“In many states and communities, including many in the South, where I’m from, black and white children — and now Latino children and others — attend school side by side,” he writes.
Yet, there are signs of resegregation, warns ProPublica.
In 1991, 33 percent of black students in the South attended schools with 90 percent or more minority enrollment — but by 2009-2010 that level had crept up to 38 percent. Back in 1980, only 23 percent of black students in the South attended such intensely segregated schools, the researchers found. Now, white students make up less than 30 percent of enrollment in schools attended by the typical black students — the highest that figure has been since federal monitoring began.
Carmen Fields, a media consultant in Boston, grew up in Tulsa in the 1950s. “We had our own grocery stores, black doctors, lawyers, dentists, hotel, movie theaters, shoe repairmen, our own segregated YMCA,” Fields says.
Because colleges wouldn’t hire black professors, some teachers in segregated schools were PhDs, Fields recalls. “We had the best of the best, the talented 10th, if you will, and they expected the best of us.”