Course Details

972: DC’s Segregated Schools: Past and Present

February 5-9
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Some of us remember–but others may be surprised to learn—that public schools in our nation’s capital were racially segregated until the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing “separate but equal” schools for white and black children. This study group looks at the history of school segregation right here in Washington, DC—including a home-grown legal challenge that became an important part of the 1954 Brown case. We then examine desegregation and its consequences; we conclude by looking at the extent to which re-segregation exists today in DC schools. Excerpts of a remarkable documentary on the Brown decision's history will also be screened.

Class Format: Lecture

Hours of Reading: Less than 1 hour/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Ralph Buglass
Ralph Buglass has given variations of this course at OLLI and elsewhere. As a docent at a one-room schoolhouse in Montgomery County and lifelong history buff, he has studied the history of early public education. He has a BA in history from Cornell and an MA in journalism from AU, and is a frequent speaker on local history topics.