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9780593793541

Dream town Shaker heights and the quest for racial equity.

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E-audio

Unabridged.

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Can a group of well-intentioned people fulfill the promise of racial integration in America? In this searing and deeply researched examination of the promises and realities of racial integration, award-winning Washington Post journalist Laura Meckler aims to uncover where the problem lies and to shed light on what’s being done to move forward—in housing, in education, and in the promise of shared community. In the late 1950s, Shaker Heights became a national model for housing integration. And beginning in the seventies, it was known as a crown jewel in the national move to racially integrate schools. The school district built a national reputation for academic excellence and diversity, serving as a model for how white and Black Americans can not just coexist but thrive together. Meckler—herself a product of Shaker Heights—takes a deeper look into the place that shaped her, investigating its complicated history and its ongoing challenges in order to untangle the myth from the truth. She confronts an enduring, and troubling, question—if Shaker Heights has worked so hard at racial equity, why does a racial academic achievement gap persist? In telling the stories of the Shakerites who built and live in this community, Meckler asks: Can a group of well-intentioned people fulfill the promise of racial integration in America? What does success look like and has Shaker achieved it? What are Black Americans asked to sacrifice and what will white people have to give up? The result is a complex portrait of a place that, while never perfect, has achieved more than most, and a road map for communities that seek to do the same.

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