Did School Integration Fail Black Children?

Daisy M. Jenkins, The Root, August 19, 2014

Back-to-school is just around the corner and 60 years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, many children will be returning to “resegregated” schools. The anniversary year has prompted much investigation and analysis, most pointing toward waning enforcement of integration orders. But what if integration itself is part of the problem?

As a young girl in Bainbridge, Ga., I attended segregated schools two years before the 1954 Brown ruling and six years after. My teachers and school administrators lived in our neighborhood and knew my parents. These educators had high expectations for us and were daily role models and cheerleaders for our success. I had a rich, balanced educational experience rooted in strong cultural awareness.

Then we moved to Sacramento, Calif. It was 1960, and my parents were warned that the segregated schools were inferior to the integrated schools and that I would probably have to repeat eighth grade. It was true that my segregated school didn’t have the modern facilities and equipment available to white students on the other side of the tracks, but I breezed through ninth grade and performed equally well in high school.

But still, something was lost. I had excellent teachers, but Black teachers and counselors disappeared from my academic life. Despite my good grades, my high school counselor had low expectations for my future, encouraging me to become a nurse’s aide or secretary. She didn’t think of me as college material.

Fast-forward 60 years and a big question looms large: Is it possible that integration was actually a major setback for Black educators and students?

The reality is that Black families faced heavier burdens with the desegregation mandate than Whites. Black children spent more time commuting, Black schools were closed to make desegregation more convenient for whites (and to prevent their flight to the suburbs or private schools) and Black teachers and principals were fired when White and Black schools were merged. Estimates show that more than 82,000 Black teachers provided instruction to a Black student population numbering around 2 million in 1954. Within a span of 10 years, around 40,000 Black teachers lost their jobs. Ninety percent of Black principals lost their jobs in 11 Southern states.

Today, increased public school closings across the nation disproportionately impact Black, Latino and poor students who lose their neighborhood schools. Eighty-eight percent of the school closings in Chicago affect Black students.

The decimation of Black educators has had a long-lasting impact. A study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that among 3.3 million teachers in American public elementary and secondary schools in 2012–where minority students are quickly becoming the majority–they were 82 percent White, 8 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Black and about 2 percent Asian. The loss of Black teachers means that many students have lost contact with their most impactful role models. As black educator Kevin Gilbert told the Associated Press, “Nothing can help motivate our students more than to see success standing right in front of them.”

This lack of Black educators has meant that Black students are less valued in general. White teachers, typically women, who are educated in white neighborhoods and White universities, comprise the majority of educators in minority classrooms. Many are fantastic, quality teachers and a gift to all students. But many are ill-equipped to meet the educational needs of Black students. And studies indicate they treat Black children differently.


It’s time for the Department of Education to address the long-term systematic inequalities of that biased desegregation model and launch a national recruitment campaign for Black teachers, especially men. We should also offer a student-loan forgiveness program for Black professionals proportional to the number of years spent teaching in inner-city classrooms. In the meantime, we should require cultural sensitivity training for non minority teachers who teach in predominantly minority classrooms and upgrade inner-city schools to the maintenance and technology standards of middle-class suburban schools.

I’m a firm believer in a diverse learning environment for all students with updated facilities and technology. But it’s equally important for students to have community accountability and positive role models who look like them. {snip}

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  • TruthBeTold

    I had a somewhat fruitful discussion with a poster. After the ubiquitous charge of ‘racist’, I believe we had a discussion; not necessarily productive but we did exchange ideas.

    I did point out that some blacks believe that blacks might have been better off fighting for separate but equal rather than integration:

    Black children might have been better off without Brown v. Board, Bell says

    http:// news stanford edu/news/2004/april21/brownbell-421.html

    • APaige

      I just cannot understand Blacks.
      Segregation kept them down. Integration was a set back.
      Blacks need Black teachers. Whites need Black teachers.
      There is a need for Black teachers. But they are someone shut out of getting teaching jobs. Or they choose more lucrative fields-yet lag behind economically? Really if they are choosing other fields where are all the Black accountants, computer programmers, lawyers, doctors, etc. Blacks have trouble passing basic teacher certification tests, let alone the MCAT.
      There is a education to prison pipeline. Because either a majority of teachers and administrators in a majority of school districts covering a large geographical and socio-economical range are racist. Or Black behavior is the cause. They NEVER look at themselves for any cause. (is there a psych-med condition for that?)

