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Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764-1960

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Surveying the two centuries that preceded Jim Crow's demise, Race and Education in New Orleans traces the course of the city's education system from the colonial period to the start of school desegregation in 1960. This timely historical analysis reveals that public schools in New Orleans both suffered from and maintained the racial stratification that characterized urban Surveying the two centuries that preceded Jim Crow's demise, Race and Education in New Orleans traces the course of the city's education system from the colonial period to the start of school desegregation in 1960. This timely historical analysis reveals that public schools in New Orleans both suffered from and maintained the racial stratification that characterized urban areas for much of the twentieth century. Walter C. Stern begins his account with the mid-eighteenth-century kidnapping and enslavement of Marie Justine Sirnir, who eventually secured her freedom and played a major role in the development of free black education in the Crescent City. As Sirnir's story and legacy illustrate, schools such as the one she envisioned were central to the black antebellum understanding of race, citizenship, and urban development. Black communities fought tirelessly to gain better access to education, which gave rise to new strategies by white civilians and officials who worked to maintain and strengthen the racial status quo, even as they conceded to demands from the black community for expanded educational opportunities. The friction between black and white New Orleanians continued throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, when conflicts over land and resources sharply intensified. Stern argues that the post-Reconstruction reorganization of the city into distinct black and white enclaves marked a new phase in the evolution of racial disparity: segregated schools gave rise to segregated communities, which in turn created structural inequality in housing that impeded desegregation's capacity to promote racial justice. By taking a long view of the interplay between education, race, and urban change, Stern underscores the fluidity of race as a social construct and the extent to which the Jim Crow system evolved through a dynamic though often improvisational process. A vital and accessible history, Race and Education in New Orleans provides a comprehensive look at the ways the New Orleans school system shaped the city's racial and urban landscapes.


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Surveying the two centuries that preceded Jim Crow's demise, Race and Education in New Orleans traces the course of the city's education system from the colonial period to the start of school desegregation in 1960. This timely historical analysis reveals that public schools in New Orleans both suffered from and maintained the racial stratification that characterized urban Surveying the two centuries that preceded Jim Crow's demise, Race and Education in New Orleans traces the course of the city's education system from the colonial period to the start of school desegregation in 1960. This timely historical analysis reveals that public schools in New Orleans both suffered from and maintained the racial stratification that characterized urban areas for much of the twentieth century. Walter C. Stern begins his account with the mid-eighteenth-century kidnapping and enslavement of Marie Justine Sirnir, who eventually secured her freedom and played a major role in the development of free black education in the Crescent City. As Sirnir's story and legacy illustrate, schools such as the one she envisioned were central to the black antebellum understanding of race, citizenship, and urban development. Black communities fought tirelessly to gain better access to education, which gave rise to new strategies by white civilians and officials who worked to maintain and strengthen the racial status quo, even as they conceded to demands from the black community for expanded educational opportunities. The friction between black and white New Orleanians continued throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, when conflicts over land and resources sharply intensified. Stern argues that the post-Reconstruction reorganization of the city into distinct black and white enclaves marked a new phase in the evolution of racial disparity: segregated schools gave rise to segregated communities, which in turn created structural inequality in housing that impeded desegregation's capacity to promote racial justice. By taking a long view of the interplay between education, race, and urban change, Stern underscores the fluidity of race as a social construct and the extent to which the Jim Crow system evolved through a dynamic though often improvisational process. A vital and accessible history, Race and Education in New Orleans provides a comprehensive look at the ways the New Orleans school system shaped the city's racial and urban landscapes.

39 review for Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764-1960

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This book was a great detailed overview of the history of the public education in New Orleans. I really enjoyed the pre-jim crow era history as there is not a lot of dedicated information to this time period, which really does play into the disparity in New Orleans education system.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Bee

    A great read that discusses how the government can use geography to disenfranchise a "minority" group. A great read that discusses how the government can use geography to disenfranchise a "minority" group.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Anderson

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Wegmann

  8. 4 out of 5

    Phillip Lowrie

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Venetianer

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris Rodriguez

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Strauss

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

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    Danielle

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Kellogg

  16. 5 out of 5

    Justin Overacker

  17. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Primm

  18. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kara Larson

  21. 4 out of 5

    nicolle

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bree

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Boselovic

  24. 4 out of 5

    Valyncia Raphael

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kiara

  26. 4 out of 5

    Naureen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tory Cross

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rolf

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Eaton

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marcie Frazier

  31. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kp Hammer

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  34. 5 out of 5

    Naiyuan

  35. 5 out of 5

    Sarah M

  36. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  37. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Hastings

  38. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  39. 5 out of 5

    Keri Randolph

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