Separate+and+Equal - Separate and Equal (School...

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Separate and Equal (School Segregation) by James Trabu This article was about how the Oklahoma City school were desegregated in the 1970’s and are now starting to resegregate. In the 1960’s Oklahoma City schools were segregated. Northeast High School was an all-white school, while Douglass, which was about a mile from Northeast, was an all black school. The city at this time was living under Jim Crow laws. Douglas lacked the resources that the all white high school had like new textbooks and school buses. In 1972 the school board implemented the Finger Plan in which to desegregate the Oklahoma City schools. This would take place by mandatory busing for both black and white children. They were coping the desegregation systems that were taking place across the country: resistance, submission, racial tension, white flight, and peace. Yet busing soon became an inconvenience and irritant to all those involved. A federal judge in 1977 conceded that schools could be excused from the busing plan if they were in integrated neighborhoods. By 1984 many Oklahoma City schools could be integrated without busing because there were sufficient amounts of blacks throughout the city. Yet Northeast High School had gone from an all white to an all black school. There was a school board meeting at Northeast to discuss this new plan. Surprisingly most parents at the meeting favored this type of schooling even though it meant their children would continue to go to a segregated school. Civil Rights activists claimed that this was a form of backward movement. Susan Hermes said that the most difficult part for most of them was to give up their stands on segregation and “let people work together in other ways.” Previously the NAACP had taken the school board to court 20 years ago. After 5 years it went to the Supreme Court and in mid-January of this year there was a decision. The court ruled that the school can be released from the court-ordered busing and can even permit some resegregation as long as it has taken all “practicable” steps to eliminate the “vestiges” of past discrimination. Justice Thurgood Marshall was against the decision and felt that it went against the “separate but equal” in Brown v. Board of Education. Although civil rights activists were in fear of this decision, the parents and school administration were for it, and even thought about the decision in
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Separate+and+Equal - Separate and Equal (School...

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