We Can Do It
A Community Takes on the Challenge of School Desegregation
Michael T. Gengler
This book tells of the challenges faced by white and black school administrators, teachers, parents, and students as Alachua County, Florida, moved from segregated schools to a single, unitary school system.
After Brown v. Board of Education, the South’s separate white and black schools continued under lower court opinions, provided black students could choose to go to white schools. Not until 1968 did the NAACP Legal Defense Fund convince the Supreme Court to end dual school systems. Almost fifty years later, African Americans in Alachua County remain divided over that outcome.
A unique study including extensive interviews, We Can Do It asks important questions, among them: How did both races, without precedent, work together to create desegregated schools? What conflicts arose, and how were they resolved (or not)? How was the community affected? And at a time when resegregation and persistent white-black achievement gaps continue to challenge public schools, what lessons can we learn from the generation that desegregated our schools?