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Download A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson PDF

By Marilyn Nelson

In 1955, humans everywhere in the usa knew that Emmett Louis until eventually was once a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white girl in Mississippi. The brutality of his homicide, the open-casket funeral, and the acquittal of the boys attempted for the crime drew vast media attention.

Award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose destiny helped spark the civil rights stream. This martyr’s wreath, woven from a little-known yet subtle kind of poetry, demanding situations us to talk out opposed to modern day injustices, to “speak what we see.”

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Extra info for A Wreath for Emmett Till

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It found that the school board, by virtue of new school sitings and attendance boundary decisions, had deliberately acted to create and maintain segregated schools in this part of the city. 52 The district court did find, however, that these core area schools were not offering educational programs equal to white schools, and in that respect they were found in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. "53 In spite of finding the school board innocent of causing segregation in the core area schools, the district court ordered a racial balance plan for both the Park Hills and core area schools.

In 1965, after the lawsuit had been initiated and in order to remain eligible for federal aid under the Civil Rights Act, the school board finally adopted a freedom of choice plan but not geographic attendance zones, which would have desegregated its two schools. By 1967, 15 percent of black students had chosen the white school, but no whites had chosen the black school. The strongly worded unanimous decision, written by Justice Brennan, reflects a Court that had tired of the active resistance to desegregation by many southern school districts.

But the Court also said such a policy had to be judged by its effectiveness and could not be the only device in the face of more effective alternatives. Moreover, the Green decision did not endorse the concept of racial balance and the technique of cross-district busing. In fact, the Court noted that desegregation could be attained in this small rural school district by straightforward geographic zoning. Adoption of freedom of choice rather than the common Desegregation Policy and the Law 29 technique of geographic zones led the Court to conclude, in this instance, that freedom of choice was simply a means to perpetuate the dual school system.

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