In hindsight, we see that integration was one of the most destructive forces brought against Black people. Integration did to us what slavery and Jim Crow combined could not do: disintegrated the Black family, destroyed the Black community. So why, I wondered, did our forefathers and mothers shed their blood sweat and tears fighting for integration? Is it that they just didn’t know? Truth be told, they weren’t fighting for integration. They were fighting for desegregation. They were fighting for the right to use the pubic facilities their tax money was already paying for. Mixing with whites was not a part of the original plan. Take school integration for instance. You may have heard the phrase “Separate but Equal” as applied to segregated schools. If you’re like me, you probably thought that was something the White folks came up with to keep us in inferior schools and that the Supreme Court decision to declare Separate but Equal unconstitutional was a victory for civil rights. Truth be told, it was the civil rights workers who were fighting for Separate but Equal. At the time, the schools were separate but unequal. Public school is funded by property tax. The more valuable your home is, the higher tax you have to pay and the more money the schools in your district receive. The policy that automatically lowers property values for the entire neighborhood when a Black family moves in guarantees that schools that have Black children will receive less money than schools that are all white. This is what the civil rights workers were fighting against. Separate but Equal meant that Black students in Black schools taught by Black teachers would receive the same resources as the White schools and allow Black students to compete on an equal basis with White students in the job market. The Whites did not want this so they declared it unconstitutional. Instead of equality they gave us integration and having no higher court to go to, we took it. I have a friend who, when she was a kid, loved to read. Then she was bused to a White school where a White teacher told her that people who read a lot talk too much. She was thirty years old still trying to regain her love for reading. Hers is not an isolated case. What are some of your experiences in school? Do you feel like you’re getting the best education possible? Do you feel like the White kids know something you don’t know? Do you ever feel like our parents are joking when they tell you how important education is then send you to a school where you aren’t learning anything of value?