It's time for Chicago to end its 'Amos and Andy' show in school naming... Evanston, Naperville and Northbrook just have elementary, middle and high schools... Why did Chicago go Orwell for nearly a half century in school names? Racism

Now that everyone has access to some of history with the help of the Internet, maybe Chicago could begin the debate about the racist naming of schools that has consumed a lot of creative energy over the past 40 years. I'm not talking about schools that have been named for various notables in Chicago's communities. Many of the city's oldest schools are named after Civil War heroes, from General Ulysses S. Grant to General George Thomas (oops, that school is now the "Schoolhouse Condos" -- it was sold to a private developer years ago). A PhD candidate could do a dissertation on how the Chicago schools named after African American heroes follows along what was the border of the expanding "Black Belt" for generations.

No. I'm taling about the fact that Chicago is the only district in Illinois that has made a racist minstrel show out of the naming of schools to avoid desegregation, as if calling a school something fancy was going to overcome the reality of (a) segregation and (b) fewer resources than its suburban counterparts. Hence, Chicago got "Community Academies..." and a slew of other kinds of schools, until it was difficult in many parts of Chicago to find a simple "elementary school," "middle school," or "high school."


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