ERIC Number: EJ1226082
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Contrary to the Mind and Will of God: White Flight and the Desegregation of Southern Episcopal Schools
Morris, Wade H.
American Educational History Journal, v46 n2 p21-36 2019
In 1955, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church called for the racial desegregation of Episcopal institutions: parishes, seminaries, and schools. The study of Episcopal school desegregation reveals a fundamental paradox: Episcopal theology promoted desegregation but "white flight" spurred Episcopal school growth. The question of desegregation therefore forced a choice upon school administrators and trustees between the perceived financial strength of their institution and theological consistency. The author examined the process through which seven Episcopal schools in the southeast decided to desegregate. The different governance relationships that each school had with the Episcopal Church provided a comparative analysis that sheds light on the effectiveness of the Church during desegregation. The available resources pertaining to desegregation varied from school to school. Board minutes, letters from parents, letters between administrators and trustees, newspaper articles, annual school reports, memoirs of school heads, and interviews all help paint a picture of what happened within each school community. The research produced a consistent theme across the seven schools: the closer the governance ties that the school had to the Church, the more quickly the school desegregated. The greater the influence that parents and alumni had over the schools, the more likely the school was to delay and resist desegregation.
Descriptors: Whites, Protestants, Churches, School Desegregation, Governance, Racial Segregation, School Administration, Comparative Analysis, Boards of Education, Trustees, Educational History, High Schools, Geographic Regions, Court Litigation, School Policy, Parent Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia; Tennessee; District of Columbia; Mississippi