Here’s what you probably know about school segregation in the United States: On May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racially segregated public schools were unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education case.

Many cities across the Jim Crow South refused to comply with the ruling, and so six years later, on Nov. 14, 1960, a brave 6-year-old girl named Ruby Bridges needed U.S. marshals to escort her to her first day of class at all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. At the same time, 6-year-olds Gail Etienne, Tessie Prevost, and Leona Tate integrated nearby McDonogh 19 Elementary School.  

RELATEDFlorida School Bans Ruby Bridges Film

Norman Rockwell immortalized Bridges being escorted into the school in his famous 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” In the decades since, de jure segregation mandated by law has disappeared, but de facto segregation — what actually happens in practice — persists, and it continues to impact Black students today. How? Well, here’s what you may not know about modern-day school segregation.

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Aziah Siid

Word in Black!

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