Week 14

14 April 16 & 18

T- read: Adina_Back_Exposing_the_Whole_Segregation_Myth” in Freedom North & Malcolm X | “The Ballot or the Bullet” ; (listen)


  1. What is the historiographical contribution of this article?
  2. In New York City during the 1950s, what role does the state play in administering public education? How did it go about addressing criticism from civil society? ? How was the state officials—Mayor Wagner and School Superintendent William Jansen—different from southern state officials?
  3. What were the conditions that Black children experienced in New York City public schools? How were White parents in New York City opposed to Black children attending school with their children different from their southern counterparts?
  4. What were some of the issues that Black civil society tried to address? What were some of the strategies Black civil society used to address these issues?
  5. What was Judge Justine Polier’s decision? And why, according to historian Back, could the North “no longer hide behind de facto segregation as an excuse for inferior educational facilities”? Using this article as an example of segregation in the North, how is it different from segregation in the South?

Teacher Groups Oppose Integrating NY Schools_Feb 1957pdf

Parents Protest Slow Registration

Behind Police Expose_NYAN Feb 1953

Two Public Protests Set for Sunday_NYAN 1953


R-Thomas Sugrue’s “Affirmative_Action_from_Below” in Journal of American History 91, no. 1.

  1. In what ways did the government contribute to the social mobility of whites? Which employment industries were vulnerable to antiracist protests? How were whites in the building industries able to maintain a white-only trade union? How did the state ensure that trade unions in the building industries remained white-only?
  2. What does Joseph Burke, president of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19, mean when he states “They are asking me to say to a white working man, ‘Get off the job because I want to put a Negro on.’? What does historian Sugrue mean by “white identity politics”?How did affirmative action in employment sector come about?


Patrick Jones,”Reckoning with the Selma of the North” on the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968″