Black Colleges and Desegregation
The existence of separate, publicly supported colleges for Negroes has embodied a series of legal and educational paradoxes. The public Negro college has been expected to serve the unique educational requirements of black students while it duplicates the curriculum offered to whites. It has been a center both to preserve black culture and to prepare black students for the mainstream of American life. Its separate status has been praised as a way to insure financial security and damned as symbolic of the Negro's inferior condition. . . . Its continued existence has been defended as necessary to maintain segregation and as essential to increase integration. Its improvement has been mandated in order to segregate black students and to attract white ones. Its virtues have been hailed by segregationists and its weaknesses condemned by integrationists. Ambivalence toward the black college has confounded the definition and implementation of desegregation.
Preer, 1982, p. 1
The literature on desegregation has fascinated scholars and students for more than a generation. The novice must confront hundreds of books and journal articles on the subject, representing myriad theoretical perspectives and positions. Most explanations of desegregation focus on the social, cultural, and moral reasons and guidelines