By Gordon E. Harvey
In southern politics, 1970 marked a watershed. a bunch of southern governors entered place of work that yr and adjusted either the best way the country checked out the South and how the ingredients of these states seen themselves. Reubin Askew in Florida, John West in South Carolina, Jimmy Carter in Georgia, and Albert Brewer in Alabama all represented a brand new breed of revolutionary average baby-kisser that helped demolish Jim Crow segregation and the twin economies, societies, and academic structures infamous to the Sunbelt South. Historian Gordon Harvey explores the political lives and legacies of 3 of those governors, interpreting the stipulations that resulted in this kind of radical swap in political management, the results their legislative agendas had at the id in their states, and the aftermath in their phrases in elected office.
A universal thread in each one governor's schedule used to be academic reform. Albert Brewer's brief time period as Alabama governor led to a sweeping schooling package deal that also stands because the such a lot revolutionary the country has obvious. Reubin Askew, way more outspoken than Brewer, received the Florida gubernatorial election via a crusade that brazenly promoted desegregation, busing, and tax reform as a method of equivalent institution investment. John West's dedication to a coverage of inclusion helped allay fears of either black and white mom and dad and made South Carolina's one of many smoothest transitions to built-in schools.
As individuals of the 1st new release of latest South governors, Brewer, Askew, and West performed the position of trailblazers. Their profitable attacks on financial and racial injustice of their states have been definitely aided by way of such landmark occasions as Brown v. Board of schooling, the civil rights stream, and the growth of balloting rights-all of which sounded the demise knell for the conventional one-party segregated South. yet during this serious detailing in their paintings for justice, we learn the way those reform-minded males made schooling significant to their gubernatorial phrases and, in doing so, helped redefine the very personality of where they referred to as home.
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Additional resources for A Question of Justice: New South Governors and Education, 1968-1976 (Library of Alabama Classics)
Johnson's decision drew on precedent from other courts. s. Supreme Court revealed that freedom of choice had not worked there either. 17 A shocked Brewer deplored the order and lamented that the court was paying "lip service" to freedom of choice while actually using "devious and roundabout means" of implementing integration. " In the governor's opinion, the court was not acting alone. " Again Brewer made clear the root of his opposition to the orders. He could not reform schools and provide quality education in an atmosphere of anger and fear caused by court orders.
Later, when state attorneys posited that the state legislature might be more willing to increase education funds if freedom of choice were maintained, they were quickly overruled by Judge Lynne. 26 Brewer may have lambasted the federal courts in earlier reactions to court orders, but he saved his strongest comments for a March 1969 speech before the Alabama Education Association. After expressing a growing frustration at seeing schools closed, Brewer launched his strongest verbal attack at Johnson.
This resolution was not what Brewer wanted to see come out of the meeting, but it did serve to project the issue onto the national stage, although in what light is not clear. 43 The resolution certainly got the attention of the Nixon administration. At the main banquet, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, the keynote speaker, departed from his prepared text and addressed the issue. In an effort to diminish criticism of the Nixon administration that had emanated from the meeting, Agnew declared that the administration was against busing "children to other neighborhoods simply to achieve an integrated status of a larger geographic entity.