Jakeeda Bester (above): In school, I got to the age where they began to talk about race and black history and slavery, so I still thought it was, like, segregated.
In 1963, Chicago Public Schools students led a walkout in protest of segregationist Schools Superintendent Benjamin Willis, whose permanent solution to overcrowding in black schools was to put aluminum units in vacant lots.
Almost 50 years have passed, and still Chicago schools are the nation’s most segregated. In fact, in the past 20 years, segregation has been on the increase. Today, 70% of black CPS students and 39% of Hispanic students go to extremely racially segregated schools. As part of their (brilliant) Race Out Loud series, WBEZ spoke with some of the students graduating from these extremely racially isolated schools.