School segregation and desegregation have been at the center of conflict and have aroused the passions of Americans for many decades. This reference volume is an attempt to bring some rationality to a subject loaded with emotion. Herein brief essays describe the over 270 key court decisions, people, types of school desegregation plans, legislation, organizations, terms and concepts, and reports and publications that have played a significant role in the history of this topic. Entries are included in alphabetical order. This comprehensive reference work should prove helpful to students studying this topic: teachers of black history, the sociology of education, and related fields; scholars conducting research in this field; and practitioners involved in the school desegregation process. I believe that they will be aided by having all this material in one volume in a convenient form.
I have attempted to be inclusive in determining the entries. The volume covers school segregation and desegregation in postsecondary as well as elementary and secondary education. The geographical area, however, is limited to the United States. The time period covers the topic from before the Civil War through the latest court decision at the time of the writing of this book. Given the historical development of the battle for school desegregation, however, the focus is on the last 50 years. The length of each item is related to its importance in the history of school segregation and desegregation, not necessarily the entry's importance on other dimensions. Thus the U.S. Constitution is a brief entry, despite its importance to the nation, while the Fourteenth Amendment, the concept of separate but equal, and Plessy v. Ferguson ( 1896) are given more space.
Of course, I could not include all possible entries. Lines have to be drawn. I