Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Divided we Fail

I read Divided We Fail, in exchange for review from Netgalley.com. The book was written by Sara Garland and published by Beacon Press.

The book discusses how schools used to admit (or not admit) students based on race. Students would be bussed to other schools to receive a sub-par education. For example, the book discussed Central high. Local students were being bussed to a different, sub-par school, while the higher quality school in the neighborhood, was set for closure.  To maintain an open status, Central high had to have a Caucasian majority, but the school did not attract enough Caucasians. According to the book, no school in that district could have more than 42% African-American population to ensure compliance.

 The African-American parents were upset. Send the kids to the closer, better school. A lawsuit followed and the school was allowed to remain open. The Caucasians also sued because their children could not attend their school of choice.

The book basically discusses the Central High case because it was brought together by an African-American community. The African-American communities were facing teacher firings and school closings once desegregation ended. The firings and closings led to an increase in protests and lawsuits.

I also enjoyed the story of Dionne. Dionne wanted to be a lawyer and thought Central High's law magnet program will be a starting point to achieving her dreams. She applied for admission to the school around 1996. She been wanting to be apart of the program since middle school. The letter said she was being considered for admission to Central High. Her mother received another letter, asking about first and second choice schools, just in case Central did not accept Dionne. Dionne already had to be bussed  over an hour away to attend Elementary and middle school, even though another elementary school was in walking distance. Dionne was rejected for Central high because the middle school sent her transcripts to her house, instead of the school. She was placed in her regular high school but she missed orientation because the letter arrived late. Dionne was an interesting story and chapter to read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, wanting to hear more about desegregation and how this community fought to end it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie