Based on extensive archival work, private paper collections, and oral history, this book includes eight of John Kirk’s essays, two of which have never been published before. Together, these essays locate the dramatic events of the crisis within the larger story of the African American struggle for freedom and equality in Arkansas. Examining key episodes in state history from before the New Deal to the present, Kirk covers a wide range of topics that include the historiography of the school crisis; the impact of the New Deal; early African American politics and mass mobilization; race, gender, and the civil rights movement; the role of white liberals in the struggle; and the intersections of race and city planning policy. Kirk unearths many previously neglected individuals, organizations, and episodes, and provides a thought-provoking analytical framework for understanding them.
he story of what happened at Little Rock's Central High School in September of 1957 is one with which most Americans are familiar. Indeed, the image of Central High's massive double staircase—and of nine black teenagers climbing that staircase, clutching their schoolbooks, surrounded by National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets—has become wedded in the American consciousness to the history of the civil-rights struggle in this country. The world saw the drama at Central High as a cautionary tale about power and race. Drawing on oral histories, Beth Roy tells the story of Central High from a fresh angle. Her interviews with white alumni of Central High investigate the reasons behind their resistance to desegregation. The alumni, now near retirement age, discuss their lives since Central High and their present insecurities and resentments. The stories tell of the shaping of white identities in the latter half of the twentieth century, of dissatisfaction, even anger, that still lingers after forty years. Our country has not moved beyond matters of race: we have not left intolerance behind. To do so, Roy believes, we must stop demonizing people whose actions, historical or current, we do not fully understand. This elegantly written treatment of the Central High crisis is unique among studies done to date. It will help readers to better comprehend the complexity of racism, not only as it was evidenced at Central High in 1957, but as it continues to impact our lives today.
"An in-depth, carefully researched analysis.... The book is particularly useful for public policymakers, school administrators, and faculty and for graduate students in educational policy studies."
This is the first study comparing the long-term effectiveness of voluntary desegregation plans with magnet programs to mandatory reassignment plans. In a survey of school personnel and parents in 119 school districts, Christine H. Rossell finds that the voluntary plans with incentives (magnets) ultimately produce more interracial exposure than the mandatory plans. Her conclusion contradicts three decades of research that judged mandatory reassignment plans more effective than voluntary plans in desegregating schools.
Rossell examines the evolution of school desegregation and addresses a number of issues with regard to public policy. She questions how to measure the effectiveness of school desegregation remedies, suggesting interracial exposure as a criterion because it reflects the white flight that threatens to minimize the effects of such programs. She analyzes the characteristics of magnet schools that are attractive to white and black parents and the effect of magnet schools on the quality of education.
The magnet plans studied here are qualitatively different from the old freedom-of-choice plans implemented in the South and majority-to-minority plans implemented in the North in the 1950s and 1960s. Rossell compares this public choice model of policy-making with previous mandatory efforts and examines court decisions that indicate a growing belief in the effectiveness of voluntary compliance for achieving school desegregation.
"A significant achievement.... Assembling the most comprehensive data base and the most persuasive analysis to date on relative effectiveness of voluntary versus mandatory desegregation plans, Rossell concludes not only that mandatory desegregation techniques cause long-term white flight, but also that the white loss is large enough to render 'mandatory magnet' plans less effective than 'voluntary magnet' plans."
"A very well-written analysis of...a topic of major policy significance...to policy researchers, educational policy-makers, lawyers and judges, sociologists, and members of the sophisticated public involved in school desegregation matters."
--Jeffrey A. Raffel, University of Delaware
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.
A compelling history of school desegregation and activism in San Francisco
The picture of school desegregation in the United States is often painted with broad strokes of generalization and insulated anecdotes. Its true history, however, is remarkably wide ranging. Class Action tells the story of San Francisco’s long struggle over school desegregation in the wake of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.
