In 1970’s, the Memphis city schools were ordered to desegregate. By desegregating, the white population of the school decreased dramatically. White left the schools for the smaller county schools. WHITE FLIGHT. Today, the Memphis city schools are being split up and absorbed into the county schools. One person who left the Memphis city schools when they first desegregated, Mr. Joseph Clayton, is now a board member of the Shelby County school district. He said people left the Memphis city school in the 70’s due to fear of physical concerns. Today, they residents feel the influx of minority students could produce academic decline in their schools. He says you will probably see white flight again. Mr. Clayton also feels that trust between races has not changed much since the 1970’s.
One factor that has the suburban school worried is the median family income. Shelby County has a median income of $92,000 a year and Memphis is $32,000 a year. There is huge economic gap between the two districts. Even though middle class blacks moved out of the city, the segregation was still prevalent. In two Shelby county schools, separated by 10 miles, were still mostly segregated. One school was 82 percent white while the other was 94 percent black.
What is this country going to do help end racism? There has been over 200 years of segregation in this country. America had found ways to overcome most of the racism, but still has a long way to go. The “SOUTH” marks the biggest challenge for the American people. There are deep rooted issues that will take generations to rid. Our last presidential election has probably widened the divide between the cultures. When will America see its people as Americans? There should more helping each other to get our children the proper education. Our educational system ranks no higher than 15th against other developed countries in reading, math and science. We are only hurting ourselves, WAKE UP AMERICA!