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Why racial inequality persists in US schools, around the limits of desegregation.

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If you look at the landscape of American public education, and explain the very visible segregation that exists as the result of white resistance to desegregation, or as simple the impact of residential segregation that follows from peoples' different economic positions or different choices in housing, then you're missing the very robust investment the US has made over several decades in fostering residential segregation.

Historian Ansley Erickson examines the challenges of addressing racial inequality in the nation's schools in the six decades after Brown v. Board of Education - from an incomplete definition of desegregation that mandated a white majority and closed historically black schools, to the inequalizing influence of municipal and national policies around development and real estate - and explains why education must be understood in the larger framework of US capitalism and labor.

Ansley is author of the new book Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and Its Limits from University of Chicago Press.

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Ansley Erickson

Ansley Erickson is an assistant professor of history at Columbia University.

 

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