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Over 70 Years Ago, Nazis Victimized This Community

Helping Wyatt, who now is named Nicole, has brought the family to the halls of the State House and to the courts. The family has witnessed both acceptance and prejudice. They recently moved more than 100 miles away from their home in Orono to give their daughter a fresh start.

And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak.

So the struggle continues to make America a place where black people and black institutions are respected; where integration is viewed through the prism of pluralist acceptance; and where low-income and working-class black families have the power to secure the kind of education they desire for their children. The Brown decision sent a powerful message by tearing down the legal structures of oppression, but there remains plenty of unfinished business.

Recent statistics make it clear that black people are still struggling to enjoy the fruits of equal educational opportunity, despite the gains since Brown. On the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress, just 40 percent of black 4th graders scored at or above the “basic” level in reading, compared with 75 percent of white students. At the 8th-grade level, 54 percent of black students scored at or above basic, compared with 83 percent of white students. Just 51 percent of black students graduate from high school; the graduation rate among white students is 72 percent (see Figure 1).