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ERIC Number: EJ813349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
African Americans and the Struggle for Opportunity in Florida Public Higher Education, 1947-1977
Johnson, Larry; Cobb-Roberts, Deirdre; Shircliffe, Barbara
History of Education Quarterly, v47 n3 p328-358 Aug 2007
The history of public higher education for African Americans in Florida provides an excellent opportunity to examine American institutional and political dynamics. Following World War II, Florida public higher education expanded dramatically, while at the same time, state leaders maintained racial segregation well after "Brown v. Board of Education" (1954) declared it to be unconstitutional. "Hawkins v. Board of Control" (1954), the first attempt to apply "Brown" to higher education, became a notorious example of southern defiance. Florida's Board of Control, which oversaw the system of higher education, governors, the State Supreme Court, legislators, and other state and local officials engaged in a variety of strategies to continue segregation. In addition to ongoing litigation to block and delay desegregation, state officials expanded segregated public higher education through the creation of a racially separate junior college system. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Florida officials offered enlarged, but still not equal, educational opportunities for African Americans as an alternative to desegregation. Following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, these officials responded to increased pressure to desegregate public higher education by intensifying threats to dismantle black institutions, implying that African Americans would lose existing institutions that were educating large numbers of black students if they continued to press for integration. Whites precipitously closed the black junior colleges and the only public law school blacks could attend. Civil rights leaders and African American educators, in turn, argued that redressing past discrimination and offering educational opportunity to African Americans required the states both to strengthen historically black institutions and to desegregate historically white ones. In this article, the authors argue that by creating a false choice between black institutions and integration, Florida officials effectively continued their historic resistance to equitable access and opportunities for African American students in the state's colleges and universities. (Contains 97 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education; Civil Rights Act 1964