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Author Thomas, June Manning, author.

Title Struggling to learn : an intimate history of school desegregation in South Carolina / June Manning Thomas.

Publication Info. Columbia, South Carolina : University of South Carolina Press, [2021]

Item Status

Description 1 online resource : illustrations
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Black education as a response to Jim Crow -- Struggling for equal education -- A neighboring county arises -- Defending white schools -- Living there and then -- Struggling to learn -- Struggling to desegregate -- Struggling to survive -- Keeping up a struggle -- Conclusion: Moving to the future -- Life as epilogue.
Summary "Author June Manning Thomas offers an intimate history of her experiences in Orangeburg, South Carolina during the 1960s. Thomas was among the plaintiffs in the court case Adams v. School Dist. No. 5, Orangeburg County (1964) and as a result was part of the first group of African American students to attend racially integrated public schools in Orangeburg. Thomas discusses her experiences with a sense of emotion and intimacy that helps readers to better comprehend the complexity of this moment. An academic by training, having received a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning and holding a distinguished professorship at the University of Michigan, Thomas overlays her own memories with archival research and secondary literature. This results in a historically minded memoir that deftly weaves broad historical context with a keen sense of personal experience. Thomas again brings a unique insight that builds upon the position of her family in the struggle for desegregation. Thomas' father was H.V. Manning, who served as president of Claflin University (1956-1984). This gave Thomas a unique position from which to view events in South Carolina, and especially in Orangeburg. Even in the sections of the manuscript that are more focused on historical framing, Thomas suffuses the text with her personal experiences and insights. Chapter 2, for instance, discusses her father's role in working for greater educational access for African Americans students. Chapter 5 then talks about economic boycotts in Orangeburg as a mechanism of protest. It also offers a first-hand account of the Orangeburg Movement. The heart of the book, however, comes in chapters 7-9, where Thomas discusses her own experiences as one of the first generation of African American students in South Carolina to attend desegregated schools, first in Orangeburg and then at Furman University in Greenville. Thomas' narrative is rich and complex. It highlights the ambiguities and internal tensions of the struggle for school desegregation and this period of South Carolina's history more generally"-- Provided by publisher.
"In 1964 June Manning Thomas became one of the first thirteen Black students to desegregate Orangeburg High School in South Carolina. This extraordinary experience shaped her life and spurred in her a passion to understand racism and its effect on education in the Black community. In Struggling to Learn, Thomas details the personal trauma she and her Black classmates experienced during desegregation, the great difficulties Black communities have faced gaining access to K-12 and higher education, and the social and political tools Black southerners used to combat segregation and claim belonging.Combining meticulous research and poignant personal narrative, this provocative true story reveals the long and painful struggle for equal education in the Jim Crow South. Thomas articulates why Black communities persisted in their pursuit of school desegregation despite the hostility and unfulfilled promises along the way. This is a story of constructive resilience-the fighting spirit of an oppressed people to ensure a better life for themselves and their children"-- Provided by publisher.
Local Note eBooks on EBSCOhost EBSCO eBook Subscription Academic Collection - North America
Subject Thomas, June Manning.
Orangeburg School District Five.
Thomas, June Manning.
Orangeburg School District Five.
College teachers -- United States -- Biography.
School integration -- South Carolina -- Orangeburg -- History -- 20th century.
Racism in education -- South Carolina -- Orangeburg -- History -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Education -- South Carolina -- Orangeburg -- History -- 20th century.
Civil rights movements -- South Carolina -- Orangeburg.
Orangeburg (S.C.) -- Race relations -- History.
EDUCATION / History.
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
African Americans -- Education.
Civil rights movements.
College teachers.
Race relations.
Racism in education.
School integration.
South Carolina -- Orangeburg.
United States.
Chronological Term 1900-1999
Genre/Form Electronic books.
Other Form: Print version: Thomas, June Manning. Struggling to learn Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, [2021] 9781643362595 (DLC) 2021042129
ISBN 9781643362601 electronic book
1643362607 electronic book
9781643362595 hardcover