfolk public schools in 1959, as Virginia’s efforts to resist racial integration began slowly to unravel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2009 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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