Against the Wind: African Americans and the Schools in Milwaukee, 1963-2002

By Bill Dahlk | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
INTEGRATIONISTS PURSUE
A METROPOLITAN SOLUTION
AND EDUCATIONAL
NATIONALISTS RESPOND

Milwaukee’s black community needs to protect our growing politi-
cal strength, increase our economic power, and take our destiny
into our own hands. We need to nurture and protect our babies,
children and students and we cannot do that by sending our chil-
dren to people who do not want us as neighbors
.

—Polly Williams1

When you [blacks] integrate and assimilate, you have got no
power
.

—Taki Raton, Milwaukee educator2


STABILITY AND HOPE

Nineteen eighty-one and 1982 brought to MPS some much needed stability and moderate optimism. The out-of-court settlement, the end of the appeal’s process, and the resolution of the North Division dispute meant that the parameters of desegregation were now set for a time. The transition from the junior high to the middle school model was partly accomplished by moving the ninth grade into the high school. The shift from a neighborhood school system to citywide mixing of students was achieved. White flight had decelerated, perhaps because no further new desegregation was planned and high interest rates joined with more tenuous employment pros-

1 MJ May 22, 1987.

2 MJS February 24, 2002.

-380-

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