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ERIC Number: EJ1062922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
The Story behind Ferguson
Rothstein, Richard
Educational Leadership, v72 n6 p28-33 Mar 2015
When the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was killed by a white Ferguson police officer in August, researcher Richard Rothstein put his other projects aside to investigate a question that many otherwise well-informed people were asking--Why did this St. Louis suburb so closely resemble the stereotype of an urban ghetto, with pervasive poverty and racial segregation? He came away with two conclusions: first, the segregation and poverty of Ferguson are not the consequence of private discrimination or accident, but rather the result of intentional, racially conscious government policies; and second, there is nothing unique about racial history in Ferguson. In this article, Rothstein describes the pattern of federal, state, and local government actions that led to the current state of racial segregation in the St. Louis metropolitan area--as well as in every other major city in every region of the United States. For example, in the late 1930s through the early 1950s, the Federal Housing Administration addressed housing shortages by subsidizing construction of single-family suburban homes and providing home mortgage loans--with the provision that such neighborhoods were restricted to white buyers. As another response to the housing crisis, the U.S. Congress's 1949 Housing Act funded public housing in a way designed to keep such housing racially segregated, and many formerly integrated city neighborhoods were condemned to make way for black-only and white-only public housing projects. Educators need to be aware of this history, writes Rothstein, because "we cannot narrow the achievement gap to any significant extent in segregated schools. And we cannot desegregate schools unless we desegregate neighborhoods." Unfortunately, the school curriculum typically ignores or misrepresents the story--and therefore, we are ensuring that avoidance of the United States' racial history will persist for subsequent generations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri