XVI-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XVI-"I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days" - Ray Sprigle - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Falsity of "Separate but Equal"

by: Ray Sprigle | publication date: August 26, 1948 | Publication: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | pages: 1

 This thing of bald and unashamed discrimination against little black American citizens in the matter of education can get really brazen. Witness the situation down here in District No.4, Madison county, Miss. What these lordly exemplars of white supremacy have done down here in the Delta country is to use the tax money paid into the county treasury by Negro property owners to build themselves a magnificent school plant at the Negroes’ expense. What the Negroes got out of their tax money and the usual state contribution for school purposes is right here in front of us, hidden away on this back country road, a desert to dust in summer and a morass of mud in winter. This school is new. And that’s all that can be said for it. When the white folks took Negro tax money and built themselves their fine school, they at least built a new school for the Negroes. But not until there was a storm of protest from all over the state - from whites and blacks alike. The white folks of District No. 4 were going to let the little Negro pupils continue to pick up what education they could in their two schools, one in a church and the other in a lodge room.  

Sprigle visits a school district where 90% of the land is owned by (and 90% of the taxes are paid by) African Americans. He finds a grand, new school built for the district's white children with this money, and a small new building, literally furnished with the leftover scraps from the white school and located intentionally next to a plantation, for the district's black children.

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