1980's Black Professionals
Twenty-four years after the dawn of the ‘Education Renaissance’ when Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Kivie Kaplan made a partnership and founded three renowned schools in the South, a great number of Blacks began to reach the same level of education and economic status as Whites. The 1980 Census reported that Blacks had dramatically increased their enrollment in colleges and universities. No longer were there any enormous disparities in the segregated communities and what once started out as “separate but equal” began to live up to its name. Some Civil Rights leaders say that though it was meant to hinder the race, segregation actually benefitted the Black community by allowing leaders to focus solely on the problems in their community so that they could unite to better themselves. Blacks were no longer the broken-spirited people often made fun of in minstrel shows; they became a striving race of people who defined the American Dream in their own terms.
This is a clip from the song ‘This Nation’ by popular Black singer-songwriter, Bobbi Dylani. Dylani's song shows the changes in America going on at the time.
This poster made by Pelosi Hair Company used Black film star Pam Grier to advertise their famous hair spray. This poster is the first sign of a change as mainstream America begins to have better acceptance for Blacks.
As Blacks continued to progress in education and finances, a great number of communities began to integrate on their own, despite the law that segregated Blacks and Whites in public facilities. With countless Blacks working the same jobs as Whites, many felt as though it was time to heal America’s sore wound and end segregation once and for all. Blacks could no longer fit into the stereotypes they were once given, because a new generation of educated and highly motivated Blacks born out of the 1960s had grown up to change the face of the nation. On January 2, 1995, president Bill Clinton declared segregation ‘no longer necessary and a painful reminder of America’s racist past”. Although Blacks and Whites were slow to integrate in public facilities where they had previously been separated, because they saw each other as equals, a new era occurred in America which could be defined as ‘post-racial’.
Kelsey Academy became one of the first integrated schools in America. This is their poster from 1996.