Michigan law provided for desegregation in public education soon after the Civil War. The civil rights reforms initiated by Congress made desegregation possible in Michigan. It's statutes, however, left a loophole enabling the department of education to circumvent the official policy concerning desegregation. For example, educators promoted children by their current performance. While white children are not smarter than black youths, the previous experiences of black children under a system of oppression in Michigan and the nation, made it unlikely that black youths had the same educational preparation as the whites.
All residents may attend common school. Approved March 7, 1871, Laws of Michigan.
Section 28. All persons, residents of any school district, and five years of age, shall have an equal right to attend any school therein; and no separate school or department shall be kept for any persons on account of race or color: Provided, That this shall not be construed to prevent the grading of schools according to the intellectual progress of the pupil, to be taught in separate places as may be deemed expedient.