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Articles on Segregation

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Voting rights activists protest voter restriction laws being passed in states across the country, in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2021. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The first battle in the culture wars: The quality of diversity

Americans tend to think of diversity in demographic terms, but it has a qualitative element to it that reflects a fundamental battle between segregation and integration.
The collective memory of school desegregation is of anger and division, like in this photo of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford walking away from a crowd outside a high school in Little Rock, Ark. Bettmann via Getty Images

How did white students respond to school integration after Brown v. Board of Education?

Americans’ collective memory of school desegregation involves crowds of screaming white protesters. But less well known are the whites who stood by quietly, and those who approved of the changes.
Interstate 980 cuts off West Oakland, Calif., at top, from other Oakland neighborhoods. Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Removing urban highways can improve neighborhoods blighted by decades of racist policies

Two urban policy experts explain why taking down highways that have isolated low-income and minority neighborhoods for decades is an important part of the pending infrastructure bill.
President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which aimed to do away with racial discrimination in the law. But discrimination persisted. AP file photo

Critical race theory: What it is and what it isn’t

A scholar of race and racism explains what critical race theory is – and how many people get it wrong.
In 1872, John Gast painted ‘American Progress,’ showing trains and roads spreading across the American West. John Gast, Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons

Infrastructure spending has always involved social engineering

Government investment in roads, railroads and other public services has always involved social programming, both for good and for ill.
View of the Friendship 9 students who protested against racial discrimination and were put in prison, Rock Hill, South Carolina, February 1961. Afro American Newspapers/Gado via Getty Images

‘Our ultimate choice is desegregation or disintegration’ – recovering the lost words of a jailed civil rights strategist

A long-lost letter from prison by a civil rights activist provides a window on the pivotal role protesters in South Carolina played in fighting segregation.
Demolition of uninhabited shacks in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, Cape Town, August 6, 2020. The land, which was to be developed as a community facility for neighbouring communities, has been illegally occupied by people who have been demarcating plots and building informal settlements. Rodger Bosch/AFP

Can social housing help South Africa overcome its legacy of apartheid?

Despite millions of free homes built since 1994, spatial inequality in South Africa remains high. A study evaluating a programme to boost rentals in well-located areas found mixed results, however.
Students of School Section #13 with teacher, Verlyn Ladd, who taught at the school from 1939 to 1958. Class of 1951, Buxton, Raleigh Township, Ontario. (Buxton National Historic Site & Museum)

Black History: How racism in Ontario schools today is connected to a history of segregation

An 1850 act permitted the creation of separate schools for Protestants, Catholics and for any five Black families. Some white people used the act to force Black students into separate institutions.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preaching from his pulpit in 1960 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Dozier Mobley/Getty Images

How the Ebenezer Baptist Church has been a seat of Black power for generations in Atlanta

The church has played a vital role in America’s civil rights struggle. It was the spiritual home to MLK, to the generations that shaped the vision of the late civil rights leader, and now to Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Football players from Lee Central High School in Bishopville, South Carolina, share a meal with players from the Robert E. Lee Academy. Lee County in South Carolina is still segregated. Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Pandemic school funding debate in South Carolina rekindles Jim Crow-era controversy

The battle to expand private education in South Carolina amid the pandemic mirrors previous struggles over civil rights and highlights the ways systemic racism has undermined public education.

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