San Francisco’s story provides a critical chapter in the history of American school discrimination and the complicated racial politics that emerged. It was among the first large cities outside the South to face court-ordered desegregation following the Brown rulings, and it experienced the same demographic shifts that transformed other cities throughout the urban West. Rand Quinn argues that the district’s student assignment policies—including busing and other desegregative mechanisms—began as a remedy for state discrimination but transformed into a tool intended to create diversity. Drawing on extensive archival research—from court docket files to school district records—Quinn describes how this transformation was facilitated by the rise of school choice, persistent demand for neighborhood schools, evolving social and legal landscapes, and local community advocacy and activism.
Class Action is the first book to present a comprehensive political history of post-Brown school desegregation in San Francisco. Quinn illuminates the evolving relationship between jurisprudence and community-based activism and brings a deeper understanding to the multiracial politics of urban education reform. He responds to recent calls by scholars to address the connections between ideas and policy change and ultimately provides a fascinating look at race and educational opportunity, school choice, and neighborhood schools in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education.
This collection of essays mines the Arkansas Historical Quarterly from the 1960s to the present to form a body of work that represents some of the finest scholarship on the crisis, from distinguished southern historians Numan V. Bartley, Neil R. McMillen, Tony A. Freyer, Roy Reed, David L. Chappell, Lorraine Gates Schuyler, John A. Kirk, Azza Salama Layton, and Ben F. Johnson III. A comprehensive array of topics are explored, including the state, regional, national, and international dimensions of the crisis as well as local white and black responses to events, gender issues, politics, and law. Introduced with an informative historiographical essay from John A. Kirk, An Epitaph for Little Rock is essential reading on this defining moment in America's civil rights struggle.
Melissa J. Delbridge University of Iowa Press, 2008 Library of Congress CT275.D34157A3 2008 | Dewey Decimal 976.184063092
"Swimming and sex seemed a lot alike to me when I was growing up. You took off most of your clothes to do them and you only did them with people who were the same color as you. As your daddy got richer, you got to do them in fancier places." Starting with her father, who never met a whitetail buck he couldn't shoot, a whiskey bottle he couldn't empty, or a woman he couldn't charm, and her mother, who "invented road rage before 1960," Melissa Delbridge introduces us to the people in her own family bible. Readers will find elements of Southern Gothic and familiar vernacular characters, but Delbridge endows each with her startling and original interpretation. In this disarmingly unguarded and unapologetic memoir, she shows us what really happened in the "stew of religion and sex" that was 1960s Tuscaloosa.
Much has been written about the Little Rock School Crisis of 1957, but very little has been devoted to the following year—the Lost Year, 1958–59—when Little Rock schools were closed to all students, both black and white. Finding the Lost Year is the first book to look at the unresolved elements of the school desegregation crisis and how it turned into a community crisis, when policymakers thwarted desegregation and challenged the creation of a racially integrated community and when competing groups staked out agendas that set Arkansas’s capital on a path that has played out for the past fifty years.
In Little Rock in 1958, 3,665 students were locked out of a free public education. Teachers’ lives were disrupted, but students’ lives were even more confused. Some were able to attend schools outside the city, some left the state, some joined the military, some took correspondence courses, but fully 50 percent of the black students went without any schooling. Drawing on personal interviews with over sixty former teachers and students, black and white, Gordy details the long-term consequences for students affected by events and circumstances over which they had little control.
“Fifty years ago segregationists trying to keep black students out of Little Rock Central High inadvertently broke up one of the country’s greatest football dynasties. . . . Wait a minute. . . . Who said you can’t have a high school football team just because you don’t have a high school? Canceling football, Faubus decreed, would be ‘a cruel and unnecessary blow to the children.’ O.K. then, everyone agreed. Play ball!”
—“Blinded by History,” Sports Illustrated
“It was one of those periods that you got through, as opposed to enjoyed. It wasn’t an environment that . . . was nurturing, so you shut it out. You just got through it. You just took it a day at a time. You excelled if you could. You did your best. You felt as though the eyes of the community were on you.”—Glenda Wilson, East Side Junior High
Much has been written about the historical desegregation of Little Rock Central High School by nine African American students in 1957. History has been silent, however, about the students who desegregated Little Rock’s five public junior high schools—East Side, Forest Heights, Pulaski Heights, Southwest, and West Side—in 1961 and 1962.
