Cover image for The failures of integration : how race and class are undermining the American dream
The failures of integration : how race and class are undermining the American dream
Cashin, Sheryll.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Public Affairs, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxii, 391 pages ; 25 cm
Won't you not be my neighbor? : race and housing -- Bucking the trend : racially integrated communities and racial integration -- Institutionalized separatism -- The dilemma of the black middle class -- White separatism : the costs and benefits -- Schools : separate and unequal -- The cost of the ghetto -- The 50-50 nation : loggerhead politics -- What to do about it.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN90.S6 C37 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



Published for the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education: If separate, but equal has been illegal for fifty years, why is America more segregated than ever?. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that separate educational facilities for blacks and whites are inherently unequal and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment. The landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, sounded the death knell for legal segregation, but fifty years later, de facto segregation in America thrives. And Sheryll Cashin believes that it is getting worse. The Failures of Integration is a provocative look at how segregation by race and class is ruining American democracy. Only a small minority of the affluent are truly living the American Dream, complete with attractive, job-rich suburbs, reasonably low taxes, good public schools, and little violent crime. costs. In a society that sets up winner and loser communities and schools defined by race and class, racial minorities in particular are locked out of the winner column. African-Americans bear the heaviest burden. Cashin argues that we need a transformation-a jettisoning of the now ingrained assumption that separation is acceptable-in order to solve the riddle of inequality in America. Our public policy choices must be premised on an integrationist vision if we are to achieve our highest aspiration and pursue the dream that America says it embraces: full and equal opportunity for all.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The landmark Brown v. Board of Education has not led to integrated education for black children, because our nation's housing patterns are stubbornly segregated along class and race lines. Because this state of affairs is not written into law, it appears to be normal. But Cashin, a law professor, challenges this assumption, asserting that racially segregated housing, and the resultant segregated schools, is an outgrowth of government and social policies that can and should be reversed. Severely demarcated communities of winners and losers exact a high price for society overall, with the rising cost of ameliorating the results of hypersegregation. Cashin acknowledges the difficulty of getting higher income Americans to recognize the enlightened self-interest in more integrated housing, but she offers several strategies for breaking down barriers in housing patterns. This work supports the objectives of an American ideal that has been long lost in our current world. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In another of a spate of Brown v. Board of Education 50th anniversary books this season, this compelling book, beyond a lament about Brown's unfulfilled promise, argues that integrated, multi-class communities are the only fair solution. Cashin, a law professor at Georgetown, reminds us that our enduring segregation is the product of private and public choices, such as exclusionary zoning, federal mortgage insurance and urban redevelopment (which created hyper-segregation in public housing). Cashin sees inevitable costs to middle-class black separatism: African-Americans in suburbia are usually steered to enclaves in the opposite direction of economic growth; when they hit critical mass, whites flee, poorer blacks move in, schools decline and commercial and retail investors steer clear. For whites, the search for suburban privilege also has its costs: higher prices for housing, suburban sprawl and the more intangible incapacity to relate to the "other." High-poverty schools lack both models for success and activist parents, and also breed an oppositional culture all a prelude to the extraordinary rate of black men in the criminal justice system. Cashin argues that civil rights groups should focus more on attacking housing discrimination and segregation. She also advocates other policies: break up the ghettos (such as via programs that give suburban housing vouchers to those in public housing), offer incentives for ownership in high-poverty neighborhoods, require new developments to have low-income housing and expand school choice and cross-jurisdictional choice. Cashin argues powerfully that such integration is crucial to build democracy and diminish racial barriers: "[T]he rest of society should stop fearing us and ordering themselves in a way that is designed to avoid us where we exist in numbers." Agent, Esther Newberg at ICM. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Fifty years after Brown, law professor Cashin (Georgetown Univ.), who once clerked for Thurgood Marshall, argues that the US has failed to achieve "the ideals of integration and equality of opportunity." Most Americans profess to believe in integration, yet live in racially and economically separate societies. While sympathetic to black weariness with achieving integration, Cashin insists that blacks cannot achieve the American dream without it, and hopes to promote multiracial communities by writing this book. Two of her most alluring chapters examine two suburbs of Washington, D.C., one predominantly black and the other overwhelmingly white. While middle-class blacks hope to achieve the American dream by moving to Prince George's County, Cashin shows that the problems of the "hood" have followed them. Their schools lag behind those of predominantly white counties; crime is higher; and job growth and social services are inadequate. At the same time, Cashin asserts that most white suburbanites pay a high cost for the failure of integration via inflated housing costs, long commutes, and exorbitant social spending--the byproduct of US ghettos. Until the needs of these hypersegregated communities are addressed, the American dream will be jeopardized. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public libraries and general and undergraduate collections. P. B. Levy York College of Pennsylvania