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Keeping the Struggle Alive: Studying Desegregation in Our Town - A Guide to Doing Oral History

Keeping the Struggle Alive: Studying Desegregation in Our Town - A Guide to Doing Oral History (Paperback)

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When students in a New Jersey public middle school decided to learn about their community's history of desegregation through a year-long language arts and social studies project, no one imagined how powerful the experience would be for everyone involved. In addition to digging up newspaper articles and historical documents, they interviewed town residents who had participated in the struggle to desegregate schools up North. They soon learned how everyday people became activists, how a bus could symbolize political struggle, and how the fight for full integration is never over. One of the few studies available on desegregation in the North, Keeping the Struggle Alive honors the voices the students discovered in their community for their civic courage and offers valuable eye-witness reports and documentation of one community's struggle with school integration. In addition, it provides a hands-on oral history guide that can be applied to any classroom or community that wants to involve youth in social action projects especially those involving race relations and integration.

Finally, it is a testament to the kind of real learning that takes place when school projects are designed by, with, and for young people.

Bernadette Anand is the Director of Teaching Fellows at Bank Street College Graduate Division in New York City. Michelle Fine is Professor of Social Psychology at CUNY, The Graduate Center. David S. Surrey is Professor of Urban Studies and Sociology at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ. Tiffany Perkins is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Social-Personality Psychology program at the City University of New York Graduate School. The Renaissance School Class of 2000 represents the seventy-five seventh graders at the Renaissance Middle School in Montclair, New Jersey who conducted this study.

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