This book tells of the challenges faced by white and black school administrators, teachers, parents, and students as Alachua County, Florida, moved from segregated schools to a single, unitary school system.

After Brown v. Board of Education, the South’s separate white and black schools continued under lower court opinions provided black students could choose to go to white schools. Not until 1968 did the NAACP Legal Defense Fund convince the Supreme Court to end dual school systems. Almost fifty years later, African Americans in Alachua County remain divided over that outcome. Learn more…

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“The civil rights warriors knew how to knock doors down, but they had no way of preparing the beneficiaries for what awaited them on the other side.”

Alfred Dennis Mathewson
We Can Do It: A Community Takes on the Challenge of School Desegregation
Michael Gengler, author

Meet Author Michael Gengler

Michael T. Gengler graduated from Gainesville High School, in Florida, in 1962, two years before the federal court ordered the Alachua County schools to begin admitting black students to white schools. He chose to write this book to show the way his home community responded to the challenge of school desegregation. He believes that many lessons of universal, current application may be drawn from this history. He also explains the parallel path of desegregation litigation in the courts. He graduated from Columbia College (New York) in 1966, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and from Harvard Law School in 1969. Learn more…

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