  • MekongDelta69

    Is it possible that integration was actually a major setback for black educators and students?

    Who cares?

    Integration has been a MAJOR setback for Whites.

    • The Laughing Liberal

      She is right. Integration was a big, big mistake and we need to re-implement segregation.

    • benvad

      Can’t we just give them welfare support but stipulate the condition being they have to stay in Africa?

      It’ll be more cost effective in an underpopulated place like Namibia.

  • Rhialto

    The purpose of forced integration was to erode educational opportunities for non-wealthy White male students. It has succeeded in achieving this goal.

    • LHathaway

      I would have to wholeheartedly agree with your statement if you used a phrase other than ‘educational opportunities’.

  • AmericanCitizen

    I can’t believe it!! A progressive who thinks we’ll solve racial and educational problems through more government programs, laws, and money spent. How come no one ever thought of that . . . oh wait, we’ve been doing those things for 60 years as blacks become more and more illiterate and dysfunctional.

  • John

    The only “role models” teenage blacks have are sports figures and entertainers. They disdain anyone such as a teacher etc. as being an “uncle tom” “house n….r” etc. and “acting white”. A return to segregation is what is really needed and articles such as this are encouraging by the fact that they’re advocating it, but in a sort of back door, liberal “can’t admit I was wrong” sort of way. Yes, of course, let’s have more black teachers at the all black school. By the same token, let’s have all white teachers at the all white school. That’ll work.

    • Exactly, I really don’t give a damn what silly mental gymnastics they use to dance around the fact that they were wrong about integration, as long as the winding path of BS leads to resegregation.

      • cherrie greenbaum123

        They want both. They want NO white teachers. All black teachers. Black teachers for black students, black teachers for white students. Jobs? None for you if you’re white. Back of the line, YT!

        • benvad

          Actually it comes down to, “Don’t stand in line, just get out, now!”

  • kenfrombayside

    I went to public schools in Queens, NY, in the 70s and 80s. Those in power bused in black “students” en masse from South Queens. Many of those “students behaved like true sub-human savages: they would act out; the makes were obsessed with their privates and would constantly use crude words for oral sex; whites students were routinely bullied and robbed with impunity; the bused in savages would get free lunches while we got nothing. It was a nightmare. Forced busing destroyed white lives.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Looking back, I am so thankful that my parents happened to buy a house just a couple of hundred yards outside the forced busing blast zone. We had our share of dysfunction in my neighborhood and schools, but it was white dysfunction, a mere fraction of what we could have faced. I guess I should also thank a bunch of 18th and 19th century white male politicians who set the municipal borderlines like they did, and inadvertently spared me a lot of trouble.

    • exlib93

      I went to school in Queens in the 1970’s too. I wish I could describe the depravity I witnessed there. The blacks acted like savages. The teachers were too terrified to discipline them. I wish we could start a class action lawsuit against the NYC Board of Education for all the abuse against the Whites.

    • The Laughing Liberal

      Someone needs to explain the mechanism by which a little black boy can’t learn to read unless he’s sitting in a classroom next to a little white girl.

    • Alexandra1973

      My school district in the Detroit suburbs had two junior high schools when I was in school. The one I attended was the “bad” one. Looking back I see why–demographics! The black kids there were forever fighting each other.

      • awb

        K.C. Mo. H.S. 72-75. No black’s! Lucky me!

  • tancred guiscard

    The most distracting person in my mid/high school was black. Cant tell you how happy i am to not be able to recall his name. Bother, instead of brother, is a more accurate moniker for these folks.constantly interrupting class over the stupidest stuff. Thank God for my autodidactic nature.

  • journey

    These useless blacks can get one coming and going. This country does need to talk about race as Holder said. We should talk openly about blacks and their deficiencies instead of pretending they can function in an advanced society as equals. No, those deficiencies are not due to “slavery, discrimination, oppression, etc” but rather GENETIC.

    Her statements are quite true: “But many are ill-equipped to meet the educational needs of Black students. And studies indicate they treat Black children differently.” Conclusion: Because blacks are so deficient on every level. Nothing like a Ferguson to bluntly remind us all.

