Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"On a crisp Alabama day in December 2016, the black witnesses filed into Birmingham’s Hugo L. Black federal courthouse, named for the former Klansman who became a surprisingly liberal Supreme Court justice"

"The Resegregation of Jefferson County":
To comply with a Supreme Court decision that forced states to provide equal access to graduate and professional schools for black residents, Alabama paid for students like Clemon to attend school out of state. He went to Columbia University in New York, a school far more prestigious and expensive than the University of Alabama. For the state, it was a calculated move. From the time when Alabama and other Southern states barred enslaved people from learning to read, there was an understanding that education led to resistance. In paying for its brightest black students to seek further education outside the state, Alabama bet that once those students lived away from Southern apartheid, they would never return. This calculation, however, did not account for people like Clemon, who graduated from law school and then immediately returned to Alabama to work to secure for thousands of Jefferson County’s black children the constitutional rights that he had been denied.


Nationally, black children are more segregated today than they were a half century ago, in part because mostly-white well-off communities are separating themselves from diverse and poorer school systems.