Mike Lanham, American Renaissance, June 25, 2022
This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.
My parents moved our family to Seabrook, MD in 1969. It’s a town in central Prince George’s County, an eastern suburb of Washington, D.C. I was nine years old. In 1969, Seabrook was 99 percent white. Most of the housing developments in Seabrook were built after World War II in an area that had historically consisted of tobacco farms since the 1600s. The housing development we moved to was called Presley Manor, named after Elvis, the King. Presley Manor was built in the mid-sixties and was full of split-levels, split-foyers, ramblers, and colonials. It was a wonderful place to grow up, and it seemed as if every home had three children and married parents.
Radical change came to Seabrook in December, 1972. Judge Frank Kaufman of Baltimore decided that Prince George’s County schools were segregated and a school busing plan would have to be implemented. At the time, many of the schools close to the D.C. border were almost completely black. Those children would be bused to white schools, while local white students would be bused to those schools. The busing plan was implemented in January, 1973. I attended Robert Goddard Junior High School in Seabrook. In one day, Goddard went from being 98 percent white to 60 percent white and 40 percent black. Children from very black towns such as Seat Pleasant, Fairmont Heights, Kent Village, Landover, and Palmer Park were bused to our school. These towns were some of the more violent places in the county. Our orderly, well-mannered school became chaotic in just a couple of days. Lockers were routinely broken into. Fights became more common. The black children had little comprehension of basic grammar or math. Most did not know their times tables.
A young person does not truly understand how his own neighborhood is changing until he or she gets a little older and wiser. The busing situation changed not only Prince George’s County, it changed Seabrook. More blacks moved to Seabrook, and the town was at least 15 percent black by 1985. Fewer whites moved into Seabrook after busing. By 1985, almost no whites moved in. Young people who grew up in Seabrook did not consider staying there to raise a family. The destiny of demography was moving at full speed in Prince George’s County. Schools had become so black that busing was dropped fewer than 20 years after it had been forced onto the county. A black county executive, Donald Curry, was elected in 1994. He was the first black to hold that position. To judge how enormous this election was, understand that Republican Larry Hogan, Sr. was elected County Executive in 1978. That’s how much the county had changed in sixteen years.
By the time my parents moved from Seabrook in 1996, the town was over half-black, and most of the whites were over the age of fifty. Seabrook is now 15 percent white, and most of these people are in their eighties. Virtually all the institutions I grew up with are gone: the bars, the bakery, the pizza parlors, the restaurants, etc. My high school is still there, but it is now under one percent white. As if that weren’t enough, a mosque sits four blocks from the house whereI grew up. I think it’s safe to say that there’s no going back.
If you have a story about how you became racially aware, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Use a pen name, stay under 1,200 words, and send it to us here.