From Fri Sep 1 08:58:31 2000
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 23:47:38 -0400
From: Art McGee <>
Subject: [BRC-ANN] Quote of the Day: Adam Fairclough
Precedence: bulk


Quote of the day

By Adam Fairclough, June 2000

The NAACP’s decision to abandon equalization for integration involved a strategic decision to attack Jim Crow at what appeared to be its most vulnerable point. Given its (virtually) consistent opposition to legally imposed segregation, the decision was entirely consonant with the organization’s basic philosophy. As Walter White put it, segregation was economically unsound against the development of mutual respect and understanding. Moreover, given the central role of Jim Crow laws in perpetuating racial discrimination, it is difficult to see how blacks in the South could have destroyed white supremacy without attacking segregated schools.

Still, the shift from equalization to integration produced profound misgivings among black educators. Du Bois argued that most Negroes would prefer a good school with properly paid colored teachers, to forcing children into white schools which met them with injustice and discouraged their efforts to progress. And he predicted that if any outside power forced white and colored children in the same schools, the result would be turmoil and uprising as would utterly nullify the process of education. He was correct on the second point, and probably right about the first. Moreover, many blacks, especially in the Deep South, viewed their schools and colleges with pride; built at great personal cost, they provided jobs, leadership, and community facilities. For black southerners, integration was a leap in the dark.

Adam Fairclough
Black Teachers in the Jim Crow South
Journal of American History
June 2000