February 15, 2018 – Despite desegregation in the 1950s, American schools and communities still lack “robust integration,” author and activist Hugh Price said yesterday during a conversation on racial justice at Georgetown.
“While you can’t be barred from going to a school based on your race, we do find that residential and economic patterns perpetuate racial separation heavily along income lines,” Price said during the second talk in the university’s Mellon Lecture Series. “[We] wind up with kids who are demographically and ethnically landlocked. We don’t have robust integration that I think we would have had by now.”
The series, which continues throughout the spring semester, is made possible by a $1.5 million Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant designed to help Georgetown carry out its commitment to produce scholarship to better understand and address the nation’s legacies of slavery, racism and discrimination.
This African-American Life
Price, a longtime civil rights leader, spent the early part of his career as a legal services lawyer. He later became vice president of philanthropy at the Rockefeller Foundation and served as president of the National Urban League from 1994 to 2003.
During his tenure in the latter position, Price spearheaded pressure on the federal government to combat police brutality and racial profiling, defended affirmative action and helped repair frayed relations between the African American and Jewish communities.
Peter Edelman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown, moderated the conversation with Price, who talked also about his 2017 book, This African-American Life.
In the book, Price writes about his childhood in Washington, D.C., as well as his time as a student at Amherst University and Yale Law School.
“I was blessed to grow up in the orbit of Howard University, and many of my parents’ best friends were faculty members and alumni of the school,” he told the audience.
But he …