Social History for Every Classroom


Social History for Every Classroom

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Map of Chicago's "Double Shift Schools," 1961

Chicago's School Board insisted that its overcrowded schools were not segregated and that there was no pattern of discrimination against black students. Activists in the 1950s and 1960s produced numerous reports that proved otherwise, documenting gerrymandered districts that kept black students in schools with over 90% black populations and detailing unequal expenditures on black and white schools. This map shows that "double shift" schools, where students attended school in 4-hour shifts to avoid overcrowding, were more prevalent in black neighborhoods (see groupings of dots and stars on map). School leaders continued to insist that they were not responsible for overcrowding and segregation, saying such problems were "natural" due to patterns of black and white settlement. Getting nowhere with reports and lawsuits, activists turned to direct-action campaigns by the mid-1960s.

Chicago Public Schools on Double Shift-Sept. 30, 1961 and Mobility of Pupils by Districts with Double Shift Schools, Sept. 29-Oct. 27, 1961
Source | John E. Coons, "A Report to the United States Commission on Civil Rights," (Washington, D.C.: 1962), available from online exhibit Fight School Segregation!,
Creator | John E. Coons
Item Type | Map
Cite This document | John E. Coons, “Map of Chicago's "Double Shift Schools," 1961,” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed April 14, 2024,

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