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The Hardest Deal of All: The Battle Over School Integration in Mississippi, 1870-1980

Bolton, Charles C.

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ISBN 10: 1578067170 / ISBN 13: 9781578067176
Published by University Press of Mississippi, 2005
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Hardest Deal of All: The Battle Over ...

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Race has shaped public education in the Magnolia State from Reconstruction through the Carter Administration. Charles C. Bolton mines newspaper accounts, interviews, journals, archival records, legal and financial documents, and other sources to uncover the complex story of one of Mississippi’s most significant and vexing issues. He also uses the state’s desegregation history to illuminate similar struggles throughout the South.

This history closely examines specific events—the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education decision in the state, the 1966 protests and counter-demonstrations in Grenada, and the efforts of particular organizations—and carefully considers the broader picture. The state’s white and black public schools are given equal attention, as are the range of attitudes about integration amongst white and black Mississippians. The book also details the effects of desegregation on black communities and white private school attendance.

Despite a "separate but equal" doctrine established in the late nineteenth century, the state’s racially divided school systems quickly developed vast differences in terms of financing, academic resources, teacher salaries, and quality of education. As one of the nation’s poorest states, Mississippi could not afford to finance one school system adequately, much less two. For much of the twentieth century, whites fought hard to preserve the dual school system, in which the maintenance of one-race schools became the most important measure of educational quality. Blacks fought equally hard to end segregated schooling, realizing that their schools would remain underfunded and understaffed as long as they were not integrated.

From the Publisher:

This history of Mississippi's struggle to desegregate its schools:

* Looks at school integration from the perspective of a state where the process was contentious in the extreme

* Follows the story of Mississippi schools from reconstruction to full integration

* Yields the fruit of extensive research in primary sources

* Reveals the complexities of the fight against and the fight for integration in a state that has difficulty funding one public school system, let alone the dual system of segregated days

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