The Effects of a Racially Divided Society on School Desegregation


The Effects of a Racially Divided Society on School Desegregation


You have to write an essay from the story of Best Of Enemies by Osha grey Davidson. You can choose any page, This is Argumentative essay. Text citation in a body paragraph. (1400 words Essay..)

Purpose: Argumentative
(Please consult AND study this source to see how your paper should be set-up. Do not assume you know how to set up your paper. Confirm the expectations by looking at this source).
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Assignment Type: Final Essay
Topic: You will develop your own topic, as you have done throughout the course of the semester.

Additional Instructions: You are required to borrow material from the primary source. You are also required to borrow material from at least 5 secondary sources.

Ensure that there are at least two elements of borrowed material, cited, in each body paragraph of your essay, with the exception of borrowed material in the introductory paragraph and the conclusion.

Ideally, each body paragraph should have a main idea whose core concept is taken directly from the primary source and is argumentative in nature. THEN, there should be at least 1 – 3 sentences – each a created specifically to support the main idea – BUT the core of these sentences should come from secondary sources.

This is very important. Essays failing to include borrowed material, formatted correctly, and not cited, will receive no less than a 15 point penalty.

Deadline : Thursday


The Effects of a Racially Divided Society on School Desegregation

In the 1970s, public schools that were racially diverse were diligent in bringing individuals of different ethnic and racial backgrounds together in order to foster equal opportunities (Orfield 30). However, they needed more support in order to fulfill Brown’s promise of desegregation of schools. The challenge was that the rest of society still reflected racial inequality, and as a result, the schools were often affected, and this led to re-segregation in schools by offering unequal access to challenging courses; this eventually became the norm (Kogachi & Graham 23). Therefore, this essay aims to highlight how the racially divided society has threatened the desegregation of schools even after most students that attend the schools become less racially prejudiced and increasingly comfortable around individuals from various backgrounds.

Public schools can only attain limited racial equality and integration if society remains unequal and segregated (Davidson 5). According to Kotok, when desegregation was initially approved in schools, most black individuals were still conflicted because the whites within the local communities generally had more political support as compared to African Americans; thus, they still had more influence on how the policies of school desegregation would be carried out (415). Based on the book Best of Enemies, schools at the time faced challenges of achieving desegregation because whites were always the decision-makers (Davidson 59). Even though educators and officials attempted to reinforce the need for desegregation for the middle-class white students and parents, the reception from the parents was still defiant (Orfield et al. 56).

From a political level, desegregation was important and essential for the country because its aim was to dim the middle-class and white fight that would eventually leave public schools economically and politically vulnerable (Davidson 4). The whites that advocated for the desegregation of schools often spoke about race matters in phrases and codes so that the white conservatives understood the impact it had on education (Orfield 34). Nonetheless, the needs of African American students, as well as the poor, were ignored because of selfish intentions that undermined the eventual outcome of desegregation (Kogachi & Graham 87).

As seen in the book, due to the lack of commitment and manifestation from affluent and white parents, more burden of desegregating in schools was left on African Americans (Davidson 6). The slow implementation of desegregation policies placed the fate of schools and students at risk because the communities were slow to accept equality, and this meant that some schools would face the risk of being closed (Kotok 416). Furthermore, the slow process of acceptance by parents to embrace equality led to continuous re-segregation of students in the classroom within desegregated schools (Owens 3). Therefore, for this policy to be fully functional, society needs to unite and find ways to close the gap that schools are starting to reformulate on the basis of race.

The racial implications and overtones of desegregation cannot be ignored. Even when this was made a directive for all schools, the whites were still defiant and seemingly crafted ways of segregating without being outright about it (Davidson 76). According to Orfield et al., one popular common practice that is identified in desegregated schools in the formulation of gifted or high-track classes (67). These tracks are promoted easily because the classes that are considered to have more advanced students can be challenged automatically. However, it has been found that one of the ways that have been used to segregate the whites from the black students is through such differentiations whereby classes considered to be advanced contain mainly white students in many schools (Orfield 68).

Even after desegregation, the black students had received unequal schooling, and the poverty rates of their families deteriorated even further (Davidson 60). There are several factors that affect student re-segregation in desegregated schools, but one of them is family poverty, which seems to be increasing for the African American community (Kogachi & Graham 90). On the other hand, it has been revealed that more white students receive honors as well as to attain admission to other advanced classes because they are offered additional information on how to access them (Kotok 429). Moreover, there are some practices where students are labeled as gifted while in kindergarten and then they become channeled automatically through grade levels in specialized classes.

Even after desegregation, there are still schools that remained to be all-black schools because of the locations they were in, and yet the same black students sought to join white schools other than it is an activity that would be done equally as a form of unity (Davidson 236). It should be noted that the level of intelligence between white and black students was still in question even in all-black schools, and yet they have a similar level of intelligence; however, the students do not consider this factor but rather the society, which includes their parents do (Owens 9). De-tracking (categorizing students) should be viewed as a dangerous form of desegregation because it extends to society, and yet racial equality has been widely achieved already (Orfield 88). Even though the consequences are currently being seen in schools, society is also being affected immensely, especially in workplaces.

The segregation in schools was largely attributed to the ethnic and racial lines that partly arose from historical and logical facts and ensuring that desegregation had a permanent effect on individuals, but this was still a challenge because the social class, as well as other factors, needed to be addressed as well (Davidson 211). According to Kogachi & Graham, the current threats to re-segregation from the societal elements are divisions that have roots from a powerful hierarchy that is separating students not just by race but social class and alternative factors that include physical capabilities (123). Moreover, educators need to be more subjective by not categorizing students from a racial perspective but instead teach the students to accept one another irrespective of their differences. This may have a positive societal impact with fewer chances of being corrupted by society’s divisions (Kotok 423).

School desegregation is entirely about race relations in schools, and this is crucial due to the fact that there is no definite justification for it (Davidson 68). The racial climate of the society, in general, is dependent on race relations in schools because the outcomes on the academic achievements of students may destabilize or stabilize the relationship between different races significantly (Owens 20). However, harmonious race relations must not be perceived as the most crucial goal of school desegregation because amicable relations can exist even with grossly unequal inequalities of outcomes and opportunities (Orfield et al. 98). Therefore, society and school desegregation must not limit the ability to seek alternative methods that may not be connected to them, but rather attempt implementation of relevant strategies that will improve schooling for students.

Social class is a limiting factor in desegregation. Most rich whites are not receptive to the idea; hence more needs to be done to disseminate the issue of class because the relevance of the process will not be fully justified (Davidson 261). Kogachi & Graham assert that social class is a limiting factor to maintaining desegregation in the current society because most African Americans cannot afford private schools and the white people that do prefer to send their children there; even though the private schools cannot be branded the term ‘white schools’ but their inaccessibility to middle and low-class individuals promotes re-segregation (111). Furthermore, the rich whites’ society is still not receptive towards the black community even once they achieve the same class status because they already have the perception that race automatically represents the social class one is in and hence cannot be related with (Kotok 440). It is societal perceptions like these that have slowly initiated re-segregation in schools.

In conclusion, it is evident that the challenge is that the rest of society still reflects racial inequality, and as a result, the schools are often affected, and this is leading to re-segregation in schools by offering unequal access to challenging courses; this has become the norm (Kogachi & Graham 23). Therefore, the paper has highlighted how the racially divided society has threatened the desegregation of schools even after most students that attend the schools become less racially prejudiced and increasingly comfortable around individuals from various backgrounds.

Works Cited

Davidson, Osha. The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007. Internet resource.

Kogachi, Ken, & Graham, Steve (2020). Numerical minority status in middle school and racial/ethnic segregation in academic classes. Child Development.

Kotok, Stephen. “School choice, racial segregation, and poverty concentration: Evidence from Pennsylvania charter school transfers.” Educational Policy 31.4 (2017): 415-447.

Orfield, Gary, Jongyeong Eel, and Ryan Coughlin. “New Jersey’s Segregated Schools: Trends and Paths Forward.” (2017).

Orfield, Gary. ” Brown” at 62: School Segregation by Race, Poverty and State.” Civil Rights Project-Proyecto Derechos Civiles (2016).

Owens, Ann. “Income segregation between school districts and inequality in students’ achievement.” Sociology of Education 91.1 (2018): 1-27.