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Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920–1955 by LeeAnn G. Reynolds (review)

Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920–1955 by LeeAnn G.... Book Reviews 125 Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920 – 1955. By LeeAnn G. Reynolds. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017. Pp. xi, 223.) Building on the Long Civil Rights Movement scholarship, LeeAnn Reynolds offers a refreshing analysis of the educational mechanisms and safeguards necessary for upholding segregation. Reynolds explores how racial instruc- tion received by black and white children at home, school, church, and other venues enabled the persistence of segregation. She argues that segregation “was maintained in large part . . . through the creation of a culture of si- lence” and the development of essential safeguards permitting its survival between 1920 and 1955 (3). This culture of silence and the real consequences for nonadherents conditioned southerners into accepting the system without question until the Brown v. Board of Education decision turned segregation into a national debate. Reynolds opens with a discussion of white and black children’s ini- tial home instruction and the real pressures on white and black parents to teach their children the rules and expectations of the segregated society. By examining the autobiographies of individuals who later challenged segrega- tion, Reynolds exploits her informants’ “valuable insider’s view” to show http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies West Virginia University Press

Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920–1955 by LeeAnn G. Reynolds (review)

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
West Virginia University Press
ISSN
1940-5057

Abstract

Book Reviews 125 Maintaining Segregation: Children and Racial Instruction in the South, 1920 – 1955. By LeeAnn G. Reynolds. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017. Pp. xi, 223.) Building on the Long Civil Rights Movement scholarship, LeeAnn Reynolds offers a refreshing analysis of the educational mechanisms and safeguards necessary for upholding segregation. Reynolds explores how racial instruc- tion received by black and white children at home, school, church, and other venues enabled the persistence of segregation. She argues that segregation “was maintained in large part . . . through the creation of a culture of si- lence” and the development of essential safeguards permitting its survival between 1920 and 1955 (3). This culture of silence and the real consequences for nonadherents conditioned southerners into accepting the system without question until the Brown v. Board of Education decision turned segregation into a national debate. Reynolds opens with a discussion of white and black children’s ini- tial home instruction and the real pressures on white and black parents to teach their children the rules and expectations of the segregated society. By examining the autobiographies of individuals who later challenged segrega- tion, Reynolds exploits her informants’ “valuable insider’s view” to show

Journal

West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2018

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