  • bubo

    They’d be better off in Africa where they belong. They are too primitive for an advanced society such as ours.

  • journey

    Notice “Dr.” Ben Carson name is on the right of this article. The “stuff” that comes out of
    that guy’s mouth is like on a third grade level. Carson reminds me of Herman Cain. Now we all know Carson is nothing but AA, right? Even little Barry sounds intelligent next to Carson. Want to bet he was the helper in his in so-called “famous surgeries”.

    • I’ve noticed that Carson seems like a low IQ sort of fellow too. Sean Hannity has him on his radio show, which I sometimes turn on for amusement. Hannity worships him, but I find his mind to be pedestrian as he repeats cliched Republican slogans.

      • journey

        Exactly! No, this country does not need Carson to run for president. It will be another distraction over nothing. This country needs to buckle down and focus on the fundamentals again.

        • Every President since Lincoln save one has had at least one of these five things on his resume: Vice-President, Senator, Governor, Presidential Cabinet Secretary, Five-Star General. Unless some sort of lightning strikes, if someone running for President in 2016 has never been at least one of these things, his or her candidacy is not credible. And I’m saying this as someone who had Duncan Hunter and Michele Bachmann as my preferred candidates in 2008 and 2012 respectively, both were only members of Congress.

          And Ben Carson has never been elected to anything.

          • journey

            People are latching onto Carson because he is black to show they are not “racist”. Such silly games this country play. Folks, wake up this country is sinking like a giant ship! Slowly, but surely.

          • Spikeygrrl

            If given the chance, I cheerfully would have voted for Condi Rice. Just sayin’.

  • John Smith

    Govt forced/subsidized integration of white schools, white neighborhoods, white cities has a 100% failure rate.

    This is an indisputable fact…the ravages of so called “diversity” are everywhere.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Exactly. Integration sure failed white children.

      • DNA Explains It All

        It didn’t “fail” white kids, it did EXACTLY as intended it ROBBED them.

  • No matter how much money is spent, how many social engineers map out the plans, how fine the school building, how good the teachers, the blacks, on average, will fail. They would do better if their “culture” were not so focused on filth and sports, but not much better.

    If we’re stuck with them and can’t get them back to Africa, then the humane thing to do would be to send them to trade schools that specialize in job training for jobs that don’t require much smarts.

    • journey

      First thing first, cut off the welfare and the delusions that they are equal in intelligence to whites.

    • IstvanIN

      What trades don’t require much smarts? I don’t want a black mechanic, plumber, electrician or HVAC man. Other than trashman, and even that is pretty automated nowadays, there isn’t much they are good for. Maybe airport and train station porter.

      • My problem with all the listed trades isn’t that they couldn’t do them, because many of them could, the jobs listed can be done adequately, not exceptionally, with the proper training. And through gaining experience, they could become fairly skilled.

        My problem is that they all require giving them access to your home, and until they as a group know.again that theft, rape, murder, etc. will be met by a short drop and a quick stop at the end of a rope, instead of hand wringing and light sentences, allowing them into your home is beyond foolish, it’s just plain stupid.

        A lot of things need to go back to the way they were if they are going to stay in this country.

        • IstvanIN

          I want a car that runs, pipes that hold water and AC that works. Does Africa have much of that? Their days of usefulness is over.

  • jim b

    How come every time I suggest this I get called names? Hmmmm…..

  • none of your business

    Desegregation was a massive bonus for black teachers and administrators because they got all the jobs that by merit, qualifications and preformance normally would have gone to Whites.
    As for the students, a major argument for Brown Vs Topeka was that the segregated black teachers failed the black kids, therefore put them in a situation where they could get away with a 60 year reign of terror against White students and teachers and they would blossom as normal students.
    Didn’t happen, didn’t learn in segregated schools, didn’t learn in integrated schools, don’t learn in any school.

