Nation: Does Integration Still Matter to Blacks?

The vanguard of black opinion, among intellectuals and political activists alike, is oriented more toward the achievement of group identity and group autonomy than toward the use of public schools as assimilationist agencies.

—Yale Law Professor Alexander Bickel

AMID all the noisy rhetoric of the retreat from integration in recent weeks, surprisingly few blacks have spoken out in sorrow or anger. Black leaders, normally quick off the mark to meet any new challenge to civil rights, have largely kept quiet. Their silence in part reflects the general confusion and uncertainty over the turnabout. More important, it shows that for increasing numbers of black...

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