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The Dream Revisited
Discussion 1: Why Integration?

Discussion 1: Why Integration?

January 2014

The frst discussion in The Dream Revisited asks what we mean by "integration" and why it may be a necessary strategy to acheive racial and economic equality.


  • The Problem of Integration

    by Mary Pattillo

    Promoting integration as the means to improve the lives of Blacks stigmatizes Black people and Black spaces and valorizes Whiteness as both the symbol of opportunity and the measuring stick for equality.  In turn, such stigmatization of Blacks and Black spaces is precisely what foils efforts toward integration. After all, why would anyone else want to live around or interact with a group that is discouraged from being around itself? 


  • Focus on the Costs of Segregation for All

    by Sherrilyn Ifill

    Does the pursuit of integration stigmatize black people?  Does it, as Mary Pattillo suggests, “posit proximity to Whiteness as a solution” to the problems of urban, poor black people?  This a tough question.  One which must be confronted if we are to understand how and why segregation plays such an important role in reproducing the poverty and educational inequality 60 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark embrace of integration in Brown v. Board of Education.

  • Making Our Assumptions About Integration Explicit

    by Pat Sharkey

    The idea that residential integration is a desirable goal is shared widely. But the underlying assumptions about why it is desirable often are left unstated. When the rationale for integration is left implicit, there is the potential to reify unstated assumptions about the depravity or deficiencies of segregated groups and the virtues of the dominant group. Mary Pattillo’s post provides a powerful argument about the pernicious nature of such unstated assumptions.

  • In Search of Integration: Beyond Black & White

    by Rucker C. Johnson

    As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the singular high points of the Civil Rights Movement—the March on Washington—it is important to recall that its educational goal was the desegregation of all school districts.  Despite the March and the resulting policy changes, today as a nation, we sit in a backslidden condition.  America’s schools are more segregated now than they were in the early 1970s. 

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