civil rights project

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Social Studies
African-American History

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civil rights project

The segregated classroom told a powerful story of the oppression of the African American race. Education is essential to a person's future and success, but with an entire race lacking a solid education they are generally forced to remain in the lower socio-economic levels. Before the Civil Rights Movement, the "white" schools had more money to purchase supplies and pay teachers. The "black" schools were usually one-room classrooms with the discarded supplies and outdated textbooks from the "white" schools. The movement to integrate was pushed by certain groups and individuals, such as the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Little Rock Nine, Thurgood Marshall and Linda Brown. Some people lost their lives for the progression of the African American race such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Thurgood Marshall was the first Black man to serve on the Supreme Court. Before that, he was a lawyer who was famous for arguing in the Brown vs. Board of Education case. This decision was crucial to progress for black students getting the education that some never knew they were missing. In 1993, Thurgood Marshall recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work.

Janice Kelsy recalls life as a black high school student

The Injustice:A Classroom Divided

The Little Rock Nine was a name given to a group of black students who were going to be the first students to intergrate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in 1957. This occurred after the ruling of Brown vs. Board of Education banned "seperate but equal" schooling. The Governor of Arkansas at the time, Orvil Faubus, prevented them from entering the High School. This violated federal law and President Eisenhower interviened and the students were allowed to attend with escorts from the National Guard. In response, Governor Faubus closed public schools the next year, this is known as the "Lost Year". The next year the schools were reopened by federal court decision. Only two of the original nine re-enrolled.

Linda Brown was the young black schoolgirl who changed the school system with the Brown vs. Board of Education supreme court decision. It overturned the "separate but equal" ideology of Plessy vs. Ferguson. In 1954, it was decided that seperate schools for black and white children was unconstitutional. It required integration in the southern states allowing students such as the Little Rock Nine to attend schools that were formally "all white".

Inequalities in Education: Then and Now

Even though racial segregation has been outlawed, a new kind of educational inequality has risen in America today. This is the inequality between classes, meaning that schools in lower income neighborhoods have poorer educational conditions than higher income neighborhoods. Here are some examples:•School budgets are tied to property taxes. This is why schools in poor neighborhoods get about half as much money per student than schools in well-off neighborhoods. Economically disadvantaged areas are more often non-white than not, as indicated by the graph of Valdosta City School and Lowndes County School student population.•Urban students are less likely to graduate than their suburban counterparts. High school graduation rates are 15% lower in the nation’s urban schools when compared with those located in the suburbs.•Children of poor families are up to six times more likely to drop out than wealthy children.•Approximately one-fifth of schools have less than adequate conditions for life safety features, roofs and electrical power.However, progress is being made in helping those children who are disadvantaged. Robert Haveman and Timothy Smeeding wrote a journal called "The Future of Children" In this journal the author suggests "the development of financing structures that will increase access for students from lower-income families. Public institutions could price tuition close to real costs and use added revenues to provide direct student aid for students from low-income families. Federal subsidies to students who attend wealthy institutions could be capped, with the savings redirected to students attending less well-endowed schools, both public and private. Finally, federal and state governments could redirect to lower-income students the financial support they now provide colleges and universities." These improvements could bridge the gap in the inequalities in education because of socio-economics and the question of minority predominant, disadvantaged districts in schools. The fight for fairness in education will be a long and difficult one but is entirely worth it for every child who graduates high school and enters college, regardless of their socio-economic stature.or race.

Education Inequality Now:

Motivated by John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, James Meredith was the first African American student to be enrolled in the University of Mississippi. He was barred from entering the college at first but was eventually admitted and graduated. He was harrassed while attending the college but went on to go to the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and he eventually won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. state of Texas in 1993. Its goal was to provide equal financing for all school districts in the state. Like the legend of Robin Hood, where he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, the law "recaptured" property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts and gave it to those in property-poor districts. This was enacted in the hope of equalizing the financing of all districts throughout Texas.

Works Cited:"President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!" Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <>."Challenging Racial Inequality in Education: One School's Response to the End of Affirmative Action by Pedro A. Noguera / In Motion Magazine." In Motion Magazine® - A Multicultural, Online Publication about Democracy. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <>."San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <>."Savage Inequalities." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 16 Feb. 2011. <>.19, April. "John F. Kennedy." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <>."Civil Rights Act of 1964." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <>."James Earl Ray." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <>.

In John F. Kennedy's civil rights speech in 1963, he promotes "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments," as well as "greater protection for the right to vote." This was a major advancement for the African American race and making America a more equal nation Martin Luther King jr. was assassinated by a racist segregationist, James Earl Ray. His life was dedicated to the achievement of racial equality. His efforts greatly advanced the civil rights movement and improved a nation.


  • jazzie2468 9 years ago

    jazzie2468's avatar

    today in shool on 3-30-12 we read civil war