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books about School Desegregation
Civil Obedience: An Oral History of School Desegregation in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1954–1965
Julianne Lewis Adams
University of Arkansas Press, 1994
Library of Congress LC214.23.F39A33 1994 | Dewey Decimal 370.193440976714
Among the many changes that have occurred in our country in the last forty years, few have been as significant as those heralded by the Supreme Court's decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education case in 1954. By declaring racially segregated public schools unconstitutional, the court set in motion forces that resulted in the dismantling of the legal structure of Jim Crowism. The impact of the Brown decision was national in scope, but in no other region was its impact more far-reaching and traumatic than in the South. In Arkansas, as in other Southern states, racial segregation was not merely a well-stablished way of life, it was firmly imbedded in law.
While school desegregation generated much noise and some violence elsewhere in the South, the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas confronted the issue and resolved it with a good deal of dignity and grace, becoming the first Southern city to accommodate the Brown decision.
Through this fascinating collection of interviews with those who were involved in the desegregation process—students, teachers, administrators, civic leaders, and members of local groups—we learn of the determination of citizens to obey the law of the land and to see that freedom and equality took priority over their commitment to a school system that patently discriminated against one group of citizens.
In our continuing efforts to create a society in which all races and cultures can coexist, Civil Obedience is a story worthy of our full attention.
Fifty-Eight Lonely Men: Southern Federal Judges and School Desegregation
J. W. Peltason
University of Illinois Press, 1971
Library of Congress KF4155.P4 1971 | Dewey Decimal 342.73087
Originally published in 1961, this
still timely book illustrates the role of the judiciary in the solution of a
social and political problem. It is unequaled in its description of the plight
of federal judges who are charged with carrying out the decisions of the Supreme
Court against segregation but who are under constant pressure--social,
political, and personal -- to speak for the white South. Some have been
ostracized by their communities as traitors; others have joined their state
legislatures and local school boards in developing elaborate delay strategy
to circumvent the Supreme Court's decisions.
In his introduction to the first
edition former Senator Paul H. Douglas wrote: ". . . a clear and comprehensive
account of the legal struggles in the federal courts over segregation and desegregation
in the public schools of the nation. It gets behind the newspaper headlines
and gives a play-by-play account. . . . This book is indeed full proof of the
delays and difficulties of the law and the pressures of local public opinion."
Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits
Ansley T. Erickson
University of Chicago Press, 2016
Library of Congress LC214.23.N37E75 2016 | Dewey Decimal 379.2630976855
In a radically unequal United States, schools are often key sites in which injustice grows. Ansley T. Erickson’s Making the Unequal Metropolis presents a broad, detailed, and damning argument about the inextricable interrelatedness of school policies and the persistence of metropolitan-scale inequality. While many accounts of education in urban and metropolitan contexts describe schools as the victims of forces beyond their control, Erickson shows the many ways that schools have been intertwined with these forces and have in fact—via land-use decisions, curricula, and other tools—helped sustain inequality.
Taking Nashville as her focus, Erickson uncovers the hidden policy choices that have until now been missing from popular and legal narratives of inequality. In her account, inequality emerges not only from individual racism and white communities’ resistance to desegregation, but as the result of long-standing linkages between schooling, property markets, labor markets, and the pursuit of economic growth. By making visible the full scope of the forces invested in and reinforcing inequality, Erickson reveals the complex history of, and broad culpability for, ongoing struggles in our schools.
The Political Use of Racial Narratives: School Desegregation in Mobile, Alabama, 1954-97
Richard A. Pride
University of Illinois Press, 2002
Library of Congress LC2803.M63P75 2002 | Dewey Decimal 379.2630976122
Arguing that politics is essentially a contest for meaning and that telling a story is an elemental political act, Richard A. Pride lays bare the history of school desegregation in Mobile, Alabama, to demonstrate the power of narrative in cultural and political change. This book describes the public, personal, and meta-narratives of racial inequality that have competed for dominance in Mobile. Pride begins with a white liberal's quest to desegregate the city's public schools in 1955 and traces which narratives--those of biological inferiority, white oppression, the behavior and values of blacks, and others--came to influence public policy and opinion over four decades. Drawing on contemporaneous sources, he reconstructs the stories of demonstrations, civic forums, court cases, and school board meetings as citizens of Mobile would have experienced them, inviting readers to trace the story of desegregation in Mobile through the voices of politicians, protestors, and journalists and to determine which narratives were indeed most powerful.
Exploring who benefits and who pays when different narratives are accepted as true, Pride offers a step-by-step account of how Mobile's culture changed each time a new and more forceful narrative was used to justify inequality. More than a retelling of Mobile's story of desegregation, The Political Use of Racial Narratives promotes the value of rhetorical and narrative analysis in the social sciences and history.