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View Diary: May 17, 1954 and 1958: Brown v. Board, and my father's birthday (25 comments)

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  •  Excellent diary - thank you (4+ / 0-)

    You brought back lots of memories for me.  

    I attended both all-white schools - with me as the only  black student( I was a Negro back then) and also went to all black schools.

    I was lucky.  Since my dad had a PhD in English Literature and Drama, I could read by the time I was three, and could also recite Chaucer in Middle-English. My mother also became a teacher after my brother and I were both in school.  

    The all-Negro schools I attended were on the campuses of historically black colleges - so the education was excellent.  Teacher to student ratio was also  almost 1 to 1, since student teachers practiced on us kids who were the children of professors.  

    Years after  Brown - I went to a northern JHS "integrated" by busing, where black kids were relegated to the high number classes (tracking) and the white kids were in the low number  "smart classes" for the college bound.  I was one of a handful of black kids in the smart classes - but experienced virulent racism from the teachers, who couldn't figure out why "darkies" were in their lily-white classrooms.  

    Thankfully, I had my parents to fall back on; my education continued at home until I escaped our rapidly integrating neighborhood in Queens NY and went to one of the most progressive high schools in NYC - the High School of Music and Art; where you were judged by your talent and academic skills; not by the color of your skin.  

    Many of the teachers there were left-wing types or artists and it made a difference; they were anti-racist and politically active;  but I watched kids I knew who lived in inner city neighborhoods - who were trapped in inferior high schools, fall swiftly behind.  

    The deterioration of schools for blacks was actually accelerated by integration.  De-facto segregation by a combination of social class, race, and red-lining  insured the failure of schools in minority neighborhoods, and the failure of students attending them.  

    Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat May 17, 2008 at 08:05:06 AM PDT

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