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ERIC Number: EJ767530
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1056-4934
Rethinking Little Rock: The Cold War Politics of School Integration in the United States
Dejong-Lambert, William
European Education, v38 n4 p65-81 Win 2006-2007
Though the impact of the cold war on the civil rights movement continued long after the desegregation crisis in Little Rock, the timing of the events in Arkansas, particularly the events at Central High School, constituted a unique moment in the history of the cold war. Up until the fall of 1957, the Soviet Union had been perceived as less advanced than and technologically inferior to the United States. The launch of Sputnik into space was a wake-up call, resulting in one of the most historic pieces of education legislation in American history, the 1958 National Defense Education Act. In addition, the United States had maintained a diplomatic lead that was severely compromised by Orval Faubus's decision to challenge the authority of the federal government to desegregate public schools in Arkansas. Little Rock and Sputnik changed everything. The only enigma that remains is the motivation of Faubus. Faubus's actions have been analyzed as a case study in political opportunism, a failure who found out what worked. Faubus was a racist because it was a smart career choice in the American South in the 1950s, particularly once "Brown v. Board of Education" assigned students the role of solving prejudices that preceded them. The events at Central High School as a case study of the cold war politics of school desegregation demonstrate how fear may be used to position various interest groups against one another to preserve power. (Contains 41 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas; Russia; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; National Defense Education Act