"2, 4, 6, 8, when you gonna integrate?" is a cheer of Plains High School, a desegregated secondary school in a border state. In this fascinating study, a sociologist and a clinical psychologist explore the effects of that desegregation.
Theorizing that prejudices would have the most profound effect on persons in a period of major personality growthsuch as adolescencethe authors interviewed students on the social and psychological impact of attending a desegregated school. Their sensitive method of questioning elicited astonishingly honest and perceptive responses from students of widely differing ideological views. Such polarized subgroups as the black militants and white racists, as well as the "hippies," the Mexican-Americans, and the "peaceniks," are represented in the book. Using a case studies approach, sprinkled with comments by the authors the book transcribes the students' own words about
- interracial dating
- the generation gap in attitudes toward racial mixing
- discrimination by teachers, counselors, and school administrators
- differences in the pattern of racial prejudice in elementary, junior high and senior high schools
and many other conflicts present in the American high school today.
This book offers a rare glimpse at the problems of being black or white in an integrated school and provides new insight into the full magnitude and complexity of racial conflict within American society as a whole.