Panel Preview #1: Civil Rights and Space in Postwar U.S. Cities

We are a little less than three weeks out from the start of our 10th annual conference. And in anticipation of what’s to come, we are going to be previewing some of the upcoming panels. The first one on the docket is “Civil Rights and Space in Postwar U.S. Cities.”

“Space” can be a somewhat nebulous term, but its multitude of meanings can also help us see underlying similarities, especially when it comes to issues of access and power in postwar urban environments. For the purposes of this panel, space can refer to neighborhood housing/housing discrimination (Anderson-Rath), hospitals (Arenberg), and school districts (Horn).

Jessica Anderson-Rath’s paper “The Tenant Rights and Open Housing Movement of Albany, N.Y.” looks at the long tradition of de facto housing discrimination against African American residents of Albany in the 1960s and how two female-led organizations worked to address neighborhood housing conditions. Jessica is a doctoral candidate in American history from the State University of New York at Albany.

Marc Arenberg’s paper “‘Disease Knows No Color Line’: The Civil Rights Movement and the Building of Community Hospital in Evanston, Illinois” examines the impact the Brown v. Board of Education decision had on hospital integration, instead of the usual focus on school integration. Marc is in his final year of the Masters program in history at Northeastern Illinois University, and he hopes to continue his studies next year in a PhD program.

Lastly, Ariana Horn’s paper “The High Price of Intergroup Education: Teaching Goodwill, Resisting Legislated Integration” probes school segregation in 1960s Milwaukee and argues Milwaukee school districts remain one of the most segregated in the nation largely due to the success of intergroup education’s insistence that religious and racial integration would occur naturally after goodwill was achieved through patient, non-confrontational “voluntary cooperation of civic groups, employers, churches, labor unions” and schools. Ariana is a doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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