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LESSON NINETEEN

19661984: Desegregating Milwaukee Schools & Neighborhoods

Introduction: Between 1940 and 1960, Wisconsin’s African American population increased by nearly 600 percent, from 12,158 in 1940 to 74,546 in 1960. Drawn to jobs in industrial cities during the war, many African American families encountered segregation in housing, employment, and education. By the 1960s, Milwaukee was one of the most segregated cities in the nation, particularly in its schools. The Milwaukee chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and attorney Lloyd Barbee led the fight against school segregation in Milwaukee, organizing boycotts, demonstrations, and court cases. In 1976, after more than a decade of protests and litigation, a federal judge ordered the school board to take immediate steps to integrate the city’s schools and in March of 1979, the board agreed to implement a desegregation plan.

Background Reading: ʺPostwar African American Migrationʺ h t t p : / / w w w . w i s c o n s i n h i s t o r y . o r g / t u r n i n g p o i n t s / t p 0 4 7 / ? a c t i o n = m o r e _ e s s a and ʺDesegregation and Civil Rightsʺ http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp049/ y

Document to Analyze: Bisbing Business Research. “Attitude Study among Negro and White residents in the Milwaukee Negro Residential Areas” (pp. 4483) http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1189

Who, What, Where, When, Why: Bisbing Business Research was hired by the Milwaukee Journal in 1965 to interview residents about major issues facing the city’s African American community. 500 people were interviewed (400 black and 100 white) using questions developed by the Journal. This study was intended, in part, to assess the daytoday concerns and racial problems of people living in the city.

Related Documents ʺMilwaukeeʹs Negro Community.ʺ Citizensʹ Governmental Research Bureau. (Milwaukee: The Bureau, 1946); http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1095 and ʺSelma of the North: Milwaukee and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.ʺ http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=799

Vocabulary: Unfamiliar words are defined at www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary

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