The civil rights movement of 1954-1968 began with stating the idea that the school segregation was one of the most discriminatory factors to accentuate differences in the white and black population. Thus, the period of struggles associated with the concept of school desegregation started. The social reaction to the idea was so intensive that newspaper authors tried to focus more attention on covering the events which changed the history of not only American education but also American society. The main idea of the school desegregation was the struggle for the opportunity to put white Americans and African Americans in the same classroom environments to emphasize their equal rights.
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The struggle for breaking the barriers between the dominant and minority groups in education and society was divided into several stages, and it is important to focus on covering these stages and achievements in the newspaper articles published during the period of 1954-1968. In spite of the fact that many newspaper authors covered the school desegregation events rather subjectively, the approaches to discussing the process of school desegregation in the American states are different in relation to the American newspapers and African American newspapers.
To describe the traditional approach to covering the school desegregation events during 1954-1968, it is necessary to refer to the articles in such famous historical American newspapers as the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times. The intended audience of these newspapers was the dominant white population of the United States. This factor is also reflected in the manners to present the events and to analyze the African Americans’ achievements in the field.
Thus, in his article “States Divided or Delaying: Arkansas” published in the New York Times in 1956, Damon Stetson focuses on the successes of different states in relation to the school desegregation and concludes that the only factor to explain the success of Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Missouri in school desegregation activities is the number of the African American population in these states. As a result, Arkansas cannot be discussed as the state who realized the school desegregation effectively because it faced a lot of economic challenges due to the necessity to support many African American students in integrated schools (Stetson 3S). The hidden meaning of Stetson’s statements is that the economy of many American states cannot support the results of the school desegregation effectively.
In 1958, Woodrow Wilson Mann published the article “The Truth about Little Rock” in New York Herald Tribune in which he addressed the desires of the public to learn more about the Little Rock events of 1957. The author discussed the resistance of Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus as the actions which controversially supported the vision of the public in relation to the necessity of the school desegregation in the country (Mann 20). In ten years, the article “New Programs Offered for High School Dropouts” published in Chicago Tribune presents the advantages of the programs to support the African American students in the context of the wide school desegregation (“New Programs Offered for High School Dropouts” S4). From this point, it is possible to observe the evolution in the authors’ visions of the role of school desegregation for the American society with references to the biased discussions of the early 1950s and active supportive discussion of the 1960s.
On the contrary, the articles published in the African American newspapers are characterized by the active support of the school desegregation events from their beginning and in relation to their further development. The intended audience of the Chicago Defender is the African Americans living in Chicago community. In spite of the fact that the authors of the newspaper were inclined to cover the true events for their audience, the content of the newspaper’s articles can be discussed as rather biased because of the much focus on discussing the ineffective position and policies of the US government. Thus, in his article “Students Flunk in Biggest Exam” published in 1958, Howard Gould pays much attention to the fact that African American students should have about fifty scholarship qualifiers in the examinations, but the majority of the students failed because of the ineffectiveness of the policy (Gould A8).
The author also states that the achievements of the school segregation movement are challenged because the US government cannot develop the effective policies to address the needs of the African American students. In the article “DuSable to Get Cheers” published in 1960, the further critique of the US policies and educational programs is provided (“DuSable to Get Cheers” 19). It is possible to note that such biased articles worked to attract the African Americans’ attention to the issue and to persuade that the further struggle for the rights in the field was necessary.
Thus, the reviewed articles published in the American and African American newspapers can be discussed as reflecting the school desegregation events only from the one perspective which is advantageous for the authors and for the community. As a result, the conclusions presented in the articles are rather biased and partial.
“DuSable to Get Cheers”. Chicago Defender 1960: 19. Print.
Gould, Howard. “Students Flunk in Biggest Exam”. Chicago Defender. 1958: A8. Print.
Mann, Woodrow Wilson. “The Truth about Little Rock”. New York Herald Tribune. 1958: 20. Print.
“New Programs Offered for High School Dropouts”. Chicago Tribune. 1968: S4. Print.
Stetson, Damon. “States Divided or Delaying: Arkansas”. New York Times 1956: 3S. Print.