In this 1959 article Alabama wordsmith Wyatt Blasingame did his level-headed best to explain the sluggish reasoning that made up the opinions of his friends and neighbors as to why racial integration of the nation's schools was a poor idea. He observed that even the proudest Southerner could freely recognize that African-Americans were ill-served by the existing school system and that they were due for some sort of an upgrade - they simply wished it wouldn't happen quite so quickly. The journalist spent a good deal of column space explaining that there existed among the Whites of Dixie a deep and abiding paranoia over interracial marriage.
Their line of thinking seems terribly alien to us, but, be assured, Southern white reasoning has come a long way since 1923...
This article recalls the story behind the 1954 Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education.
As 1964 came to a close this venom-packed column was read by many in the white American middle-class and it must have seemed very clear to many among them that matters between the races would not be righted for decades to come. Written by the Harlem-born writer James Baldwin (1924 – 1987) on the occasion of the 1964 Harlem Race Riot, Baldwin did not simply denigrate the NYC Police Department but the culture, government and sacred documents of the entire nation.
Although the attached article is indeed about the famous civil rights march on Washington that took place in August of 1963, the journalist made his primary concern the political gains and losses that remained after all was said and done.
By citing numerous examples of American jurisprudence spanning the early to mid-Fifties, this uncredited journalist illustrates that the era of Jim Crow was being disassembled brick-by-bigoted-brick:
"All across the South, the segregation wall is cracking. The hammer is being wielded by the courts... The executive branch is also moving into the civil rights field."
"Not since the Civil War has the nation faced such an explosive situation as it will when public schools in the South open their doors next month. In a plea for tolerance, sympathy and understanding in the South as well as the North, Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist Virginius Dabney (1901 - 1995) analyzes and interprets a problem serious to Americans in every section of the country."