Education in Mississippi: Did Integration Elicit Equality?

Mozjesik, Baylee (2018) Education in Mississippi: Did Integration Elicit Equality? Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Alysia Burton Steele from Journalism and New Media, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Founding father Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people … they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.” Preservation of liberty is not all that education has the power to impact; education provides the basis for life-long success and affords people the opportunity to alter their own future, and the futures of others. Yet, in a nation that has been plagued by racist sentiments for centuries, educational opportunities are still inequitable. This truth is strikingly so across the state of Mississippi, from the Gulf Coast, to the Capital-River region, to the Delta. The Reverend Jesse Jackson even once referred to Tunica, a town in the Delta, as America’s Ethiopia. During the Jim Crow era, Mississippi was not only composed of some of the most poverty-stricken counties in the nation, but also grappled with cultural prejudices that led to racial segregation in the public school system long after it was ruled unconstitutional. In most counties, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision wasn’t fully implemented until 1970. The articles presented examine education equality in Mississippi through interviews with residents who lived through desegregation, current educators, education program leaders and advocates, journalists, and historians. I review the relationship race and poverty have with accessibility to fair education, and investigate the past and the present in order to understand the future. My research explores the idea that the delay of implementing Brown v. Board of Education and the lack of emotional buy-in to its application have strikingly contrasted educational experiences of white and black students today. The articles encourage the reformation of education on a state level and champion for fair education for “the whole mass of the people,” regardless of race.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Mozjesik, Baylee
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A.J. in Journalism
Thesis Advisor: Alysia Burton Steele
Thesis Advisor's Department: Journalism and New Media
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Ms Baylee K Mozjesik
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 16:29
Last Modified: 04 May 2018 16:29
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1019

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