  • Paleoconn

    I think when they started the busing in Boston, the front page of the Herald showed Governor Dukakis and Justice Garrity walking their kids to private school in tony Brookline and some other leafy whitopia suburb. Liberalism = Hypocrisy

  • Rhialto

    This is a key point. Blacks who would have been good plumbers and electricians 60 years ago are incompetent engineers. Blacks who would have run successful small businesses in their communities, are vice-presidents of Marketing Diversity. Blacks who would have had a neighborhood, mom and pop, law firm, are your president and First Lady.

    • tlk244182

      When a liberal is able to find that rare bird, an intelligent, hard-working, capable Negro, he is likely to promote the Negro to a level of responsibility he cannot handle. You’re absolutely right. And it makes Blacks look bad, through no fault of their own.

  • libertarian1234

    “Columnist says black students need black teachers.”

    Of course they need black teachers. Integration isn’t working and has never worked. It’s an abysmal failure. They need to be taught by people who are as dumb as they are, people who know how difficult it is to do basic math and read, and realize the need to go over the subject matter dozens of times until a little bit of it finally sinks in.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but sometimes it’s difficult speaking the truth unless you get right to the point without trying to find a nice way to say what needs to be said.

    They also need their own homes, neighborhoods, schools, businesses, playgrounds, and entertainment venues, and the only way to get those things are if they have their own areas.

    Splitting the country up into various sovereign areas would be the ideal solution. But until that happens lets just work on being segregated.

    • journey

      Own homes, etc. You mean like Detroit, etc? They were very lucky to have white cops in Ferguson trying to keep order and law. Now, those savages are screaming having black cops will solve all their problems.

      Was on a website, where everyone of my ~10 postings were deleted because I kept pointing no Brown was no angel, no blacks should not be treated special, yes, blacks have been given massive handouts and here the longest of the “minorities” but still bottom of the barrel, etc. So much for honest discussion about race.

  • WR_the_realist

    God help any white person who says that white students need role models who look like them.

    I really don’t know whether desegregation has helped or hurt black students. What I do know is that black students don’t on average do very well no matter what the circumstances, while desegregation has been a disaster for white children. But we are never allowed to promote a policy on the grounds that it is beneficial for white children, while blacks and Latinos are free to promote any policy on the grounds that it is beneficial for their children.

  • Paleoconn

    By all means make black teachers teach to black students. We’ll see how far that gets them. Strip away AA and these people don’t have a prayer.

  • MBlanc46

    Of course it did. And it hurt white children even more. Let’s have all black teachers for black children. Let’s have all black schools. Let’s have all black enclaves where blacks can govern themselves (or not, as they choose). It’s time for the races to give up on the fiction (which few of either race really believe) that we can live in a color-blind society where all groups are “honored” and “respected”.

  • They weren’t causing all these problems when they were properly owned, diaciplined and managed. Don’t blame the wardens of the prison for the murder and mayhem caused when the politicians forced them to set their prisoners free.

    • 1gravity

      Few black slaves became so because they committed criminal acts; whites maybe, but not blacks. Conceding that slavery is an institution as old as the hills, talking about it as if there is a right way to do it just misses the mark.

      • Not at all. You’re bordering on a straw man by responding to my “advocating for slavery” when I wasn’t. I was merely pointing out, accurately, that when they were kept in line, they were kept in line. Just like when they’re in jail, t he really not out raping innocent people.

        I’m going to assume you just misunderstood my point. I elaborated further with a fun analogy in my reply to anonymous.

        I’m much too filled with hatred to advocate a return to slavery. They have no use any longer as slaves, just as they have no use, or reason to exist for any reason. They are worthless parasites. We once trained and used them to fill a need in a growing, underpopulated country, and that was the first, and only time in the history of their people during which they were worth anything at all.

  • Affirmative action = pretending they are equal to whites.

  • Ultimate187

    Black students saying they need black teachers is a cop out. If White and Asian students can be successful regardless of the race of their teacher, then it shouldn’t be necessary at all. Under-achieving students won’t learn from anyone, same race or not.

  • glennm

    teaching sub humans is an oxymoron

  • none of your business

    Has Ben Carson ever, ever spoken about anything other than his anti abortion stance?
    He is affirmative action all the way. Were he White he would never have gotten into even 6th rate Meharry med school.

    • journey

      Watch his latest Ebola interview concerning urine. It is so asinine, illogical, and
      hilarious. AA all the way. Johns Hopkins was so desperate for a black to fill their federal mandated quota. They even installed him to be head of a department in his mid-30’s to show off as their shinning black token.

