After grounding the discussion in the above framework, the unit will dive into the main theme of housing and school segregation and their reciprocal nature. This connection has been at times overlooked, and as previously mentioned, something that in the past I neglected to flesh out in my own teaching. In their paper, “Disrupting the Reciprocal Relationship Between Housing and School Segregation,” Philip Tegeler and Michael Hilton write, “Historically, they have worked together to maintain racial hierarchy and separation and to protect the privileges of the dominant groups in our society, which partly explains why their obvious connections have been submerged.”2 This unit will work to unpack these obfuscations. The goals of this unit will be to:
- Challenge the notion that the law is neutral and unbiased, and understand how racial intent and impact was structured into the Constitution itself.
- Understand the history of housing segregation in the United States and the purposeful role the government played in sponsoring and reproducing it.
- Understand the history of school desegregation and resegregation in the United States and evaluate the Supreme Court’s role in creating said trends.
- Examine the clear link between housing and school segregation.
- Investigate modern day approaches that attempt to tackle and dismantle persistent housing and school segregation in the United States in order to find meaningful solutions.
Unit Essential Question: To what extent is the law used to uphold versus dismantle segregation?
I have broken the unit into three main sections about Race and the Constitution, Housing Segregation and School Segregation accordingly. Each section follows the same format: explanation of related content divided into sub-categories, followed by relevant lesson ideas and pedagogical strategies.