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No Longer Silent: An Autobiographical/Biographical Exploration of a School Desegregation Experience


The following article explores the experiences of one of the authors who desegregated a junior high school during the early 1960s. The article is written as an auto/biographical study and resulted from the collaboration between two university professors. We believe this dualistic approach, grounded in ecological theory and referencing culturally responsive pedagogy, allowed us to explore the experiences of desegregation from a unique perspective. Two primary themes emerged from this study: silenced and giving voice. These themes will be defined and explored and implications will be offered.

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Correspondence to Vicki R. Lind.



Questions (and follow ups) Pertaining to Themes of “Silenced” and “Giving Voice”

  • Question: Tell me a little about …what got you to the point where your parents decided to send you to Forest Heights Junior High.

  • Question: You say that [a memory of being accepted by a group of people in an organization] was extremely important to you, do you think that was because of how you felt during your junior high years?

  • Question: … let’s just talk about what it was like for you after you walked into school with your mom and then you had a girl say “hi” to you, and then what happened after that?

  • Question: How frequently did the kids call out? Was it a daily occurrence, did it happen all the time pretty much?

  • Question: Even when you are walking between classes, and the students are yelling out or pushing, no one tried to intervene?

  • Question: When you were in junior high, how …you said you came from an authoritarian family…. How much did your parents know about what you were experiencing?

  • Question: VL So did you ever have anybody to talk to? When you made the decision to skip lunch, did you have any friends you could confide in?

  • Question: VL So, what …what other subjects, do you remember any other subjects standing out in mind as particularly good or particularly bad?

  • Question: That kind of goes with my question, I think, I was getting kind of a recurring theme that you just never had a voice…

  • Question/Comment: Even in the English class, you are talking about being able to read parts and to have a voice and in the math class, you tried to have a voice and she shut you down. It’s hard for me to picture not being able to talk and not have anybody to talk to, I wonder if that—how you react to that if it makes sense.

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Lind, V.R., Bell-Tolliver, L. No Longer Silent: An Autobiographical/Biographical Exploration of a School Desegregation Experience. Urban Rev 47, 783–802 (2015).

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  • African American
  • Culturally responsive pedagogy
  • Desegregation
  • Music
  • Race
  • Student