Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Up from the Blue

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Up from the Blue

A Novel

by Susan Henderson

Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson X
Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Oct 2010, 336 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

Desegregation Bussing
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court handed down its judgment for Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas.  In their landmark unanimous (9-0) decision, the Court stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal", and thus ruled segregation to be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. This ruling overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson "separate but equal" decision of 1896 which had reinforced segregation, paving the way for integration and the civil rights movement.

Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, by the late 1960s many schools remained effectively segregated due to demographic and socio-economic issues and, in some instances, purposeful manipulation of school boundaries. Thus, from the late '60s onwards, a number of courts mandated that children should be bussed to schools outside their neighborhood. Supporters of "desegregation bussing" argued that integration would provide minority students with equal access to equipment, facilities and resources thus providing an equal educational opportunity for all students in the area. 

Of course, as with most issues during the Civil Rights Movement, desegregation busing was not without its protestors and opponents.  The term "forced busing" came into use in many cities that were under court-order to bus children. Boston, Cleveland, Kansas City, San Francisco, Detroit and Wilmington were among the cities under court order to bus children.

Across the country, busing programs were not well-received by either the black or white communities. Legislating action is one thing, but legislating attitude is quite another. According to an early 1970s Gallup poll, just 4% of whites and 9% of blacks supported busing outside of local neighborhoods. In many large cities, whites who could afford to moved to the suburbs, where the population was predominantly white. Because most of the people left behind in the inner-city neighbourhoods after the "white flight" were of lower income, many cities lost a significant portion of their tax base. As the inner-cities became poorer, less money was filtered towards education, with the result that blacks and other minorities, who could afford to, moved out as well - thus the inner-cities became even poorer.

By the early 1990s, most school districts had been released from court supervision and ceased using mandatory busing to try to desegregate schools, but many school districts today encourage students to attend schools outside of their neighborhood through initiatives such as magnet schools. In 2004 The Civil Rights Project reported that desegregation of public schools in the USA peaked in 1988 and that resegregation has occurred in many areas since.

This article is from the November 17, 2010 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The House of Broken Angels
    by Luis Alberto Urrea

    The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story from an acclaimed storyteller.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Sorry, we do not currently have an active wordplay!

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.