Tuesday, July 01, 2014


Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, poor black students are once again being sequestered in schools of their own, with devastating effects. In "Segregation Now ... " (The Atlantic, May 2014), Nikole Hannah- Jones spent time at Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was desegregated for just one generation.

We were among the first students of Central High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1979. Because of court-ordered desegregation, the majority-black Druid High and the majority-white Tuscaloosa High were merged into Central.  We read "Segregation Now ... " with the greatest sadness and dismay. Only now do we fully understand the extent of resegregation in Tuscaloosa schools.

When Central High opened in 1979, some adults predicted that there would be conflict and even violence. We were teenagers, but we understood the importance of what we were doing. We students would show everyone that we could all get along. We remember the calm guidance of our teachers, who kept doing what they did best, educating us and taking care of us. We remember the feeling of togetherness, which we carry with us to this day. It is a feeling that goes way beyond anything political. It is sad and outrageous that more generations of students were not allowed to share this same feeling.

Michael Chwe, Wendy Dollar,
Lillian Fletcher Anderton,
Susan Gerald Fikes,
Chris Griffin, Jim Holcomb,
Dudley Jernigan, Margaret
Cone Moran, Alicia Hasson
Parr, Vicki Hite Rogers, Atonge
Thompson, Dewayne Tooson,
and William Whitten

Former Central High School students

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