"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
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
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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 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-
9. Start new school activities
10. Exchange ideas with other schools
11. Make a community survey
12. Study student viewpoints and opinions