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As the controversy continues to rage over school busing to achieve racial balance, one vital question is being virtually ignored. How are the black children faring? Ray Rist offers this book to show—in depth and objectively— what it means to black children to be faced with white realities on a day-to-day basis and what it means to the educational process in general.
Rist’s book traces the experiences of one school during its first year of integration. The school is in Portland, Oregon, and Rist observed and participated in the process he narrates from the moment the first black students stepped off the bus. He wanted to find out what would actually happen to the children, and as he reports their reactions and those of their teachers, parents, and principal. It becomes clear that assimilation, which takes no account of black realities, is not a viable form of integration, either educationally or socially. The approach to desegregation most favored by white America is thus sharply called into question.
The graphic findings and clear-cut conclusions of this book cannot be ignored in future discussions of school integration.