Lest We Forget

65 years ago, we were ordered by the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education to desegregate our public schools. The term used, that I cannot connect with, was something like, “with all deliberate speed.”

The initial response of a segment of the white community was closing the public schools; creating white, private academies; and numerous responses to avoid the effect of that ruling. They were successful.

Enough already, we know the drill—the more able students from the Black, failing schools are recruited and welcomed, in limited numbers, to desegregate the white schools. The most able teachers are recruited to transfer to the white schools. The least effective teachers at the white schools are “assessed” and sent to the district personnel office to be reassigned – where to?  A failing, Black school.

The Act of Consolidation guarantees that failing schools are to be staffed by failing “professionals.”  TEACHERS CAUSE LEARNING. These schools are attended by poor, Black students. The question is, are these schools in violation of the Supreme Court Decision of 1954? Where are the Black leaders? Can we send our children to the desegregated white schools, while advocating the desegregation of the entire system? Are there any Black members in the Charleston legislative delegation? Are they aware that these schools are for poor, Black students? Are they responsive to white parents only, knowing that whites are for the status quo?  Are our legislators the dupes of the Senns and the Stavinakis’? When will they meet with the powerless, Black parents, including their pastors and other leaders, to attempt to reconstitute these failing schools? 

We need to stop being the lackadaisical attendant and become the advocate for our helpless children. What they become is in our hands. They too are worthy. If need be, invite the Senns and the Stavinakis’ to join us, not as programmers, but as supporters. They too are concerned about what is happening to ALL children, are they not? Can we have a truly, desegregated educational system in Charleston County? Can we program ourselves to become the birds rather than the statues. It is in our economic interest. It is in our civic interest. Is our God dead?

-Luther Seabrook

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