Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School (Hardback)
  • Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School (Hardback)

Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School (Hardback)

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Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 25/01/2016
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Lines Were Drawn looks at a group of Mississippi teenagers whose entire high school experience, beginning in 1969, was under federal court-ordered racial integration. Through oral histories and other research, this group memoir considers how the students, despite their markedly different backgrounds, shared a common experience that greatly influences their present interactions and views of the world--sometimes in surprising ways. The book is also an exploration of memory and the ways in which the same event can be remembered in very different ways by the participants.

The editors (proud members of Murrah High School's Class of 1973) and more than fifty students and teachers address the reality of forced desegregation in the Deep South from a unique perspective--that of the faculty and students who experienced it and made it work, however briefly. The book tries to capture the few years in which enough people were so willing to do something about racial division that they sacrificed immediate expectations to give integration a true chance.

This period recognizes a rare moment when the political will almost caught up with the determination of the federal courts to finally do something about race. Because of that collision of circumstances, southerners of both races assembled in the public schools and made integration work by coming together, and this book seeks to capture those experiences for subsequent generations.

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9781628462319
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 600 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm


"This volume is a fascinating treasure trove of accounts of the events arising out of the massive desegregation of the public schools of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s and '70s as remembered and recorded by many of the students, teachers, and parents who were directly involved in that tumultuous experience. This book points out the grim reality of how an uncompromising resistance to school desegregation was met with a more massive political and judicial response, resulting in a devil's brew of conflict that for a time threatened the very existence of effective public education in Mississippi. Now as a result of the experience of those years, we can reflect on the admirable courage of those confused but committed students and their teachers who learned and taught some very wise lessons that provide us with guidelines for future racial progress and reconciliation."

--William F. Winter, fifty-seventh governor of Mississippi

"In this inspiring and bittersweet memoir, graduates of Murrah High School look back on their role in the school desegregation crisis of the early 1970s. This important book speaks to our condition today, and it should be required reading for both educators and public officials."

--John Dittmer, author of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi

"If I could choose one book of 2016 to create dialogue, Lines Were Drawn would be it. Lines Were Drawn begs people to share their thoughts about the value of public education, the importance of equal opportunity, and the need to engage with those of different backgrounds and experiences. These concerns entail the essence of American democracy. Electoral debate since Lines Were Drawn was published underscores the centrality to the American Experiment with Democracy of the issues discussed. The evidence for an expansive social sphere in which people of disparate color and class mix successfully, unselfconsciously, offers optimism that no historical moment will extinguish the aspirations of the American Revolution."

--Jay Wiener, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger

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