By Roy Douglas Malonson
“It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too Black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”
– Malcolm X
Malcolm X simple analogy about coffee as it relates to integration, reflects the very idea I have been trying to convey in reference to the Truth About Integration. Some people tend to disagree with my views regarding integration and they are entitled to do so. Nevertheless, the fact remains that integration did more to destroy Our Black fortress rather than preserving and sustaining it.
I witnessed the first-hand affects integration had on America’s public-school system. In 1954, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren ruled on the civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas. This ruling state-sanctioned segregation of public schools as a violation of the 14th amendment and was deemed unconstitutional.
We MUST Understand, although it was some time afterwards when schools officially began to integrate, this measure gradually destroyed historically Black institutions and facilities.
Primarily because, while there were some Blacks who were ecstatic to integrate White schools, the truth is none of our White counterparts would ever sign up to send their children to Our Black schools. The conclusion, scores of Black institutions were closed.
When this happened, it began to diminish part of Our History in education. To this day, we will never know some of the advancements Our forefathers made in education because some of that history was lost. We went to their schools and most of ours eventually closed and were never re-opened. But the kicker was that, even though schools were no longer segregated, there was still SEGREGATION within INTEGRATION.
The mode had already been set. We were used to being amongst our own and so were they. The only thing that changed – we were all going to the same schools.
Black students were still discriminated against in every aspect. We were still not equal. It took decades before Blacks could compete in schools with Whites and even in that, competitions were impartial amongst many other things.
Photo credit: hechingerreport.org