12-18-2017  10:20 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Registration Deadline for Jan. 23 Special Election is Jan. 2

Multnomah County Elections assists voters with disabilities or voters who need help in their native language ...

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Robert L. Reece, doctoral candidate at Duke University and co-author of the study.
Jazelle Hunt NNPA Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – There is a direct correlation between the geographic concentration of slavery and today’s K-12 school segregation, according to a new study.

The study, “How the Legacy of Slavery and Racial Composition Shape Public School Enrollment in the American South,” appeared in the publication Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the official journal of the American Sociological Association.

According to the study, counties in the Deep South that had large enslaved populations currently have the highest levels of racial segregation between public and private schools.

“This is fundamentally still a White flight process. We tested whether or not White students were leaving public schools to attend private schools because they were better schools. That’s not the case,” said Robert L. Reece, a doctoral candidate in the sociology department at Duke University and co-author of the study.

“They’re leaving public schools because of integration, because there are Black students in these schools; [and] because slavery created conditions that normalize segregated schooling in these areas.”

Reece and co-author Heather O’Connell at Rice University examined Census and National Center for Education Statistics data along county lines in states that were original members of the Confederacy: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, and South Carolina.

After Brown v. Board of Education, a wave of private schools washed across these and other states in defiance of integration. Because this White flight was a response to Black students entering previously-White public schools, Reece and O’Connell expected there to be more private schools in places that had been particularly attached to slavery.

Instead, they found that the correlation rested in the level of use of private schools, not the number of schools.

“We argue that the social structural legacy of slavery may separately affect the use of private schools by amplifying their legitimacy as a means to escape integrated public schools,” the study stated. “The strongly demarcated social hierarchy associated with the legacy of slavery may make the use of private schools more likely among Whites, regardless of the number of private schools.”

In other words, there weren’t necessarily more private schools in counties that had had high concentrations of enslavement, but the school segregation in these areas was stark.

Reece and O’Connell explain that high enrollment and racial segregation in private schools in the Deep South was, and still is, partly a result of “racial threat” – the rise of Black students and families in a given county or public school, which then leads to White flight and greater Black-White disparities. To test this hypothesis, they analyzed the same data for counties in the “Upper South:” Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Their results suggested no link between racial threat and racial school segregation in the Upper South, while showing a statistically significant link in the Deep South.

The study noted, “The Deep South was much more reliant on the plantation economy and is argued to have subsequently developed a more rigid set of racial politics that remain in place today.”

Although the researchers focused on the former Confederacy, they make it clear in their writing that this type of segregation happens everywhere – but in different ways and for different historical reasons.

“Everyone [in America] had a connection to slavery. Like New York, for example – a lot of plantation investment money came out of New York, from Wall Street,” said Reece. “We’re measuring how this one specific type of racial inequity was grown and protected in this area. School segregation exists in other areas, but the history is just different.”

As the nation changes demographically, with young children of color already the majority in their generation, Reece asserts that race relations will not change much without examining and targeting these roots.

The study is part of a developing field of social science research on the legacy of slavery that examines the system’s social and economic consequences. Reece and O’Connell hope to advance the field and encourage others to study history as a path toward correcting present-day racial inequality in communities all over the United States.

“What we’re trying to demonstrate is that history mattered. The history of slavery matters,” Reece says. “We can’t really understand the social determinants of things like segregation, and poverty, and income disparity without taking a long pause and historical look at what has been happening. And considering that antebellum slavery, I’d argue, is the most prominent historical period in the country’s history, we have to understand how it affects our current society if we want to be able to fix these social inequities.”

Oregon Lottery
Health Effects of Smoking
Calendar

MLK breakfast 2018 300x100

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Family Care Health