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University of Massachusetts Amherst

2012

Ernest Allen

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Notes On The Concept Of Integration, Ernest Allen Jan 2012

Notes On The Concept Of Integration, Ernest Allen

Ernest Allen

Integration was one of those enigmatic notions that crept into the vocabulary of the African American liberation struggle of the twentieth century, which then seemingly turned into a palimpsest, blotting out any trace of its historical origins. A term that "everyone" apparently understood but which most failed to interrogate, integration was commonly perceived as the "inverse" of segregation--which was only true insofar one was willing to reduce each term to a spatial metaphor, with segregation indicating societal "exclusion" and integration signifying "inclusion." This makeshift conceptual simplification was frequently patched over by the drafting of desegregation as an intermediate term standing ...