  • Spikeygrrl

    I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. For THIS I went back to school in my late 40s for a second graduate degree, this time in Gifted & Talented education?!

    If you think average White students are marginalized — and they are! — in today’s “ongoing dialog about K-12 education,” you also need to understand that g/t students have now become, for all budgetary and manpower purposes, INVISIBLE.

    I tutor and test-prep g/t middle- and upper-middle class White teens and young adults now. It breaks my heart to see how battered and baffled they are by the all-powerful MultiCult…but it does allow me fairly frequent opportunities to introduce them to Enlightenment, Constitutional, and race-realist concepts in an unobtrusive manner which does not ruffle Leftist parental feathers.

    You want to do something REAL? Volunteer for youth programs! “Adopt” a bright, While teen today!

  • JohnEngelman

    Blacks who actually want to learn are probably safer in a school where nearly everyone is white. Whites certainly are.

    School integration only works when blacks are in a small minority. In the schools I attended they were less than five percent of the student body. That was good for my formal education. Nevertheless, I did not learn what I needed to know about blacks until two robbed me at gun point.

  • IstvanIN

    1) When I was in school very few blacks and most were gone by 8th grade.
    2) When my daughter was in school the percentage was low but they caused violent fights.
    3) My brother’s oldest kids had cops in their school.
    4) My brother’s younger kids have to go to Catholic school.
    5) Sister’s oldest boy starts public kindergarten this fall, we shall see how that goes.
    6) Daughter thinks her son will be able to go to public school in two years. Scars the devil out of me.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      When I was in school there wasn’t enough loser whites to cause enough problems to make it hard for smart whites to learn, so they imported blacks and mexicans.


    • Bobbala

      Better than daughter hopes her son will be permitted a white quota in non-public school …

  • 1gravity

    Slavery, unfortunately, made most of the New World economically viable. How I wish Southern Whites of yore had picked their own cotton and tobacco. History buffs would be amused to know that slavery was illegal for a time in antebellum Georgia.

  • David Ashton

    Educational groups should be as homogeneous and as small as possible. Segregation by race, gender, ability and culture is an efficient method.

  • Ringo Lennon

    Did School Integration Fail Black Children?

    School integration fails white children. These kids are now as dumb as the blacks. Being around black kids probably drops IQ points. Also become wiggers.

    • Bobbala

      No, I think it did exactly what it was supposed to do.

  • Bobbala

    … or maybe they are just friggin stupid.

  • You’re missing the point, even as you make it. The slave owners WERE responsible for the actions of their property, and they kept them in line.

    It wasn’t until AFTER ownership and responsibility for the mindless brutes was forcibly taken away from their owners that the problems began.

    Another analogy for you, you know a guy who has raised and trained a pack of lions, or some other obviously dangerous animal. Your soft liberal heart weeps for those majestic creatures, so you cry, and advocate, and eventually round up a rabble of people willing to fight for your imbecilic cause.

    Your mob then storms this man’s compound, murders his sons, and sets the lions free.

    Shortly thereafter, the lions have slaughtered half your village, killed of he livestock in the area, and after much hardship and loss of further life, the town has managed to round them all up, and lock them in cells for a few years till they have become “reformed lions” and will be set free again once they’ve “learned their lesson”. Heck, you even provide the lions with free classes so they can become intelligent, degree holding members of society!

    they are eventually released, and after a short time, resume killing everyone.

    This cycle repeats, ad-nauseum, for years and years. Whole generations later, someone named anonymous posts on a message board about how he wants to “spit on the grave” of that mean old lion tamer for causing all these problems.

    You’re spitting on the wrong grave, friend.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, the lions were originally purchased in africa, then transported to america, and sold to the lion tamer by Jews.

    If you want to blame someone, look to the root cause. Although blame doesn’t accomplish an awful lot

  • benvad

    Blacks and whites were better off in their own separate worlds. Blacks ran their own businesses from movie theaters to appliance stores. They had a sense of responsibility, and knew they had to take care of their own.

    The nanny state turned them into parasites that have infected the host. Ted Kennedy should have his effigy burned in disgrace.