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Why Were There Black Schools in the Segregated South? The Exit Explanation Reconsidered

Kousser, J. Morgan (1992) Why Were There Black Schools in the Segregated South? The Exit Explanation Reconsidered. Social Science Working Paper, 801. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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African-American geographic mobility plays a central and somewhat contradictory role in Robert Margo's Race and Schooling in the South. 1880-1950. [1990] On the one hand, it is the solution to what Margo calls "Myrdal's Paradox." Blacks, in Margo's view, forced white school boards to spend at least some money on black schools after disfranchisement by threatening to deprive white planters of a labor force if black schools were too terrible. On the other hand, geographic mobility was the result of that solution to Myrdal's Paradox. Blacks who migrated north, Margo showed, were likely to be relatively well educated. In an article that accompanied his book, Margo elaborated a model of school board action in the legally segregated, post-disfranchisement South and briefly examined a small amount of data that he claimed was "broadly consistent with the model." [1991, p. 67.] In this paper, I consider extensive evidence, largely from the period before 1910, that bears on the first part of Margo's argument. Since almost none of that evidence corroborates his thesis, I conclude that explanations other than black geographic mobility must account for the pattern of support for black schools in the South during the era of legalized segregation.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Additional Information:An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Social Science History Association Convention in 1991. I want to thank Shawn Everett Kantor for valuable comments.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:801
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170829-141036655
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80914
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:30 Aug 2017 17:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:36

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