PBS provided the information for this post. Opinions are my own.
I had written an opinionated piece about Stigma in our society that had reflected opinions on the Normandy and Francis Howell issues before the school year began as many of us in St. Louis (whether directly or indirectly) had been affected by what was happening. This is mostly due to the fact that the issues had begun a very long time ago, some of which were long before I was born. But because many of you may not want to read that very long post, I’ll sum it up.
Normandy became an unaccredited school and had a history in the news as one of the most violent schools in St. Louis. Because of certain laws that were placed many years ago, Normandy had to choose another school that they would pay to bus the children (who signed up to attend) to another school district. In a very odd maneuver, they decided to choose a school not only outside of the district, but outside of the county and what would amount to an almost 2 hour bus ride for some children. This, most people assumed, was to dissuade families from choosing that route in order to keep funds coming in to help their own district. However, Frances Howell being one of the top schools in a very suburban sprawl did not want the urban unaccredited students there. To be quite frank, all hell broke loose for awhile.
It is easy to see the top layer of things, but underneath it unearthed many deeply rooted segregation issues that had began many, many years ago.
The March @50 is a film by Shukree Hassan Tilghman which explores whether America has delivered jobs, freedom, equal education and voting rights; which were the demands of the marchers during the March on Washington in 1963. Each episode has a theme and runs approx. 7-10 minutes. It is a way to see how far we have come and how far we have to go yet to address civil rights issues today.
Other Episodes include:
Jobs: Fifty years after the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, has America delivered on the marchers’ demands for more access to employment?
Voting Rights: Have we delivered on the promise to provide all Americans with equal access to the Vote?
Freedom: How do we define Freedom when there are more African Americans imprisoned than at anytime in US history?
The March Forward: Join an extended dialogue about the future and how we can prepare ourselves for any civil right challenges.
This isn’t a completely St. Louis local piece, only it features some of our local school districts. It is a commemorative documentary that takes a look back over the last 50 years. You can watch The March @50 Web Series on PBS and follow or discuss the documentary via #PBSMarch50 Hashtag on Twitter.