The First Twenty-Five gathers the personal stories of these students some fifty years later. They recall what it was like to break down long-standing racial barriers while in their early teens—a developmental stage that often brings emotional vulnerability. In their own words, these individuals share what they saw, heard, and felt as children on the front lines of the civil rights movement, providing insight about this important time in Little Rock, and how these often painful events from their childhoods affected the rest of their lives.
Scientific progress often begins with the difficult task of preparing informed, conclusive reviews of existing research. Since the 1970s, the traditional "subjective" approach to research reviewing in the social sciences has been challenged by a statistical alternative known as meta-analysis. Meta-analysis provides a principled method of distilling reliable generalizations from previous studies on a single topic, thereby providing a quantitative and objective background for future research. The Future of Meta-Analysis brings together expert researchers for an in-depth examination of this new methodology—not to promote a consensus view but rather to explore from several perspectives the theories, tensions, and concerns of meta-analysis, and to illustrate through concrete examples the rationale behind meta-analytic decisions. In a meta-analysis prepared especially for this volume, a statistician and a psychologist review the existing literature on aphasia treatment. In a second study, experts analyze six still-unpublished meta-analyses sponsored by the National Institute of Education to investigate the effects of school desegregation on the academic achievement of black children. This unique case study approach provides valuable discussion of the process of meta-analysis and of the current implications of meta-analysis for policy assessment. Prepared under the auspices of the National Research Council, The Future of Meta-Analysis presents a forum for leaders in this rapidly evolving field to discuss salient conceptual and technical issues and to offer a new theoretical framework, further methodological guidance, and statistical innovations that anticipate a future in which meta-analysis will play an even more effective and valuable role in social science research.
Lessons from Little Rock
Terrance Roberts Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2009 Library of Congress LC214.23.L56R63 2009 | Dewey Decimal 379.2630976773
Sober news reports of a U.S. Army convoy rumbling across the bridge into Little Rock cannot overpower this intimate, powerful, personal account of the integration of Little Rock Central High School. Showing what it felt like to be one of those nine students who wanted only a good high school education, Roberts’s rich narrative and candid voice take readers through that rocky year, helping us realize that the historic events of the Little Rock integration crisis happened to real people—to children, parents, our fellow citizens.
Lowest White Boy
Greg Bottoms West Virginia University Press, 2019 Library of Congress F234.H23B67 2019 | Dewey Decimal 305.800975541209
An innovative, hybrid work of literary nonfiction, Lowest White Boy takes its title from Lyndon Johnson’s observation during the civil rights era: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.”
Greg Bottoms writes about growing up white and working class in Tidewater, Virginia, during school desegregation in the 1970s. He offers brief stories that accumulate to reveal the everyday experience of living inside complex, systematic racism that is often invisible to economically and politically disenfranchised white southerners—people who have benefitted from racism in material ways while being damaged by it, he suggests, psychologically and spiritually. Placing personal memories against a backdrop of documentary photography, social history, and cultural critique, Lowest White Boy explores normalized racial animus and reactionary white identity politics, particularly as these are collected and processed in the mind of a child.
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.
Discuss real estate with any young family and the subject of schools is certain to come up—in fact, it will likely be a crucial factor in determining where that family lives. Not merely institutions of learning, schools have increasingly become a sign of a neighborhood’s vitality, and city planners have ever more explicitly promoted “good schools” as a means of attracting more affluent families to urban areas, a dynamic process that Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara critically examines in Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities.
Focusing on Philadelphia’s Center City Schools Initiative, she shows how education policy makes overt attempts to prevent, or at least slow, middle-class flight to the suburbs. Navigating complex ethical terrain, she balances the successes of such policies in strengthening urban schools and communities against the inherent social injustices they propagate—the further marginalization and disempowerment of lowerclass families. By asking what happens when affluent parents become “valued customers,” Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities uncovers a problematic relationship between public institutions and private markets, where the former are used to leverage the latter to effect urban transformations.
