BY FROSTY TROY
Although the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 overturned segregation within many U.S. metropolitan communities and districts, school districts were slow to change and have remained segregated between districts.
A recent study in Law 85 Social Inquiry examines how the political process of creating new school districts in Southern communities changed the nature of segregation and seriously affected municipalities and districts now divided along racial lines.
A case in point is Jefferson County, AL, where boundaries served to maintain, to differentiate, and even to enhance the white, privileged nature of the population.
Further, the creation of small, suburban districts made some underprivileged school districts more vulnerable to racial segregation. Specifically, boundaries drawn in the last 30 years have locked Birmingham’s school district [and Bessemer’s, a smaller city] into a declining, poor, and majority population.
This pattern of fragmenting districts is happening elsewhere but not in Oklahoma.
It is important to fully understand the consequences. This issue is currently pending in some large districts across the country and could accelerate the current trend of school resegregation if metro areas subdivide into increasingly smaller units.
In creating separate districts, local political control is a racist way to maintain segregation in communities, with few current or future prospects for overcoming boundaries that divide students and opportunities along racial lines.
– Frosty Troy is founding editor of The Oklahoma Observer