On MLK day, we were discussing a picture from 1961 and somebody asked if racism and segregation still exist. We searched more about it and we listened to an NPR Fresh Air podcast by Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones titled “The Systematic Segregation of Schools.” We were surprised by what we found.
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says that segregation still exists, because some schools only have African Americans and Latinos. Unlike the past, today there are no laws that say that white students and students of color must go to separate schools. Instead, schools that are in mostly white neighborhoods have mostly white students, and schools in neighborhoods with mostly people of color have mostly students of color.
Some people might say this kind of segregation isn’t a big deal. However, it is a big deal because it means less resources, less books, less experienced teachers, and less technology. We are surprised that segregation is still going on today.
We were surprised when Nikole Hannah-Jones described her life in high school; white kids’ parents didn’t let their kids go to the African American neighborhoods because they feared what would happen to them but African American people let their kids go to the white side of the city.
We think that segregation doesn’t exist here in Cordova because we live in a small town and we only have one school. Our school is integrated with different types of people and cultures like Hispanics, Asians, African Americans, Alaska Natives, and Europeans. We’re thankful that Cordova is not segregated because we’re all equal and we all get a good education.
— Laura Bowman’s 4th period English class
Cordova Junior/Senior High School
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