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. 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.
In 1954 the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education; ten years later, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act. These monumental changes in American law dramatically expanded educational opportunities for racial and ethnic minority children across the country. They also changed the experiences of white children, who have learned in increasingly diverse classrooms. The authors of this commemorative volume include leading scholars in law, education, and public policy, as well as important historical figures. Taken together, the chapters trace the narrative arc of school desegregation in the United States, beginning in California in the 1940s, continuing through Brown v. Board, the Civil Rights Act, and three important Supreme Court decisions about school desegregation and voluntary integration in 1974, 1995, and 2007. The authors also assess the status of racial and ethnic equality in education today and consider the viability of future legal and policy reform in pursuit of the goals of Brown v. Board. This remarkable collection of voices in conversation with one another lays the groundwork for future discussions about the relationship between law and educational equality, and ultimately for the creation of new public policy. A valuable reference for scholars and students alike, this dynamic text is an important contribution to the literature by an outstanding group of authors.
Three trailblazers for education reform in the Sunbelt South.
In southern politics, 1970 marked a watershed. A group of southern governors entered office that year and changed both the way the nation looked at the South and the way the constituents of those states viewed themselves. Reubin Askew in Florida, John West in South Carolina, Jimmy Carter in Georgia, and Albert Brewer in Alabama all represented a new breed of progressive moderate politician that helped demolish Jim Crow segregation and the dual economies, societies, and educational systems notorious to the Sunbelt South. Historian Gordon Harvey explores the political lives and legacies of three of these governors, examining the conditions that led to such a radical change in political leadership, the effects their legislative agendas had on the identity of their states, and the aftermath of their terms in elected office.
A common thread in each governor's agenda was educational reform. Albert Brewer's short term as Alabama governor resulted in a sweeping education package that still stands as the most progressive the state has seen. Reubin Askew, far more outspoken than Brewer, won the Florida gubernatorial election through a campaign that openly promoted desegregation, busing, and tax reform as a means of equal school funding. John West's commitment to a policy of inclusion helped allay fears of both black and white parents and made South Carolina's one of the smoothest transitions to integrated schools.
As members of the first generation of New South governors, Brewer, Askew, and West played the role of trailblazers. Their successful assaults on economic and racial injustice in their states were certainly aided by such landmark events as Brown v. Board of Education, the civil rights movement, and the expansion of voting rights-all of which sounded the death knell for the traditional one-party segregated South. But in this critical detailing of their work for justice, we learn how these reform-minded men made education central to their gubernatorial terms and, in doing so, helped redefine the very character of the place they called home.
With the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown decisions of 1954 and 1955, American education changed forever. But Brown was just the beginning, and Raymond Wolters contends that its best intentions have been taken to unnecessary extremes.
In this compelling study, a scholar who has long observed the traumas of school desegregation uncovers the changes and difficulties with which public education has dealt over the last fifty years—and argues that some judicial decisions were ill-advised. Dealing candidly with matters usually considered taboo in academic discourse, Wolters argues that the Supreme Court acted correctly and in accordance with public sentiment in Brown but that it later took a wrong turn by equating desegregation with integration.
Retracing the history of desegregation and integration in America’s schools, Wolters distinguishes between several Court decisions, explaining that while Brown called for desegregation by requiring that schools deal with students on a racially nondiscriminatory basis, subsequent decisions—Green, Swann, Keyes—required actual integration through racial balancing. He places these decisions in the context of educational reform in the 1950s that sought to encourage bright students through advanced placement and honors courses—courses in which African American and Hispanic students were less likely to be enrolled. Then with the racial unrest of the 1960s, the pursuit of academic excellence yielded to concerns for uplifting disadvantaged youths and ensuring the predominance of middle-class peer groups in schools.
Wolters draws on rich historical records to document the devastating consequences of requiring racial balance and sheds new light on America’s legal, social, and cultural landscapes. He reexamines the educational theories of Kenneth Clark and James Coleman, and he challenges statistics that support the results of racial balancing by describing how school desegregation and integration actually proceeded in several towns, cities, and counties.
