Lara Marlowe generally writes for an Irish audience, but when she turns her attention to the American South it is wise to take notice. American journalists are generally reluctant to address our nation’s racial history honestly and openly; aggrieved southerners wail and lament when they feel mistreated and misunderstood. Nowhere is this more true than in Mississippi. But Marlowe’s carefully crafted piece on the Magnolia state draws on the insights of those who know the region best.
Most of the sobering facts cited below will come as no surprise to readers of this blog. But how many Americans know that the public schools of Mississippi lost half a million white students when the feds finally got serious about school integration in the South? A recent article in The Christian Century, notes that “only 2 percent of high school seniors could name the social problem that the Supreme Court addressed in Brown v. Board of Education.” (more…)