In the three days since Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley rocked the local political establishment by announcing that he will not seek an unprecedented seventh term, there have been no shortage of effusive tributes to the now outgoing mayor.
Far less has been written about an aspect of Chicago life that remains largely unchanged 21 years after he first assumed the much-coveted position:
The racial segregation.
Chicago remains among one of top five most segregated cities in America, despite the infusion of hundreds of thousands of Latino migrants during the past two decades.
Large swaths of Chicago-enter the South and West Side-are predominantly, if not almost exclusively, African American, while large parts of the Northwest Side are nearly lily-white.
This of course has implications for the city’s schools, which at this point have about one in seven white students. Long time educational critic Jonathan Kozol writes about the trend toward continued and even intensified segregation in Shame of the Nation.
At one point in the book, Kozol quotes legendary activist and Congressman John Lewis about saying that the celebration of the landmark Brown v. Board decision anniversaries have become just that-a commemoration of an historic event that has little, if anything, to do with lived reality for much of the nation’s residents.
The late, great Thurgood Marshall was one of the masterminds and driving forces behind the 25-year assault on legalized segregation that culminated in the five cases that eventually were called Brown v. Board of Education.
The driven, ruthless, earthy and iconoclastic Marshall is the subject of Michael Davis and Hunter Clark’s Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench.