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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006. Interview U-0178. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Post helps enforce the 1975 busing order

Post opens her interview by remembering how she worked to make sure the 1975 court-ordered busing plan to merge and desegregate the Jefferson County, Kentucky, and Louisville, Kentucky, school systems was enforced.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006. Interview U-0178. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

SUZANNE POST:
Well, those of us, I think, who were wrapped up in school desegregation couldn't think that it was over, because that lawsuit was the beginning of a struggle that continues to this day and this is 2006. The struggle has been to try and get for black kids in the public schools an equitable educational opportunity and to try and get for black kids an educational opportunity that didn't involve suspensions, multiple suspensions, or didn't involve disproportionate corporal punishment. So that even though we desegregated the buildings in 1975, we really did not do anything to dismantle racism. So no, I never thought the civil rights movement was dead and I used my experience with the school desegregation in Jefferson County as a platform from which to launch a Title IX monitoring project of that same system. I was employed at that time by the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission and I had started that job on the very first day the schools were ordered to desegregate. I came to work. I was hired to be the women's rights director, but the agency was so small, I turned out to be the only one in this five-person agency who had any knowledge of what was supposed to be happening in the schools. So from the moment I walked in the door, after seeing every Louisville policeman lined up in the parking lot across the street from our office, because the police department was right across the street, in riot gear, which was one of the most chilling sights I ever saw in Louisville, from the moment I walked in that door, it was I, it had to be me, who was going to keep an eye on the schools to make sure that the schools were adhering to the court order and to see where there were violations, or I perceived violations of the deseg order, and they were numerous. I spent every other Tuesday night at the Jefferson County Board of Education, which was their regular meeting night. So it was me and the pro-deseg people and the Klan and the Save Our Community School people. I mean, there would be as many as two hundred people jammed into that building. And I've always said that one of the healthiest byproducts of the lawsuit was the surge of community interest in how our public schools were being operated And that went on for a couple years that you had all these raggle-taggle gypsy groups, the liberals from the east end, the reactionaries from the south end, the Klan from out there, the Save Our Community School people. I mean, we were all out there. We got to know each other. It was really fascinating. But I was there specifically to raise issues about violations, what I perceived to be violations of an order that was supposed to result in equitable delivery of programs to white and black kids. Almost from the very beginning, disproportionate suspensions was like in your face.