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By Gordon E. Harvey

Three trailblazers for schooling reform within the Sunbelt South.

In southern politics, 1970 marked a watershed. a bunch of southern governors entered workplace that 12 months and adjusted either the best way the country checked out the South and how the elements of these states seen themselves. Reubin Askew in Florida, John West in South Carolina, Jimmy Carter in Georgia, and Albert Brewer in Alabama all represented a brand new breed of revolutionary reasonable flesh presser that helped demolish Jim Crow segregation and the twin economies, societies, and academic structures infamous to the Sunbelt South. Historian Gordon Harvey explores the political lives and legacies of 3 of those governors, interpreting the stipulations that ended in this kind of radical swap in political management, the results their legislative agendas had at the identification in their states, and the aftermath in their phrases in elected office.

A universal thread in each one governor's time table used to be academic reform. Albert Brewer's brief time period as Alabama governor led to a sweeping schooling package deal that also stands because the such a lot innovative the kingdom has visible. Reubin Askew, way more outspoken than Brewer, received the Florida gubernatorial election via a crusade that overtly promoted desegregation, busing, and tax reform as a way of equivalent institution investment. John West's dedication to a coverage of inclusion helped allay fears of either black and white mom and dad and made South Carolina's one of many smoothest transitions to built-in schools.

As participants of the 1st iteration of latest South governors, Brewer, Askew, and West performed the position of trailblazers. Their winning attacks on monetary and racial injustice of their states have been definitely aided through such landmark occasions as Brown v. Board of schooling, the civil rights stream, and the growth of vote casting rights-all of which sounded the dying knell for the conventional one-party segregated South. yet during this serious detailing in their paintings for justice, we find out how those reform-minded males made schooling vital to their gubernatorial phrases and, in doing so, helped redefine the very personality of where they referred to as home.

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Additional resources for A Question of Justice: New South Governors and Education, 1968-1976 (Library of Alabama Classics)

Sample text

It had been rumored that he would do so in these speeches. The Alabama journal was also puzzled. The paper chastised Brewer for tilting at windmills rather than discussing needed reforms in education. "Efforts to shift the blame for our plight to a convenient whipping boy," wrote the editors, "will get him, and the children of Alabama, nowhere. " The journal posited that Brewer probably knew better: Whether he doubts it or not anyone with sufficient understanding of Alabama public affairs to be governor of the state also should understand that recent court decisions on education are the natural outgrowth of policies which, over a span of several generations, distributed educational funds on anything but an equal basis to all Alabama youngsters.

For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press. Intearation efPublic Schools other fatal blow. S. government, charging that Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Robert Finch discriminated against Alabama in his enforcement of civil rights and integration laws. Brewer argued that even though HEW had judged segregation a national problem, it focused its energies exclusively on the South. Claiming that Chicago had 208 all-black schools, the District of Columbia contained 114, Baltimore 89, and New York City 114, Brewer hoped to show that Alabama was unfairly targeted by the government.

To Brewer the battle lines were clear: his effort to preserve quality education versus the court's "socialistic" agenda. Moreover, to him the two were in direct conflict. Brewer's was a shrewd but dangerous political argument designed to high- You are reading copyrighted material published by the University of Alabama Press. S. Copyright law is illegal and injures the author and publisher. For permission to reuse this work, contact the University of Alabama Press. IntcBration if Public Schools light the almost impossible position in which the state and the governor had been placed, even if it was, ironically, a result of the state's past actions.

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