Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality

By Jeannine Swift | Go to book overview
Save to active project

9 A Dream Deferred for Quality Education: Civil Rights Legislation and De Facto Segregation in the Cincinnati Schools, 1954-1986

Michael H. Washington

The failure of the civil rights legislation to adequately address de facto educational segregation in the North permitted northern urban school districts to continue operating their dual school systems. Beginning with a synopsis of the weaknesses of the civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s, the purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that despite blacks' struggle for quality education, the educational policy makers in Cincinnati were able to take advantage of the weak federal legislation and refine de facto segregation in the schools.

The first week of December of 1955 marked the official beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The December 1 arrest of Mrs. Rosa Parks for violating the Montgomery, Alabama, city segregation code after refusing to relinquish her bus seat to a white man, and the subsequent success of the boycott which began on December 5, led the Supreme Court to uphold the decision that Alabama's state and local bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. Moreover, the victory in Montgomery led to numerous struggles throughout the South to bring an end to the odious Jim Crow laws. It also led to demonstrations throughout the North and the West against de facto segregation.

The heroic struggles in Birmingham, Alabama; Atlanta and Albany, Georgia; Greensboro, North Carolina; St. Augustine, Florida and the sit- ins and demonstrations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Englewood, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and San Francisco led to the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" on August 28, 1963. Over 200,000 blacks and whites from all over the United States converged upon Washington, D.C., and thus staged the largest demonstration in the history of the nation's capital. The "I Have a Dream" speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King became a classic in American oratory. Yet some activists and critics such as Malcolm X considered the march itself to be the "farce on Washington," an almost festive affair used to promote the Kennedy Civil Rights Bill then pending before Congress.( 1)

The historical origins of Kennedy's Civil Rights Bill were rooted in the struggle against Jim Crow and the demand of Black Americans for the enforcement of the Brown decision. In addressing the issue of segregation and discrimination, the Kennedy bill proposed to end segregation at lunch counters and public facilities and to create a permanent committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. In regard to education, the bill proposed to enforce the Brown decision by giving the attorney general the authority to initiate court cases against local school districts and institutions of high learning. The final proposal was one which in its final form would have the greatest effect on American education. Kennedy argued that programs and institutions receiving federal assistance should be required to end all discriminatory practices. Unfortunately though,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 162

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?