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The Trials Of Desegregation Essay

2215 words - 9 pages

Throughout history, starting with the Fourteenth Amendment and Civil Right Movements opinions vary of the role desegregation has played in American Schools. With the beginning of desegregation came many changes, not only for students and parents but also many school districts and cities. One of the many beliefs is that desegregation helped abolish racial imbalance in school children. An abundance of theories exist as to the success of desegregation.
Desegregation was introduced into the school for the purpose of bringing equality in education, but along with this idea came many hurdles including highly controversial theories, racial tension, and lasting social affects
Brown ll describes an idea in which schools and courts were responsible for creating a united educational system. Schools had been ordered to do away with the “segregated or duel” systems that they were using (Citizen Guide to Desegregation 4). With this order also came the belief that desegregation was far beyond just black and white but more about equality in education. An unknown author’s belief on the topic was that ‘“desegregation refers to the removal of both legal and social practice’” (Levinson 141).
Some believed the myth that African American children were slower academically than white students. When in fact ‘“black student achievement increases, sometimes at a faster rate than white student achievements, and sometimes to the point that differences in the performance levels of the two races disappear”’ (Williams).
Along with desegregation came the opening and closing of numerous schools throughout the United States. The white community seemed to control the construction of new schools; whereas, the black schools were dismantled without input from the black community.
In 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education became an enormous landmark in education. Oliver Brown from Topeka, Kansas was one of thirteen parents who took their Board of Education to court claiming racial prejudice on the principle of ‘“separate but equal”’ (Callahan). Even though they resided within a few block radius of a white school, Browns’ two daughters had to travel much further to attend a black school (Callahan). Also in 1954 the courts ruled that ‘“state laws which segregated students by race deprived them”’ equality in education and that ‘“separate educational facilities [were] inherently unequal”’ (Citizen Guide to Desegregation 4) Educational excellence in spite of racial ratios is what some feel Brown was truly seeking (Levinson 71).
Meanwhile a young boy gets a rude awakening. He had been attending an all-white school with the belief that all schools were equivalent, even when they were divided. He was ordered by the courts to be bused to a school across town. As he walks apprehensively into his new learning grounds he is taught a very compelling lesson. “From the moment I entered that school I could see that what was separate was in fact anything but equal” (Minor 33). He found the new...

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