By Jack Dougherty
Conventional narratives of black academic historical past recommend that African american citizens provided a unified voice touching on Brown v. Board of schooling. Jack Dougherty counters this interpretation, demonstrating that black activists engaged in a number of, overlapping, and infrequently conflicting options to strengthen the race through gaining better keep watch over over colleges. Dougherty tells the tale of black institution reform hobbies in Milwaukee from the Nineteen Thirties to the Nineties, highlighting the a number of views inside every one new release. In profiles of 4 major activists, he unearths how assorted generations redefined the that means of the Brown selection over the years to slot the historic stipulations in their specific struggles. William Kelley of the city League labored to win educating jobs for blacks and to resettle Southern black migrant childrens within the Fifties; Lloyd Barbee of the NAACP equipped protests in aid of built-in faculties and the educating of black background within the Nineteen Sixties; and Marian McEvilly and Howard Fuller contested--in assorted ways--the politics of imposing desegregation within the Nineteen Seventies, paving the way in which for the Nineties deepest university voucher flow. Dougherty concludes through contrasting 3 interpretations of the growth made within the fifty years due to the fact that Brown, exhibiting how old point of view can make clear modern debates over race and schooling reform.
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Additional resources for More Than One Struggle: The Evolution of Black School Reform in Milwaukee
The school board implicitly agreed to hire black teachers with the understanding that it would assign them only to predominantly black elementary schools. The terms of the compromise allowed the Milwaukee public school system to continue its oﬃcial policy of merit-based and color-blind hiring to avoid legal and ethnic troubles. The next day’s newspaper featured Potter’s quote that there would be ‘‘no Negro schools’’ in the city, avoiding a public relations controversy over the question of segregation in a progressive Northern school district.
His very light skin complexion may have reduced white anxiety. Superintendent Vincent soon developed a very close relationship with Cheeks, trusting him as his ambassador in dealing with Milwaukee’s black community. Nevertheless, Cheeks’s ascension did not radically alter the system; no additional black teachers gained transfers to the high schools for another two years. 39 Building Local Strength from Federal Power William Kelley’s reluctant compromise on segregated black teacher hiring ﬁt the context of 1939, when black Milwaukeeans were desperate for jobs.
Therefore, in the eyes of black community leaders like William Kelley, school segregation was not an issue. Instead, he mobilized around the fact that there had not been a single black teacher in the Milwaukee public school system when he had arrived in 1928, nor for several years later. Whether one subscribed to the industrial education strategy of Booker T. Washington or the ‘‘talented tenth’’ approach of W. E. B. Du Bois, both relied on black teachers to advance the race. Across the South, black teachers not only provided a steady source of income for the local economy but also held respected positions as moral leaders of segregated 12 b l a c k t e a c h e r s ’ j o b s communities.
More Than One Struggle: The Evolution of Black School Reform in Milwaukee by Jack Dougherty