The Dream Long Deferred

Frye Gaillard, Author
Frye Gaillard, Author University of North Carolina Press $19.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8078-1794-0
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
In the early 1970s the Charlotte, N.C., school system was the national test case for busing as a means of achieving racial desegregation. Gaillard, a Charlotte Observer editor who covered the issue as a reporter for the newspaper, emphasizes here that ``whatever the experience of other cities, busing was not a tragedy in Charlotte.'' This interesting and well-written study focuses on those who fought to make busing workparents and school principals, activists and reformers, lawyers and judges, journalists and ministers, average people who struggled to put doctrine ahead of self-interest. Gaillard harbors no illusions that Charlotte was ever a bastion of liberalism, a staunch fortress in the battle for integration. Rather, the citizens simply did not want to see their town and its schools torn apart. There was resistance and oppositionboycotts, bomb scares, white flight and scattered violencebut the main story here is how stubbornness and strength, good faith and compromise and, most of all, a dual sense of fairness and community, overcame intransigence and achieved progress. (September)
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