Race and Education is a bold challenge to political correctness in education and a corrective to the now widely accepted notion that desegregation and racially balanced integration are one and the same. It is essential reading for scholars of law and education and a wake-up call for citizens concerned about the future of America’s schools.
In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Arkansas governor Orval Faubus viewed the desegregation of Little Rock Central High through very different lenses. The president worried that displays of rampant racism tarnished the nation's reputation as a global power and undermined efforts to thwart the spread of communism. The governor sided with his segregationist constituents to guarantee his political survival. For the nine teenagers caught in the middle, Central High was a cauldron of racial tension. These students represented the black and moderate-white community’s desire for social justice. The documents collected in this book–newspaper articles, political cartoons, excerpts from oral histories and memoirs, speeches, photographs, and editorials–help readers understand how this local, southern conflict became a national and international cause. The documents selected cover the period 1900–2006. Some have never been published before or are in out-of-print sources. Each reveals something significant about the event and its aftermath, while some offer an unconventional or unexpected perspective on the crisis and the issues it raised. A timeline, a list of key players in the crisis, and a selected, annotated bibliography are included.
Many localities in America resisted integration in the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education rulings (1954, 1955). Virginia’s Prince Edward County stands as perhaps the most extreme. Rather than fund integrated schools, the county’s board of supervisors closed public schools from 1959 until 1964. The only formal education available for those locked out of school came in 1963 when the combined efforts of Prince Edward’s African American community and aides from President John F. Kennedy’s administration established the Prince Edward County Free School Association (Free School). This temporary school system would serve just over 1,500 students, both black and white, aged 6 through 23.
Drawing upon extensive archival research, Resisting Brown presents the Free School as a site in which important rhetorical work took place. Candace Epps-Robertson analyzes public discourse that supported the school closures as an effort and manifestation of citizenship and demonstrates how the establishment of the Free School can be seen as a rhetorical response to white supremacist ideologies. The school’s mission statements, philosophies, and commitment to literacy served as arguments against racialized constructions of citizenship. Prince Edward County stands as a microcosm of America’s struggle with race, literacy, and citizenship.
Susan K. Cahn Harvard University Press, 2007 Library of Congress HQ798.C24 2007 | Dewey Decimal 306.708352097509
Sexual Reckonings is the fascinating tale of adolescent girls coming of age in the South during the most explosive decades for the region. Focusing on the period from 1920 to 1960, Susan Cahn reveals how both the life of the South and the meaning of adolescence underwent enormous political, economic, and social shifts.
HE MADE HISTORY. HE TELLS THE TRUTHS HE KNOWS.
LEAD TITLE/Our National Conversation Series
"Terrence Roberts is in the truest sense an upstander - an individual whose voice and actions compel us to explore difficult topics and challenge us to face our shared history, honestly. His words and reflections celebrate the notion of difference, model socially responsible behavior and promote tolerance in our daily lives. Reading this book, you will be inspired, in Dr. Roberts's words, to 'think beyond the ordinary."
----Margot Stern Strom, Executive Director, Facing History and Ourselves, Inc.
"Terrence Roberts challenges all of us to make the world more inclusive by adjusting our 'mental maps.' He reminds us that we will not achieve that long-sought beloved community until we recognize the value of each individual-until we affirm each other. Simple, NotEasy is one trailblazer's mingling of history and contemporary mattersto engage a new conversations on community, social responsibility and tolerance. A powerful book by a civil rights legend."
--- Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr., Ed.D.,
In 1959, Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed its public schools rather than obey a court order to desegregate. For five years, black children were left to fend for themselves while the courts decided if the county could continue to deny its citizens public education. Investigating this remarkable and nearly forgotten story of local, state, and federal political confrontation, Christopher Bonastia recounts the test of wills that pitted resolute African Americans against equally steadfast white segregationists in a battle over the future of public education in America.
