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
  • 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: New People
    New People
    by Danzy Senna
    Danzy Senna has spent virtually her entire writing career exploring the complicated intersections of...
  • Book Jacket: Hunger
    Hunger
    by Roxane Gay
    In this penetrating and fearless memoir, author Roxane Gay discusses her battle with body acceptance...
  • Book Jacket: The Black Witch
    The Black Witch
    by Laurie Forest
    In The Black Witch, Laurie Forest introduces her readers to an immersive fantasy world where ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Young Jane Young
    by Gabrielle Zevin

    From the author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes a novel that will have everyone talking.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Hame

Hame by Annalena McAfee

A rich, sultry novel about a young American fleeing a crumbling marriage for a remote Scottish island.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A F Out O W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.