The topic is as contentious as it is enduring: Desegregation in America’s Schools. What began with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 advanced with busing and other maneuvers – and our schools became less segregated. Then, in the late 90s, a change. Lawsuits and more court decisions. And a generational push against busing. The verdict in many places: Desegration largely had succeeded, and as a result, institutionalized techniques like busing were no longer required.
What happened next is not only surprising, but also provides a clear example of the precarious tensions among race, education and equality in America. And of how quickly things can change.
This complex and important story is being told by Retro Report, a non-profit news and documentary group. Their new video is “The Battle for Busing” and focuses on ground zero for busing’s ups and downs: Charlotte, NC. The co-producer is B. Drummond Ayres, Jr., a former New York Times National Correspondent who covered the Civil Rights movement, desegration, busing and Charlotte.