Posts tagged with "propublica report"

The Legacy of America’s Segregation Academies

About Segregation Academies in the United States:

Segregation academies were private schools established in the Southern United States in the mid-20th century to maintain racial segregation in education following the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, which ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. These academies were founded by white parents who wanted to avoid sending their children to integrated schools.

Segregation academies were often funded by tuition and donations from white parents and businesses. They offered a curriculum that was similar to that of public schools, but with a focus on white supremacy and segregationist ideology. Many segregation academies also had strict rules about student behavior and dress.

Segregation academies played a significant role in maintaining racial segregation in the South for decades. They helped to create a separate and unequal education system for Black and white students. Segregation academies also contributed to the white flight from urban areas, as many white families moved to suburbs to avoid sending their children to integrated schools.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 helped to dismantle segregation academies. These laws prohibited discrimination in public and private schools and made it easier for Black students to attend integrated schools. By the 1970s, most segregation academies had closed.

However, the legacy of segregation academies continues to this day. Many of the schools that were founded as segregation academies are now private schools that are open to students of all races. However, these schools often have a predominantly white student body. The legacy of segregation academies is also reflected in the racial disparities in education that persist in the United States today.

A recent event hosted by Propublica highlighted the status of “segregation academies” that still operate across the country. “Seven decades after Brown, many of these private schools survive and often continue to perpetuate segregated education systems. During this virtual event — the first in a series focused on education in 2024 — reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes and a panel of speakers will discuss the initial story in Hawes’ series on segregation academies and how these institutions preserve divisions within communities.”

The panel also addressed the history of segregation schools “and what racial divisions still look like in one Black Belt county.”

Speakers include:

Amberly Sheffield, The University of Mississippi PhD student and historical consultant
Dr. Andre Saulsberry, Wilcox County Public Schools superintendent
Jennifer Berry Hawes, ProPublica reporter
Mara Shalhoup, ProPublica South editor
Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews, BAMA Kids, Inc. executive director, and one of the first Black students to desegregate Wilcox County schools