SEGREGATION, SHOW-ME STYLE BROWN VS. BOARD WAS ALMOST ARNOLD VS. KIRKWOOD Series: Black, White and Brown 40 Years of Desegregation Sidebar Story

By Harry Levins Of the Post-Dispatch Robert W. Tabscott of the Elijah Lovejoy Society of Webster Groves and John Wright, an assistant superintendent schools, provided an invaluable amount of research material story. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 15, 1994 | Go to article overview

SEGREGATION, SHOW-ME STYLE BROWN VS. BOARD WAS ALMOST ARNOLD VS. KIRKWOOD Series: Black, White and Brown 40 Years of Desegregation Sidebar Story


Harry Levins Of the Post-Dispatch Robert W. Tabscott of the Elijah Lovejoy Society of Webster Groves and John Wright, an assistant superintendent schools, provided an invaluable amount of research material story., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


ST. LOUIS SEGREGATED its schools for 117 years, which is a lot longer than Dixie did.

Even so, when state-ordered segregation ended here, it sank with hardly a ripple. No mobs marched; no politician blocked a schoolhouse door. Parents of black students in St. Louis County voiced the only discontent as some school districts took longer to integrate than others.

What made St. Louis so different at both ends of segregation's history?

Geography, mostly. At the beginning, the city sat too far south to be Northern. In the end, it sat too far north to be Southern.

As White As Chalk

St. Louis opened its first public schools in April 1838. By the standards of the American frontier, that put the city way ahead of its time.

Massachusetts had long required church schooling; in 1837, that state took the first steps toward what we'd recognize today as a public school system, free of the churches.

St. Louis needed a few years to catch up. The city's schools became truly "public" only in 1849, when voters replaced tuition with a property tax.

In the slave states - and Missouri was one - people who educated blacks did so very quietly. The notion of educating blacks frightened most slave-state whites.

Educating blacks would put ideas in their heads. Educating blacks would sour them on their lot as hewers of wood and haulers of water. Educating blacks would give them the organizational skill they needed to revolt.

Although little educating was going on, black or white, the slave-states made sure that blacks stayed on the outside, looking in.

For example, Missouri's Legislature decreed in 1847 that "no person shall keep or teach any school for the instruction of negroes or mulattoes, in reading or writing."

A few scofflaws defied the law. By the standards of their day, they were radicals - people like the Rev. John M. Peck, a Baptist, a missionary and a white man. As early as 1818, he was vexing his neighbors by teaching blacks in the city.

In fact, The city's blacks received what little schooling they got from men of the cloth. Some of these radical clerics were free blacks. One was the Rev. John Berry Meachum, who had been ordained by Peck.

When Missouri took blacks out of schools, Meachum took blacks out of Missouri. The youngsters he taught rode skiffs each day out into the Mississippi River, where they went to school aboard a boat.

Other black ministers camouflaged their lessons as Sunday school, which was allowed. But whenever the authorities found chalk and slates - evidence of writing - they shut down the schools.

Like so many wars, the Civil War changed everything.

Jim Crow Wings In

The fortunes of war gave the South's slaves their freedom, but nothing else. They had neither cash nor the skill needed to lay hands on cash. Early in 1865, Congress set up a sort of disaster relief agency.

The Freeman's Bureau provided blacks with basics like food and shelter. More importantly, it set up more than 4,300 schools for them.

Churches and charities in the North helped. New England shipped down thousands of young churchwomen as teachers, and the North as a whole kicked in money. But the agency shut down in 1872.

By then, some Southern states were setting up a few public schools. The schools tended to be segregated - which made them a bit of an oddity.

Most of us think of Jim Crow segregation as a post-Civil War phenomenom that sprang up across the South as soon as the guns fell silent. It didn't. In most fields of everyday Southern life, segregation took root slowly, and late.

By and large, Jim Crow stayed at bay until the 1880s, after the North's army of occupation pulled out. As late as the 1930s and 1940s, cities and states in the South were adding new places and activities to the segregated list.

From the start, most whites drew the line at sending their children to school with blacks. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SEGREGATION, SHOW-ME STYLE BROWN VS. BOARD WAS ALMOST ARNOLD VS. KIRKWOOD Series: Black, White and Brown 40 Years of Desegregation Sidebar Story
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.