Fifty years after the epic desegregation struggle at Central High School, the school district here is still riven by racial conflict, casting a pall on this year’s ambitious commemorative efforts.
In the latest clash, white parents pack school board meetings to support the embattled superintendent, Roy Brooks, who is black. The blacks among the school board members look on grimly, determined to use their new majority to oust him. Whites insist that test scores and enrollment have improved under the brusque, hard-charging Mr. Brooks; blacks on the board are furious that he has cut the number of office and other non-teaching jobs and closed some schools.
The fight is all the more disturbing to some here because it erupted just as a federal judge declared Little Rock’s schools finally desegregated, 50 years after a jeering white mob massed outside Central High to turn back integration.
In 1957, the fight was over whether nine black students could attend an entirely white high school. Now it is over whether the city’s black leaders can exert firm control over the direction and perquisites of an urban school district in the way that white leaders did for decades. (full story)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
The New York Times reports how Little Rock can't seem to escape the issue of race.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this story.