Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality

By Jeannine Swift | Go to book overview

segregation (for example, a partial 9-12 or K-6), a comprehensive plan such as this might be more conducive to a successful mixing of racial groups.

During early integration efforts, workshops were held for teachers to prepare them for the upcoming merger. These sessions may have made an impact that contributed to good relations between the racial groups.

In explaining how school desegregation might work, Miller presents a "cognitive sophistication interpretation" as suggested by Glock. (13) This view emphasizes the role of cognitive complexity, sophistication, and cynicism in curtailing the development of prejudice and builds upon stereotypes which emphasize their substantial basis in truth. In addition to representing an explanantion of group difference by way of completion of self-fulfilling prophecies, prejudice more fundamentally rests on the perception that true group differences do exist. Miller says that cognitive sophistication promotes immunity to prejudice by enabling one to deal more effectively with the truth component of stereotypes. It allows one to discriminate between relative versus absolute differences, to reduce these overgeneralizations, and by increasing one's understanding of how differences arise to resist prejudicial responses to them.

Maybe Miller's explanation applies in this school system after fourteen years of contact between the races. The stereotypes of blacks expressed by whites in 1964 as being too different and socially unfit subsided in 1979 and 1984, and were replaced with more favorable descriptions of blacks. Allport's equal status within the contact situation, shared goals, and cooperative dependence in reaching their goals may be operating here toward improved racial attitudes.

The findings of Deutsch and Collins in integrated housing units and the soldier study in 1945 which concluded that stereotype-breaking contacts reduce prejudice seem to be supported by these data. Stephan and Rosenfeld suggest if desegregation has positive effects, it is probably that "more than a year or two" is required for them to evolve. (14) More than a "year or two" has passed--more than "mere desegregation" seems to be occurring in this high school.


NOTES
1.
Janet W. Schofield and H. Andrew Sagar, "Peer Interaction Patterns in an Integrated Middle School," Sociometry 40 ( June 1977): 130-138. See Martha W. Carithers, "School Desegregation and Racial Cleavage, 1954-1970: A Review of the Literature," Journal of Social Issues 26, no. 4 (Autumn 1970): 25-47; St. Nancy John, School Desegregation Outcomes for Children ( New York: John Wiley, 1975); Elizabeth G. Cohen, "The Effects of Desegregation on Race Relations," Law and Contemporary Problems 39 (Spring 1975): 271-299; David Gottleib and Warren D. TenHouten, "Racial Composition and the Social Systems of Three High Schools," Journal of Marriage and the Family 27 ( May 1965): 204-212; D. J. Amor, "The Evidence on Busing," The Public Interest 28 (Summer 1972): 90-126; John A. Green and Harold B. Gerald, "School Desegregation and Ethnic Attitudes," in Integrating the Organization, ed. H. Franklin and John J. Sherwood ( New York: Free Press, 1974); E. L. Horowitz , "Development of Attitudes Toward Negroes," in Readings in Social Psychology, ed. Theodore M. Newcomb and Eugene L. Hartley ( New York: Holt, 1952); Irwin Silverman and Marvin E. Shaw "The Effects of Sudden Mass School Desegregation on Interracial Interaction and Attitudes on One Southern City," Journal of Social Issues 29, no. 4 ( 1973): 133- 142; John E. Williams, Deborah L. Best, and D. A. Boswell in "The Measurement of Children's Racial Attitudes in the Early School Years," Child Development 46 ( June 1975): 494-500.

-74-

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Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: A Tale of Two and One-Half Decades 3
  • Notes 11
  • 2: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. 13
  • 3: Rediscovering Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement 19
  • Conclusion 26
  • Notes 26
  • 4: The Civil Rights Movement: Upheaval and Organization 29
  • Conclusion 39
  • Notes 40
  • 5: Blacks and the New South: Civil Rights in the Eighties 43
  • Introduction 43
  • Conclusion 49
  • Notes 50
  • 6: Improving the Plight of Black, Inner-City Youths: Whose Responsibility? 53
  • Notes 65
  • 7: Racial Attitudes of Black and White Adolescents Before and After Desegregation 69
  • Conclusion 73
  • Notes 74
  • 8: The Ills of Integration: A Black Perspective 77
  • Introduction 77
  • Notes 84
  • 9: A Dream Deferred for Quality Education: Civil Rights Legislation and De Facto Segregation in the Cincinnati Schools, 1954-1986 87
  • Notes 91
  • 10: The Housing Conditions of Black Americans: 1960s-1980s 93
  • Conclusion 98
  • Notes 105
  • 11: The Collapse of the Employment Policy Agenda: 1964-1981 107
  • Introduction 107
  • Conclusion 120
  • Notes 121
  • 12: Black Workers at Risk: Jobs for Life or Death 125
  • Conclusion 131
  • Notes 133
  • 13: "Where Do We Go from Here" 137
  • Notes 144
  • Index 147
  • About the Editor and the Contributors 153
  • Hofstra University's Cultural and Intercultural Studies Coordinating Editor, Alexej Ugrinsky 157
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