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A myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced "separation" and its pernicious consequences.
A myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced "separation" and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first. Separate spans a striking range of characters and landscapes, bound together by the defining issue of their time and ours—race and equality. Wending its way through a half-century of American history, the narrative begins at the dawn of the railroad age, in the North, home to the nation’s first separate railroad car, then moves briskly through slavery and the Civil War to Reconstruction and its aftermath, as separation took root in nearly every aspect of American life. Award-winning author Steve Luxenberg draws from letters, diaries, and archival collections to tell the story of Plessy v. Ferguson through the eyes of the people caught up in the case. Separate depicts indelible figures such as the resisters from the mixed-race community of French New Orleans, led by Louis Martinet, a lawyer and crusading newspaper editor; Homer Plessy’s lawyer, Albion Tourgée, a best-selling author and the country’s best-known white advocate for civil rights; Justice Henry Billings Brown, from antislavery New England, whose majority ruling endorsed separation; and Justice John Harlan, the Southerner from a slaveholding family whose singular dissent cemented his reputation as a steadfast voice for justice. Sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed, Separate provides a fresh and urgently-needed exploration of our nation’s most devastating divide.
Powerfully synthesizing major currents in the field, this book addresses the issue of inequality across American politics and society, using race as a lens for the exploration of major themes in American history. It considers the concept of race as a social construction, against the background of the historical struggles for “fairness” in a society based on the framework of democracy, whose principle is that majority’s consent be necessary for the fulfillment of “justice.” Foregrounding problems of race, capital, and political economy, it particularly examines the connections between race and class, the relationship of slavery and national politics, and the distinctive intellectual framework that Americans have developed to discuss “race.” Offering a detailed account of civil rights legislation, an overview of immigration law and policy, and comprehensive overviews of debates about affirmative action, immigration, and the causes and solutions to racialized urban poverty, this book emphasizes what is distinctive about the United States and offers a unique comparative framework for thinking about America’s racial past.
For a period of eighty-five years, the M Street / Dunbar High School was an academically elite, all-black public high school in Washington DC. As far back as 1899, its students came in first in citywide tests given in both black and white schools. Over this eighty-five-year span, approximately 80 percent of M Street / Dunbar’s graduates went on to college even though most Americans, white or black, did not attend college at all. Faculty and students were mutually respectful to one another, and disruptions in the classroom were not tolerated. Yet in this era of best practices, this public high school has received virtually no attention in the literature or in policy considerations for inner-city education. The Dunbar High School today, with its new building and athletic facilities, is just another ghetto school with abysmal standards and low test score results despite the District of Columbia’s record of having some of the country’s highest levels of money spent per pupil. The purpose of this study is to explore the history of a high school that was successful in teaching black children from low-income families and to determine if the learning model employed there could be successful in a modern inner-city public education environment.
This encyclopedia contains over 300 entries alphabetically arranged for straightforward use by scholars and general readers alike. Thompson, assisted by a network of contributors and consultants, provides a comprehensive and systematic collection of designated entries that describe, in detail, important diversity and social justice themes.
Although African Americans make up a small portion of the population of western North Carolina, they have contributed much to the area’s physical and cultural landscape. This enlightening study surveys the region’s segregated black schools from Reconstruction through integration and reveals the struggles, achievements, and ultimate victory of a unified community intent on achieving an adequate education for its children. The book documents the events that initially brought blacks into Appalachia, early efforts to educate black children, the movement to acquire and improve schools, and the long process of desegregation. Personnel issues, curriculum, extracurricular activities, sports, consolidation, and construction also receive attention. Featuring commentary from former students, teachers and parents, this work weighs the value and achievement of rural segregated black schools as well as their significance for educators today.
"The American Journey" introduces the reader to the key features of American political, social, and economic history. Written in a clear, engaging style with a straightforward chronological organization, it provides students with a solid framework for understanding the past. This book gives prominent coverage to the West and South and highlights the importance of religion in American history. It traces the emergence of distinctively American ideals and the way the conflict between those ideals and reality has shaped our nation's development. It brings alive the crucial issues and events behind the continuing effort of Americans to live up to their ideals. Appropriate for readers interested in U.S. History.

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