OUR CHILDREN'S BURDEN by Raymond W.--Ed. Mack


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Eight ""ethnographies"" by social scientists mainly, edited by Professor Mack of Northwestern University, and pointed toward a general carefully weighted portrait of the process of integration in representative communities. It will be no surprise to the knowing that most desegration processes have been accompanied by a good deal of heel-dragging obstructionism and moderate-to-extreme oratory and manipulation. It is also no news that, nationwide, Negro schools have inferior facilities and programs. Teachers in these schools test low on verbal ability and morale. Dr. Mack's survey, however, involves emerging patterns: small towns and medium-sized cities are desegregating, in token at least; large urban areas are ""re-segregating"" as populations shift; Negroes are strongly motivated to education as providing a lever to success; ""protest pays"" (Riverside, California integrated its schools because someone set fire to the ghetto school--and there are other instances); the children must carry the burden--black and white. One of the many difficulties mentioned proceeds from the accepted theory that prejudice is strongest at the lower class level, and since most Negroes are economically lower class, they live in neighborhoods where shared schools lead to the most conflict. The average low achievement of Negro children in white schools proceeds from a doubt that success is possible in a discriminatory environment. Generally free from the claustrophobic phraseology of the sociologist, this is nonetheless a special--if most worthy--study.

Pub Date: July 12th, 1968
Publisher: Random House