Inglewood Unified forced to desegregate district in 1970

Brown v Board of Education declared in unconstitutional to segregate children in schools.  The decision overturned Plessy v Ferguson which declared state sponsored segregation, acceptable, in 1896.  Brown passed unanimously and was ruled a violation to the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.  Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) would have to be forced, by court order, to desegregate in 1970.  Curren Price Jr and Daniel Tabor were some of the first black student leaders on IUSD campuses.  Some of the students, who attended pre-integration, are now teachers in IUSD.  Merle Mergell was the mayor and Curtis Tucker Sr. would be the city’s first black elected official in 1972. Here is an excerpt from Sandy Banks article “A Painful Lesson in Division“.

The graduates of Inglewood High’s Class of 1975 assembled on the football field and applauded Scott Mosko as he took the podium. “Congratulations,” the valedictorian said, “for surviving the utter hell we’ve been through at Inglewood High.”

The school’s “forced integration” had failed, he continued. The proof was right before their eyes: Two groups of graduates — one black, one white — sitting on separate sides of the field.

“The theme of my speech was: Look at how well this idea of integration has worked,” Mosko recalled. “You can force us all to go to the same school and sit in class together, but when you give us a choice, the students choose individually to sit with their own racial kind.”

They were Inglewood High’s second integrated graduating class, a product of the district’s court-ordered desegregation in 1970 that delivered hundreds of black students to a campus that had been virtually all white for half a century.

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