Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality

Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality

by Pamela Grundy

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Overview

Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality by Pamela Grundy

At a time when race and inequality dominate national debates, the story of West Charlotte High School illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. West Charlotte opened in 1938 as a segregated school that embodied the aspirations of the growing African American population of Charlotte, North Carolina. In the 1970s, when Charlotte began court-ordered busing, black and white families made West Charlotte the celebrated flagship of the most integrated major school system in the nation. But as the twentieth century neared its close and a new court order eliminated race-based busing, Charlotte schools resegregated along lines of class as well as race. West Charlotte became the city's poorest, lowest-performing high school—a striking reminder of the people and places that Charlotte's rapid growth had left behind. While dedicated teachers continue to educate children, the school's challenges underscore the painful consequences of resegregation.

Drawing on nearly two decades of interviews with students, educators, and alumni, Pamela Grundy uses the history of a community's beloved school to tell a broader American story of education, community, democracy, and race—all while raising questions about present-day strategies for school reform.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469636085
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/08/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 974,460
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Historian, author, and activist Pamela Grundy lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she pursues a variety of writing, teaching, and museum projects. Her previous books include the award-winning Learning to Win: Sports, Education, and Social Change in Twentieth-Century North Carolina.

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Pamela Grundy has written a riveting book. The story of West Charlotte High School is a microcosm of urban education across the nation, demonstrating the advances achieved during desegregation and the backward movement toward resegregation. For anyone interested in contemporary issues of race and education, this book is a must-read.—Diane Ravitch, author of Reign of Error

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