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264Southern Cultures long school boycott, during which parents kept children out of school, students held nonviolent protests and were jailed, and more than 125 members of the Hyde County African American community organized and conducted two important marches, traveling a distance of two hundred miles to the state capítol in Raleigh to plead their cause. While telling the story of the boycott, Cecelski also conveys how the community—despite material poverty, underfunding, and neglect—created and sustained their own educational institution to prepare students for intellectual and racial advancement in a society that colluded to limit their futures. The community made its schools a source of ongoing support and community pride. Cecelski adeptly captures the dynamics and interactions among the various local, state, and federal agencies, grassroots groups, and national civil rights organizations. He also skillfully weaves this account into a coherent narrative. Moreover, he should be applauded for his realistic portrayal of persons and events in the county. He neither romanticizes nor underplays the material neglect and poverty that characterized the area and its black schools. Nor does he represent members of the various communities as onedimensional . He shows, for instance, one scene where the local sheriff lobs tear gas into a room full of protesting teenagers, then shuts the door, causing panic and precipitating one teenager's injury. But he also notes that the sheriff worked behind the scenes to stave off violence between the county's black and white citizens. In addition, Cecelski depicts black residents with varying interests, concerns, and fears, even as they organize to fight for the common goal of saving their schools. Finally, to his credit and unlike many white academics, Cecelski has familiarized himself with and acknowledged the work of African American scholars who have also written on the subject. His epilogue, which updates the reader on changes that have occurred since the schools were finally desegregated in 1970, concludes on a sober note. Despite a laudatory start, the integrated Hyde County Schools have not been without their problems. Unfortunately , the lessons learned from the Hyde County boycott went unheeded by other school districts that subsequently desegregated. The success of the county's desegregated schools, moreover, could not postpone Hyde County's inevitable decline, still plagued as it is by poverty and unemployment. It must be remembered, though, that the struggle to save Hyde County's schools, which galvanized the black community, has been expanded into a broader campaign for civil rights and personal and political empowerment. Rather than summarizing subsequent events, Cecelski might have offered a more detailed analysis of events since 1970, but this is a minor flaw. Along Freedom Road represents an important chapter in the still unfolding story of school desegregation. It is required reading for all those who are interested in understanding more about how African Americans view their schools. Surveying the South: Studies in Regional Sociology. By John Shelton Reed. University of Missouri Press, 1993. 149 pp. Cloth, $29.95; paper, $14.95. Reviewed by John David Smith, Graduate Alumni Distinguished Professor ofHistory at North Carolina State University, where he teaches southern history. His books include An Old Creed for the New South: Proslavery Ideology and Historiography, 1865-1918. Reviews265 Surveying the South reprints ten articles published by John Shelton Reed between 1978 and 1991. Appropriately, Reed dedicates his collection of essays to distinguished pioneer sociologists Guy B. Johnson, Edgar T. Thompson, and Rupert B. Vance. One of the nation's foremost regional sociologists, Reed devotes considerable attention to the contributions of those "great Southern sociologists of the 1930s," who began descriptive regional sociology . Like those scholars, Reed researches deeply and writes with charm, grace, and wit. He arranges the essays in Surveying the South (some of which Reed coauthored) in four sections. Surprisingly, the pieces appear without documentation and with only a partial bibliography of works cited in the text. Apparently unedited for inclusion in this work, some of the articles are repetitious. These problems, along with the absence of an analytical introduction or conclusion, render the anthology more a random sampling of Reed's ideas and research designs than a fresh, integrated work. Though lacking an overall focus, Reed's slender volume nonetheless...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 264-266
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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