Beginning in 1951 when black high school students protested unequal facilities and continuing through the return of whites to public schools in the 1970s and 1980s, Bonastia describes the struggle over education during the civil rights era and the human suffering that came with it, as well as the inspiring determination of black residents to see justice served. Artfully exploring the lessons of the Prince Edward saga, Southern Stalemate unearths new insights about the evolution of modern conservatism and the politics of race in America.
A southern journalist campaigns for racial understanding during the
struggle over school desegregation in Virginia.
In 1958 the nation's attention was focused on Norfolk,
Virginia, where nearly ten thousand students were locked out of their schools.
Rather than comply with the desegregation mandate of Brown v. Board
of Education, Governor J. Lindsay Almond, supported by the powerful
political machine of Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr., had closed Norfolk's white
Massive resistance to integration transformed Norfolk
into a civil rights arena. Although the process by which Norfolk's schools
were integrated was far from orderly, the transition was characterized
by debate, political maneuvering, and judicial action--not violence. Lenoir
Chambers, editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, conducted a five-year
editorial campaign supporting the peaceful implementation of the Court's
order. The Pilot was Virginia's only white newspaper to take this
position. Chambers was later awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials.
Utilizing a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Standing before the Shouting Mob examines Chambers's campaign, explores
the influences that shaped his racial views, and places him within the
context of southern journalism. The book also provides a detailed analysis
of Virginia's massive resistance and Norfolk's school closing.
Students of the Dream
Ruth Carbonette Yow Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress LC214.23.M3Y69 2017 | Dewey Decimal 379.26309758245
Marietta High, once a flagship public school northwest of Atlanta, has become a symbol of the resegregation that is sweeping across the American South. Ruth Carbonette Yow argues for a revitalized commitment to integration, but one that challenges many orthodoxies of the civil rights struggle, including colorblindness.
In the fall of 1957, Gov. Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to prohibit nine black children from entering Little Rock's Central High School. In the fall of 1997, the "Little Rock Nine" returned to Central High, this time escorted by President Bill Clinton. In the forty years that had intervened, the United States witnessed substantial changes in American race relations, but the city of Little Rock had not overcome its legacy of strife. The two-year crisis, once over, left behind confusion and misunderstanding. Racial and class-based mistrust lingers in the city of Little Rock, and, nationally and internationally, perceptions of Arkansas are still tied to the decades-old images of hatred and strife that marked the Little Rock crisis. In 1997, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock sponsored a gathering of scholars who traced the origins and addressed the legacy of the Central High crisis. Elizabeth Jacoway and C. Fred Williams commissioned a series of original and insightful papers that discussed economic, constitutional, historical, and personal aspects of the crisis and of segregation. Jacoway and Williams have collected the best of these papers, by such authors as Sheldon Hackney, Joel Williamson, and James Cobb and offer them here in the hope of enhancing understanding of, and creating a dialogue about, this defining moment in American history. This collection of accessible and provocative essays on a signal event in civil rights in this nation will resonate broadly and appeal to a diverse audience.
Racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States have been growing rapidly in recent decades. Projections based on census data indicate that, in coming years, white people will statistically dominate noticeably fewer regions and public spaces. How will this reversal of minority status affect ideas about race? In spaces dominated by people of color, will attitudes about white privilege change? Or, will deeply rooted beliefs about racial inequality be resilient to numerical shifts in strength?
In An Unexpected Minority, sociologist Edward Morris addresses these far-reaching questions by exploring attitudes about white identity in a Texas middle school composed predominantly of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. Based on his ethnographic research, Morris argues that lower-income white students in urban schools do not necessarily maintain the sort of white privilege documented in other settings. Within the student body, African American students were more frequently the "cool" kids, and white students adopted elements of black culture-including dress, hairstyle, and language-to gain acceptance. Morris observes, however, that racial inequalities were not always reversed. Stereotypes that cast white students as better behaved and more academically gifted were often reinforced, even by African American teachers.
Providing a new and timely perspective to the significant role that non-whites play in the construction of attitudes about whiteness, this book takes an important step in advancing the discussion of racial inequality and its future in this country.