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Make haste slowly : moderates, conservatives, and school desegregation in Houston /
William Henry Kellar.
1st ed.
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c1999.
xv, 226 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
0890968187 (alk. paper)
More Details
College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c1999.
0890968187 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [179]-211) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
William Henry Kellar is a professional historian and writer in Houston, who also holds positions as a visiting assistant professor of history and director of the Scholars' Community Program at the University of Houston
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-11:
Kellar's book covers Houston school politics from 1955 to 1960, a period that spans the controversies that resulted in the enrollment of 12 African American children into the first grade in three of Houston's all white schools. Although there was no violence, integration in Houston's schools remained token until 1970. Kellar's first three chapters describe the conditions and the background of Houston, which until 1954 had the largest legally segregated public school system in the country. He contrasts the events in Houston with those in other cities such as Little Rock and New Orleans to show that people in Texas resisted the US Supreme Court decision differently than elsewhere. The epilogue explains how subsequent events reflected changes in the conditions of the city schools. In 1970 half the students were white, about a third African American, and 15 percent were Hispanic. By 1995 half the students were Hispanic, about a third black, and 12 percent were white. Readers interested in school desegregation in Texas might also consult Robyn Duff Ladino's description of the desegregation crisis at Mansfield High School, Desegregating Texas Schools (CH, Jul'97). An analysis of recent events in many cities is available in Gary Orfield et al., Dismantling Desegregation (CH, Mar'97). General readers, graduate students, and faculty. J. Watras; University of Dayton
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1999
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Unpaid Annotation
When faced with the Supreme Court's order for "all deliberate speed" in achieving school desegregation, a fearful Houston school board member urged the city to "make haste slowly".Houston, Texas, had what may have been the largest racially segregated public school system in the United States when the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional in 1954. Ultimately, helped by members of its business community, Houston did desegregate its public schools and did so peacefully, without making the city a battleground of racial violence.In Make Haste Slowly, William Henry Kellar provides the first extensive examination of Houston's racially segregated public school system, the long fight for desegregation, and the roles played by community groups in one of the most significant stories of the civil rights era.Drawing on archival records, HISD School Board minutes, interviews with participants in the process, and the oral history collection of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Kellar shows that, while Houston desegregated its public school system peacefully, the limited integration that originally occurred served only to delay equal access to HISD schools. Houstonians shifted from a strategy of "massive resistance" to one of "massive retreat". White flight and resegregation transformed both the community and its public schools.Kellar concludes that forty years after the Brown decision, many of the aspirations that landmark ruling inspired have proven elusive, but the impact of the ruling on Houston has changed the face of that city and the nature of its public education dramatically and in unanticipated ways.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations and Tablesp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Two States Beneath the Lone Star: Texas Before Desegregationp. 3
Two Cities along the Bayou: Racial Segregation and Houston's Public Schools Before Brownp. 21
Rumblings on the Bayou: The First Breach in the Color Linep. 35
Tyranny on the Bayou: The School Board, the Red Scare, and the Politics of Desegregationp. 47
"Make Haste Slowly"p. 65
Defiance and Determination, 1957-59p. 93
A Shallow Victory: Houston's Elites and the Era of Token Desegregationp. 117
Epilogue: Brown, White Flight, and Resegregationp. 151
Notesp. 179
Bibliographyp. 205
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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