For all the Sturm und Drang of the school-integration battles that ensued for decades, classrooms are now less integrated than they were in 1968—the year the Supreme Court ordered states to eliminate dual segregated school systems “root and branch,” and the year I entered the white high school in Conyers, Ga., under the “freedom of choice” plan concocted by Southerners still not ready to fully integrate “with all deliberate speed” as ordered in 1955, the year I was born. According to the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, this nation has seen a “resegregation” that leaves black and Latino kids more isolated in schools than they were a generation ago. “This segregation,” the CRP concludes, “is deeply linked to unequal educational opportunities.”
Haven’t we heard those words before?
E.R. Shipp, a Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, has worked for the New York Times, the New York Daily News and the Washington Post. She is the journalist in residence at Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication.