When students in a New Jersey public middle school decided to learn about their community's history of desegregation through a year-long language arts and social studies project, no one imagined how powerful the experience would be for everyone involved. In addition to digging up newspaper articles and historical documents, they interviewed town residents who had participated in the struggle to desegregate schools up North. They soon learned how everyday people became activists, how a bus could symbolize political struggle, and how the fight for full integration is never over. One of the few studies available on desegregation in the North, Keeping the Struggle Alive honors the voices the students discovered in their community for their civic courage and offers valuable eye-witness reports and documentation of one community's struggle with school integration. In addition, it provides a hands-on oral history guide that can be applied to any classroom or community that wants to involve youth in social action projects especially those involving race relations and integration. Finally, it is a testament to the kind of real learning that takes place when school projects are designed by, with, and for young people.
Table of Contents
Re-Examining History with Middle School 1 (12)
``You Can't Give Up the Power of the 13 (50)
Struggle'': An Oral History of School
Desegregation by America's Youth
A Brief Legal Background Leading to 14 (4)
A Brief History of Segregation in Montclair 18 (4)
The Struggle to Integrate Montclair 22 (5)
Segregation in the Schools in Montclair 27 (5)
The Fight for Desegreation in the Schools 32 (25)
And Today... 57 (1)
Montclair Wrong for Too Long: The Youth 58 (5)
A Teacher's Guide to the Oral History Project 63 (10)
How the Project Began 63 (1)
What is the goal of the course?
What resources will we use and why?
What do we want the students to be able
to do as a result of this course?
The Class Meetings 64 (9)
Acknowledgments 73 (2)
Student Contributors 75 (2)
References 77 (2)
Index 79 (2)
About the Authors 81