Creating Caring and Nurturing Educational Environments for African American Children

By Curtis L. Morris; Vivian Gunn Morris | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1 Introduction: The Way It Was

The citizens. . . work[ed] hard and bought land and deeded this land to the city so that this school might be realized. We feel that this school is a part of us and we are a part of the school. As citizens, as taxpayers, as property owners, as voters and as parents, we feel that the school's business is our business. Report of the Citizens Committee of Tuscumbia, 1955


WHY THIS STORY?

Historians and researchers agree that, for the most part, segregated schools for African Americans have been viewed as dens of educational pathology ( Ladson-Billings, 1994; Rodgers, 1975; Sowell, 1976; Walker, 1996). And until the last two decades, little had been written about the internal functioning of these schools or the positive impact of their efforts from the perspective of the individuals they served or the teachers and administrators who had the primary responsibility for operating the schools ( Ceceleski, 1994; Dempsey & Noblit, 1996; Edwards, 1996; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Rodgers, 1975; Sowell, 1976; Walker, 1996). Many of these school communities had similar experiences as Trenholm High School, the focus of this book. With school desegregation, the doors of their school buildings were closed and the buildings often demolished; most of the memorabilia documenting the accomplishments and history of the school were vandalized, destroyed, or given away ( Dempsey & Noblit, 1996; Edwards, 1996; Morris, 1993; Morris & Morris, 1981, 1993, 1995, 1996; Walker, 1996). As desegregation of schools began in many southern communities, the voices of many African American communities were es

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