By Jeffrey L. Littlejohn
In Elusive Equality, Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles H. Ford position Norfolk, Virginia, on the middle of the South's institution desegregation debates, tracing the an important position that Norfolk’s African american citizens performed in efforts to equalize and combine the city’s colleges. The authors relate how neighborhood activists participated within the historical teacher-pay-parity situations of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties, how they fought opposed to the varsity closures and "Massive Resistance" of the Fifties, and the way they challenged carrying on with styles of discrimination by way of insisting on crosstown busing within the Seventies and Eighties. regardless of the advances made via neighborhood activists, even if, Littlejohn and Ford argue that the vaunted "urban virtue" supposedly now loved by means of Norfolk’s public faculties isn't effortless to reconcile with the city’s carrying on with gaps and disparities when it comes to race and class.
In examining the background of struggles over institution integration in Norfolk, the authors scrutinize the tales informed by means of contributors, together with untimely declarations of victory that laud specific achievements whereas ignoring the bigger context during which they ensue. Their study confirms that Norfolk was once a harbinger of nationwide developments in academic coverage and civil rights.
Drawing on lately published archival fabrics, oral interviews, and the wealthy newspaper assurance within the Journal and consultant, Virginian-Pilot, and Ledger-Dispatch, Littlejohn and Ford current a entire, multidimensional, and unsentimental research of the century-long attempt to realize academic equality. A old research with modern implications, their publication bargains a balanced view in accordance with a radical, sober examine the place Norfolk’s tuition district has been and the place it's going.
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Extra info for Elusive Equality: Desegregation and Resegregation in Norfolk's Public Schools
He was relieved to find out that this defeatist faction had been ultimately beaten, but Young was fully aware that the key to any victory, however small, was an emboldened and unified NTA. ”23 Most worrisome to Young was his perception that the prospective new plaintiff, Melvin O. Alston, was not cooperating fully in the NAACP-led effort. A business education teacher at Booker T. Washington High School for five years in 1939, Alston had been a stalwart officer of the local NAACP branch — he was its vice president in 1939.
He went to public schools there and graduated from Buchanan High School in 1915. He then matriculated at nearby Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, and graduated in 1918. S. Army in France, returning home to become the assistant cashier in the Bank of Buchanan. He left banking for good in 1922 to become the principal of Buchanan High School, the place from which he had graduated just seven years earlier. There was no black equivalent of Buchanan High in Botetourt County in those days, and, through the next decade, this persisted even though the student population there was at least 13 percent black during the 1936–37 school year.
Yet, in his day, he was best known as a no-nonsense administrator, and he really liked where he worked. For example, in December 1930, in the Journal and Guide, he gushed: “Its sixty-five class rooms and shops, spacious halls, and splendid auditorium present an impressive picture to the visitor. indb 24 6/8/12 3:16 PM discrimination and dissent | 25 valentine, however, Douglas damned other less attractive aspects of his school with fainter praise. ” Even through his veil of appreciation, Douglas admitted that its holdings were primarily acquired via private fund-raisers arranged by the school librarian and were only supplemented by state and local moneys.