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From Brown to Meredith

The Long Struggle for School Desegregation in Louisville, Kentucky, 1954-2007

Tracy E. K’Meyer

Publication Year: 2013

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press


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pp. 1-7


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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xii

Any historian incurs debts while producing a book. Because in this case oral history is the major source, I have more than the usual helpful souls to thank for their contribution to the finished product. First and foremost, this book would not have been possible without the generosity of the interviewees who shared their time and stories. ...

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pp. 1-14

In spring 2007, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the joined Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education and Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 lawsuits, which challenged the districts’ use of race as a determining factor in student assignment as a means of integrating the schools. ...

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1. School Desegregation in the Wake of Brown, 1954–1971

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pp. 15-52

In an oral history interview in 1988, Barry Bingham, the white publisher of the Courier Journal and the Louisville Times, remarked, “We did have a record here in Louisville which is worth remembering. I think the year was 1956 when the first integration of the Louisville schools came about, ...

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2. The Beginning of Busing, 1971–1980

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pp. 53-106

In 1995 and again in 2005, the Courier Journal printed articles marking the twentieth and thirtieth anniversaries of the beginning of busing for desegregation in Louisville and Jefferson County. On these occasions the paper invited readers to submit their stories, providing a platform for them to remember the events of 1975 and their impact on the community. ...

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3. The Continuing Struggle over Desegregation, 1981–2007

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pp. 107-148

In the spring of 2007, as Louisvillians reacted to the possibility that the Supreme Court would invalidate their school desegregation plan, the former NAACP president Maurice Sweeney wondered why, “As we discuss and debate the state and purpose of desegregated schools in Jefferson County, there seems to be a bit of history missing. ...

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4. Remembering the Meaning and Impact of School Desegregation

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pp. 149-180

There are many ways to answer the question: What has desegregation meant for individuals, the schools, and the community? Social scientists analyze quantifiable outcomes such as test scores and graduation rates to measure educational achievement or employ an ethnographic approach to document the long-term fruits of an integrated education in individual lives. ...

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pp. 181-188

When I heard these words by historian Howard Zinn, I was reminded of the stories shared by men and women in Louisville and Jefferson County about the long struggle for racial equity and diversity in education. Their accounts contradict the community memory of school desegregation that is dominated by the turmoil of “busing”—the “worst” that discourages and inspires retreat. ...

Appendix: Interviewees

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pp. 189-192


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pp. 193-206


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pp. 207-212


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pp. 213-221

E-ISBN-13: 9781469612553
Print-ISBN-13: 9781469607085

Publication Year: 2013