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January 13 , 2008

The Principal of the Matter


The Principal of the Matter.The place Yazoo City, Mississippi. One of the issues, the court-ordered desegregation of the public schools. The antagonists, the school officials.

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When the civil rights movement intensifi ed in the South, circa 1954, white political leaders who believed in and practiced the ideology of “white supremacy” worked in concert to reverse the direction integration was heading in America. In 1970, some sixteen years out from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka decision, we were still trying to get bigots to obey the law of the land.

In a letter dated August 13, 1971, then U.S. Senator Walter F. Mondale (later Vice President Mondale) wrote:

Dear Mr. Ward:

I have received your recent letter describing the explosive situation in the Yazoo City. I certainly share your concern that unless the discriminatory treatment of black students in the Yazoo City school system is eliminated, the opening of school in September may be a most serious occasion.

I have referred your concern to both the Justice Department and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare requesting their investigation and corrective action.

In The Principal of the Matter, Eugene “Harry” Ward unfurls the calculated practices of de jure and de facto segregation, separation of the races that was supposedly equal under the “law” and “as a matter of fact.”

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