THE END OF INTEGRATION

A FOUR-DECADE EFFORT IS BEING ABANDONED, AS EXHAUSTED COURTS AND FRUSTRATED BLACKS DUST OFF THE CONCEPT OF SEPARATE BUT EQUAL

In room CCII (make that 202) of Martin Luther King Latin Grammar Middle School in Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Dickerson's rhetoric students are engaged in a public-speaking contest. Sixth-grader Jo Ann Carter, dressed in the school uniform of white blouse and plaid skirt, has chosen a speech by the school's eponym: "If something isn't done, and in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect," she declaims forcefully, "the whole world is doomed."

Jo Ann's mother Catherine Carter looks on approvingly. Jo Ann has earned...

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