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ERIC Number: EJ742096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Writing Autobiographies on "Brown" in the History Classroom
Weis, Tracey M.
History of Education Quarterly, v44 n1 p120-124 Spr 2004
This article examines the two autobiographical accounts of the students in Duke University about their perception on how the race especially the "Brown" decision affects their educational history. The students were advised to consult local newspapers and public records, interviews relatives, neighbors, teachers, and public officials in order to address this query. They were to draw upon course reading and library research resources to illuminate their personal experience of race and education, from elementary grades to present-day-college years. Most of the students at this predominantly White northern university find it very challenging to connect their educational experience to "Brown," a decision that seems so distant in both time and space from their daily lives. However, because of the racial homogeneity that prevailed in most rural communities, many White students claimed that they had optimistic narratives of color-bind tolerance. By contrast, when reading the autobiographies of African-American students against these optimistic accounts, a very different picture of desegregation in northern schools emerges. The quest for an equal education, a conspicuous theme in the autobiographies of the Black students, seemed irrelevant in the stories told by most of the Whites. However, reaching across the color line, Black and White students sought to reconcile their own experiences in varied northern schools with the historical and contemporary inequities in education. (Contains 6 resources.)
History of Education Society. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Educational Policy Studies, 360 Education Building MC-708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-333-2446; Fax: 217-244-7064; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education