Howard School Board Apologizes for Earlier Segregation

Joe Burris, Baltimore Sun, November 15, 2012

On the day that the Howard County school board apologized for the system’s treatment of African-American students during segregation, Dottie Cook thought back to her middle school days, when she received a hand-me-down education that included tattered books with her uncle’s name written in them.

An African-American resident from Dayton, Cook said her family petitioned the Howard school board to allow her to go to a school that white students attended—a more modern school with new books—and they were told she could but only if she got permission from the bus driver to be taken there.

“My father and I went to the gentleman’s house,” said Cook, 61, “and he told my father that if I didn’t cause any trouble that he would pick me up and take me to the school.”

It was 1964—10 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., decision outlawed segregated public schools.

Cook was among those present Thursday as the school board members took turns reading from a proclamation apologizing for the segregated school system. The proclamation received a standing ovation and board chairwoman Sandra French choked up afterward, saying, “I’m glad that we did not delay this anymore.”


The school board voted unanimously to approve the proclamation. It said the school system expressed “profound regret” for maintaining “segregated and unequal public schools both prior, and subsequent to, the 1954 United States Supreme Court decision” and that the board “commits to ensure that each student, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, or socioeconomic status, receives the educational opportunities necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the student’s potential and dreams.”

The proclamation again brings to light heinous practices and opens old wounds suffered because the school system gradually desegregated over an 11-year period after the Brown vs. Board ruling. At the time, the school system was criticized by civil rights leaders for taking so long to desegregate.

Howard was not alone in taking years to fully integrate schools. According to an article in The Baltimore Sun at the time, only a handful of counties in Maryland had fully integrated student bodies and faculties as of August 1964. In contrast, Baltimore City’s schools were desegregated shortly after the Brown decision in 1954.


Howard County’s proclamation comes during a time when local governments are making similar apologies for treatment of their citizens during segregation. In May, on the anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education case, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback apologized to African-Americans for segregation in the state. And on Veterans Day, the mayor of Gulfport, Miss., George Schloegel, apologized to family members of African-Americans who served in the U.S. military but were not allowed to be buried in the city cemetery during segregation.


The proclamation has led some experts to wonder how it helps today’s students.

“We all recognize that what was done back then was wrong,” said David Almasi, executive director of the Washington-based National Center for Public Policy Research. “It will make people feel good, but it’s not going to graduate any more kids come June. That’s up to modern legislators, modern parents, modern teachers and modern students.”

Howard Del. Frank Turner said that the move is “very nice,” but added that he was more concerned about ensuring the school system furthers efforts to address the achievement gap.

“They need to make sure we put resources into current-day problems that we have within Howard County schools,” Turner said, “because there is a difference in how performance has been, especially in those parts of the county which have [high numbers of students with] reduced-[price] meals. That would be more of my concern.”


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  • You Are Now Enriched

    These apologies are all about teaching White children that their roles in the new, better, more Diverse, and fundamentally transformed America is to “atone for the sins of segregation by holding ourselves accountable to the beloved community of color for our racist unearned White privilege”.

    Blacks are taught that they are here to Eracism by forcing accountability onto the racist White community.

    Black privilege is winning…

    This is grounds for an anti White discrimination lawsuit- “receives the educational opportunities necessary to ensure the fulfillment of the student’s potential and dreams.”

    White students can’t fulfill anything worthwhile when submerged under ugly and dangerous Diversity, except Race Realism.

    • .
      Blacks demand, insist on, and expect these apologies for many reasons such as power over white people, to humiliate white people, to keep guilt alive and others.

      One reason I believe blacks demand apologies is because they believe it’s going to make a difference; that acknowledging this ‘sin’ will some how heal them or make them whole as a people.

      One reason blacks can’t get ahead is because they’re stuck in the past. They can’t let go of anything. Most of the independent successful blacks who have made it aren’t looking behind them but forward. Too many blacks believe the answer to their problems can be found in the past.

      Historically, white people have fought each other for various reasons. But, when the wars are over, things pretty much settle down. If things are not completely forgotten or forgiven, at least white people negotiate peace.

      Blacks in America will never move forward because they’re always looking back.

      • Sir, They stuck in the past because they know they can never be anything but a fringe group here. By the end of the nineteenth, early twentieth centuries, it was quite evident. Interesting we ever had a war that had to do in any way with slavery. Slavery only had 20-30 profitable yrs. left to it. Then machines more of less started killing the idea of slavery here in this country.

        • Wrong! You would think that, but I was shocked when I discovered (courtesy of Wikipedia) that the invention of the cotton gin in 1795 by Eli Whitney, led to an explosive INCREASE in the demand for slave labor.

          Had it not been for the Civil War, the South’s appetite for slave labor would have been boundless. I believe they would have imported mestizos, North American aborigines and Orientals to be slaves in mining, railroad and other industries, in addition to agriculture.

      • BAW

        “Blacks in America will never move forward because they’re always looking back.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

      • You Are Now Enriched

        I started to walk down a flight of stairs today while a black girl started to walk up. I immediately gave way, and she passed without saying a word. I was offended by how rude she was, then I remembered that she was doing me a favor.

        Whenever we enteract with blacks at all, even if they are saying thank you, we are endangered. Let them be uppity and pass on by. The further they get away from you without your being in their attention span, the less endangered you are…

      • rebelcelt

        They want apologies because it usually ends up being money in their pockets.

  • MekongDelta69

    *grovel, choke up, grovel, choke up, grovel, choke up, grovel*

    Oh stop. Our books looked like junk. If you WANT to learn and have the IQ to learn, you can educate yourself even if you live in a dumpster.

    Every time they spend quadrillions of dollars to give black and brown ‘youfs’ brand spanking new schools (with a million amenities we never could have DREAMED of), within a month or two, they’re all trashed to hell.

    (And in keeping with the spirit of this article, I apologize for all my earlier posts on Amren and God, I just HOPE and PRAY I didn’t offend the delicate sensibilities of all the readers. I’ll see if I can set up and fund a program for readers from which they can extort (uhh, I mean benefit).)

    • Puggg

      If she had any sense, she would welcome the old books, because they’re the ones that make sense. Newer textbooks are all about social justice, social justice, social justice, social justice and more social justice, in that order. Even the math texts work in as much social justice as math can.

    • leelee

      I can’t tell you all the times when I went to pick my child up from school, all the white kids I saw loaded down with backpacks full of books, and most the black kids walking around as carefree as birds, no books in sight.

  • dhs

    Factoid: Blacks receive better educational opportunities when schools are run by evil white male racists than by by liberals.

    In the 1950’s in my large eastern city, schools in black neighborhoods did indeed receive less resources than schools in white higher income neighborhoods. In spite of this, the black students became as proficient in language, math, history, etc. as whites of similar intelligence. Then the federal judges imposed desesegregationalism. Twenty years later, academic achievement deteriorated, particularly with blacks. A high school teacher told me that many blacks in his school were effectively illiterate and had no math skills.

    I believe that blacks can be educated to same level as whites with the same IQ, but only if liberals are excluded from the educational process.

    • Detroit_WASP

      I agree but only about 15% of blacks have an IQ equal to or greater than the white average (according to what I have read) and that seems about correct to me. No doubt there are smart black folks, like Thomas Sowell….who are often called “Uncle Toms” for agreeing with whites on so many issues. I actually feel sorry for intelligent blacks who have to shoulder the stereo types brought on by the welfare queens.
      Having grown up in Detroit, I estimate that it only takes about a 20% black population to ruin a school or neighborhood. The crime and failing schools run decent folks out.
      Sad indeed.
      PS….that 15% of blacks get out black neighborhoods and move to white ones.

      • rebelcelt

        I think you are about right I would peg it at about 15%. Let the intelligent blacks stay with the blacks. They are the Camels nose. Bad for them good for us.

  • Lorin

    The stupidity of liberals and DWL’s never seem to reach a peak.

  • • They’re overdoing it. Apologies are losing their impact and effectiveness.

    • I wonder if, 100 years from today, they will apologize for Affirmative Action?

  • Dottie Cook thought back to her middle school days, when she received a hand-me-down education that included tattered books with her uncle’s name written in them.

    Does anyone beside me remember the stories (myths?) about Abraham Lincoln walking five miles to borrow books and doing his ciphers with charcoal on a shovel?

    It’s not the book that matters, it’s the person who reads it.

    • IstvanIN

      You know, I work with a black women who insisted her two boys read, anything, because she believed reading anything at all, on a regular basis, would improve their minds. She wasn’t bright but had a lot of common sense. And was not racist! Both boys turned out OK, unlike her her 8 siblings and ex-husband who all have various degrees of dysfunction.

    • One of the more thoughtful black guys once said when he heard that stuff about black children using old, torn books, “Yes, but did they learn what was in the old, torn books?”

  • LHathaway

    “The proclamation has led some experts to wonder how it helps today’s students”.

    That’s what non-stop black togetherness/whites are bad guys who want to segregate is supposed to do, presumably, help black students.

    Yeah, our books had the name of previous students in them too; we had to sign for them. I guess if you’re in a ‘vibrant’ area it could be an uncle who has signed the book and not an older brother or sister. . .

  • 40+ years ago I was teaching in an all Black school on the West Side of Chicago. You could always tell which kids were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were the ones who could read. I am not and never have been a JW, but God bless WATCHTOWER and AWAKE.

    • I’ve noticed that a disproportionate percentage of JW door-knockers and pamphlet jockeys are black.

      • IstvanIN

        As soon as I see a black in a suit and tie I know it is the JWs at the door.

        • The__Bobster

          I’ve seen Black Muzzies in suits and ties, too, but that’s even worse.

  • Charles

    I was born and raised and Howard County, MD and after reading the comments I feel very reassured of what i already knew. This is insane throughout my entire elementary,middle,high school and college years here blacks (not all of course) were just beyond annoying. It was like going to school in a zoo.

  • lynchburg

    Thee were plenty of blacks and black schools who did not want to integrate with whites and white schools but of course history has been erased in favor of liberal social engineering agendas only.

  • Anon 12

    Granting citizenship to nonwhites was the first mistake. De-segregation was what put the nail in the coffin of OUR White nation and our race.

  • Sheila Dinehart


  • Sheila Dinehart

    Fifty years have passed and the apologies just keep coming
    I know, Henry…that is what my post meant…get it? We never really had to apologize if we had stuck together…

  • rebelcelt

    I am still waiting for the apology I should get for integration. I am not holding my breath though.

  • “First, God created idiots, that was for practice. Then he created school boards.” Mark Twain