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Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)
This is a story about one group of people in one city struggling to obtain the right to exercise a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution -- the right to the opportunity of equal access to a quality public school education. The St. Louis story of school desegregation is important because St. Louis was held up as a model example of one southern city dismantling its dual school system and successfully desegregating. Yet 20 years later St. Louis school desegregation was not the success it was touted. How this city failed and how one group of citizens fought to bring it back is what this paper is about. Now, once again, St. Louis is being hailed by some as a success story in producing a comprehensive and effective school desegregation program. Understanding what St. Louis has been through in the development and implementation of that program can shed light on the mistakes of the past and insure that school children in St. Louis and in other cities are not denied the opportunity to a quality public education.
The paper is organized to give the reader a broad to specific, national to local, view of the history of the above mentioned educational issues. It begins with a broad glimpse of the issues of power and control and where they fit into the realm of school administration. It introduces the general nature of civil rights in the United States, the history of Brown, and explains the important role the American school system played as a symbol of the achievement of those rights. Moving to the more specific, the paper's focus comes to rest on St. Louis and highlights just one city's response to Brown and the struggle to achieve civil rights locally.
Mark Kornbluh, Mary Ann Dzuback
Horton, Barnaby W., "Exclusion and Optimism: Black Americans Keep Their Eyes on the Education Prize: A Story of School Desegregation in St. Louis, 1954-1980" (1991). Senior Honors Papers / Undergraduate Theses. 6.