School Finance as a Racist Tool of Dispossession: Educational Inequality in North Carolina, 1865-2018
Esther Cyna, University of Versailles, Paris-Saclay
Through its analysis of racism in the distribution of resources in public education, this paper highlights the myriad ways school finance has shaped the accumulation of resources for public schools, as well as the value of real estate property around schools. I highlight the legacy of racial dispossession in school funding policies from Reconstruction to the 1990s by focusing on several counties in the state of North Carolina over the course of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Bargaining for Health: Urban Capitalism, Black Politics, and the Road to Urban Renewal in St. Louis, MO, 1915-1940
Taylor Desloge, Connecticut College
The interwar era represented a pivotal moment in the birth of modern American urban policy. Using the example of St. Louis, Missouri, I argue that the new, technocratic policies of the era—from public health to city planning—not only remade the visions of city planners and boosters but reframed black political demands as well. Focusing on public health campaigns, zoning to protect black neighborhoods and early experiments in slum clearance, I show how appeals to shared prosperity offered a powerful means through which select members of St. Louis’ growing African American community could bargain for an equal share of public resources and the protection of black property. Nonetheless, by collectively recasting the public good in terms of the demands of the market, these very initiatives would pave the way for the mass displacement of the post-war era.
Respondent: Daniel Moak, Connecticut College
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About the History of Capitalism Seminar
The History of Capitalism Seminar provides a works-in-progress forum for work from scholars at all levels. Proposals may consider a variety of subjects, including the history of race and racism, gender and feminist studies, intellectual history, political history, legal history, business history, the history of finance, labor history, cultural history, urban history, and agricultural history. Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (Loyola University Chicago) and Andrew Hartman (Illinois State University) are the co-coordinators of the seminar.