Segregation, Alive and Well

Clyde Haberman writes this morning that most big cities continue to be “about as blended as a bottle of single-malt Scotch,” and quoting one of the last lawyers still alive who argued the cases that became Brown v. Board Of Education.

It’s funny, but what’s integrated more than anything else is small-town rural South,” [Columbia Law professor Jack Greenberg] said the other day in his office in Morningside Heights. “What’s not integrated are the major metropolitan centers, where most black people live. It’s a function of residential segregation, essentially city versus suburb.”

We New Yorkers often view ourselves as sophisticated progressives, swearing we’d never live in the South and deriding the narrowness of small-town life. But the fact is that I went to segregated schools from kindergarten through high school — New York City public schools where black and white students were rigorously separated except perhaps in gym class.

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