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Page 7 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.22 n.2

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

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"Segregation vs. Integration" ATWOOD S. WILSON PRINCIPAL, CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, LOUISVILLE Today the Negroes of America are striving more than ever to obtain integration in educa- tion, sports, housing, and other areas of life. There is nothing wrong with integration itself. Certainly in a democracy complete oneness of people is expected; equally discrimination and segregation should be foreign to such a society. But the Negro, long suffering from the humilia- tion and frustration induced by race bias found in the American social structure, has launched an attack at the heart of the evil. His yearnings are understandable; they are right and need no defense. The Negro knows also the many inequities that have come to him through the antiquated theory of "separate but equal facilities." While the Negro has every reason to demand integration, there are certain peculiar factors associated with it that deserve careful consideration and mature thinking. If integration in the American way of life were to be complete, not partial, then arguments against it would be senseless; but if it means the giving to the Negro the rights and privileges of an American citizen, but denying him the right of employment within those areas into which he has been integrated, then there is much to protest. In our struggle for integration we must never lose sight of the fact that with it we also want "job opportunities." It is not enough to possess the privilege of attending integrated schools, if the doors of employment in those same schools are closed to the Negro. In his quest for integration the Negro must include in his demands and obtain the right to employment in the areas where integration is accomplished. Failing to do this, he may find himself a victim of a type of discrimination more sinister and more dismal than that which he sought to avoid. A good example of this type of thing is found in the situation at the Louisville Municipal College. When the University of Louisville made provisions for the acceptance of Negro students, it failed to provide "job opportunities" for the several capable and well-trained teachers and other personnel at the Municipal College, which is a part of the University system. Here we have the pitiful example of capable men and women who are now forced out of employment because of integration, and who are now faced with the problem of establishing themselves elsewhere. This is but one illustration that could be multiplied several times, unless we, in our march toward integration, insist upon and receive along with it the right to work in the fields for which we are prepared. I can see valuable contributions of the K. N. E. A. to the education of the Negro child. Some time in the future I think we should be integrated with the K. E. A., but I think "not at the present." The interest of the Negro child can best be served by an effective and well-organized K. N. E. A. I am not quite ready to see the dissolution of the Red Cross Hospital, or the Domestic Life Insurance Company, or the Mammoth Life Insurance Company, or any other similar Negro businesses through integration. Not until it is an established fact that the Negro will be assured employment within integrated areas shall I be prepared to accept abolition of Negro business for whatever good that may come through integration. Concluding, I urge "job opportunities" with integration. Should we run so hastily into "integration" that we approach economic slavery? Let us stop, think, and evaluate this important issue. Continued from page 6 of the school is the function of the whole society in which the school is found. In developing a council, the idea that we are living in and training for a democracy should be kept in mind. The principles and aims of the student council fit all situations. The council must be adapted to suit the needs, mores, etc. of the community. Building a council is a gradual process that can only be done when all concerned are fully educated as to the workings and benefits of the council. The types of councils, means of nominating and electing members and officers, are numerous. The type that can best be adapted to the school should be used. Activities for the council are many. It is best to start with a few and enlarge the scope as the council grows. Some possible activities follow: 1. Publish handbooks 2. Tutorial work 3. Help plan commencement 4. Student advisory group to the principal 5. Keep activity records and point system 6. Plan and conduct elections 7. Make good will tours to schools 8. Conduct courtesy, clean-up, etc. cam- paigns 9. Start new school activities 10. Exchange ideas with other schools 11. Make a community survey 12. Study student viewpoints and opinions 7

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