Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Pure Science of Segregation

Copyright 1959, by D.C. Heath and Company

These illustrations are from the book, "Science for Work and Play" by Herman and Nina Schneider. The book was part of the California State Series and published by the California State Department of Education, Sacramento, 1959. The illustrators are Cheslie D'Andrea, Malcom Harvey, and Marguerite Scott.

According to the Encylopedia of Chicago, "redlining" is the practice of arbitrarily denying or limiting financial services to specific neighborhoods, generally because its residents are people of color or are poor. Here's an example of state-sponsored "redlining" in science education.

It's a good thing that the civil rights movement and affirmative action were just around the bend from this book's publishing date in 1959. Otherwise, we might have been stuck in this doggerel for who knows how long...

Pure Science

Look at this community
All so tight
Inbuilt immunity
Science pure as white

Look at this school day
The Lord made it right
Among books none outweigh
The Bible pure as white

Was this the nineteen fifties
All smiles and delight
Only outskirts, far from cities
Burbs pure as white?

-- by "Blessed Am I?"

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