It depends on who you ask. Some may say that integration was the best thing that could have happened to Black folks, other may beg to differ. This is a topic that seems to come up in conversations quite often and will never go away. As history would have it, after the Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, it became law that all schools in the United States had to be integrated. The system of segregated public schools in the United States was deemed unconstitutional.
This not only applied to just White schools and Black schools, but to all people across the country. According to Web reports, “the majority opinion cited sociological evidence to argue that the separation itself — regardless of whether facilities were equal — cultivated a sense of inferiority in Black children.”
In 1957, despite plans to intergrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, when nine Black students (now known as the Little Rock Nine) arrived to attend school at Central High they were kept out by the National Guard under orders of Governor Orval Faubus.
Was it fair? Of course not. But it does not matter because it does not mean anything to them that everything is not equal. Most people fail to realize before integration, individuals of the Black community had a strong sense of respect and understanding for another. Because of the struggle that those of African descent, now categorized as African-Americans endured a comprehension of the trials and tribulations that they experienced together was a commonality that bonded the Black community together as a whole.
An interview with one Donna Jenkins, she revealed her opinion on the subject. Stating that, “I think one of the biggest lies told by Civil Rights advocates was that Black children would receive a better education by attending school with Whites.”
“Although, the government did spent more money on the White schools; in retrospect with the loss of Black community based centers for education the educational needs of young Black children were placed in the hands of people who did not have their best interest at heart.” “Also, by attending schools with predominantly White teachers it began the process of miseducation, for which many of us are trying to overcome today.”
On the other hand to avoid presenting a biased issue to our avid African-American News & Issues readers I gathered information from another individual on the issue. Of which, Cassandra Daniels reports in her opinion the following in regards to the topic. “Black America got the equal opportunities for education, power and advancement.” Although she did admonish that in the midst midst of pursuing a better life Blacks began to lose them own selves and identity in the process. She proceeded on to convey that she feels, “America is better without the Jim Crow laws but with integration, it has broken down Black America.”
Furthermore she stated, “Until Black Americans built their own economic base by doing at least 35 percent of their business with one another, saving and investing their money in their own community, support historically Black colleges and entrepreneurship within the Black community, Black America will stay in the same place.” So once again was integration bad for Blacks?