The Urban Review

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 135–158 | Cite as

Desegregation and the Historically Black High School: The Establishment of Howard W. Blake in Tampa, Florida

  • Barbara J. Shircliffe


This article examines a grassroots movement among African-Americans to reestablish Howard W. Blake High School, named for a historically black high school closed during the desegregation process in Tampa, Florida. The establishment of Blake High School was contentious, involving negotiations by multiple and conflicting interests—school officials, black leaders, alumni of the historically black high schools that had existed prior to desegregation, the federal judge overseeing the 1971 desegregation order, and civil rights leaders. Analyzing the debates over Blake's status as a magnet, its location, and its attendance zone, this article highlights the paradox of desegregation for African-American communities in Tampa. This case reveals the tension between the desire for community schooling and the consequences of resegregation.

desegregation community schools African-American education 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abney, E. (1980). Comparison of the status of Florida's black public school principals, 1965–66/1975–76. Journal of Negro Education 49: 398–406.Google Scholar
  2. Anthony, O. (2000, October 3). Interview with author.Google Scholar
  3. Attacks on school desegregation have NAACP officials “concerned.” (1986, May 1). Weekly Challenger, p. 1.Google Scholar
  4. Barber, M. (1999). Parent Involvement, Perceptions and Practices in East Tampa: The Impact of Court Ordered Desegregation in Hillsborough County, Florida. Tampa, FL: Ph.D. dissertation, University of South Florida.Google Scholar
  5. Blake Alumni and Friends Group. (1991, June 7). Howard W. Blake senior high school proposal. Presented to the School Board of Hillsborough County on June 11, 1991.Google Scholar
  6. Bourgeois, M. (1992, March 2). School site plan back to square one. St. Petersburg Times, p. 1,2.Google Scholar
  7. Breckenridge, P. (1982a, April 18). Hillsborough desegregation plan draws second look. Tampa Tribune, pp., 1A, 11A.Google Scholar
  8. Breckenridge, P. (1982b, November 4). Black leaders discuss desegregation problems. Tampa Tribune, p. 7B.Google Scholar
  9. Bryant, R., and Frederick, L. (1992, January 24). School site rejected. Tampa Tribune, p. 1.Google Scholar
  10. Cecelski, D. (1994). Along Freedom Road: Hyde County North Carolina and the Fate of Black Schools in the South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  11. Characteristics of the Population: Florida. Census of the Population 0. (1963). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  12. Chion-Kenney, L. (1998, October 27). Desegregation order stands, St. Petersburg Times, p. A1.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, C. (2000, September 20). Interview with author.Google Scholar
  14. Corpin, M. A. (1970, September 5). Mix drains Blake, Plant high bulges. Tampa Tribune.Google Scholar
  15. Crews, L. (1992, January 10). Residents in area of proposed new school support project. Florida Sentinel Bulletin, p. 3A.Google Scholar
  16. Danielson, R. (1996, November 17). Siting for 2 schools stirred hornet's nest of politicking. St. Petersburg Times, p. 9B.Google Scholar
  17. Davis, A. (2001, February 20). Communication with the author.Google Scholar
  18. Douglas, D. (1995). Reading, Writing, and Race: The Desegregation of the Charlotte Schools. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.Google Scholar
  19. Eisenberg, v. Montgomery County Public Schools, 197 F.3d 123; 1999.Google Scholar
  20. Goldring, E., and C. Smrekar. (2000). Magnets schools and the pursuit of racial balanced. Education and Urban Society 33(1): 17–35.Google Scholar
  21. Hall, J. (1992). School Desegregation in Hillsborough County, Florida. Master's thesis, Tampa, History department, University of South Florida.Google Scholar
  22. Hamilton, M. (1991a, January 22). African Americans organize against magnet school proposal. Florida Sentinel Bulletin, p. 3.Google Scholar
  23. Hamilton, M. (1991b, May 21). Residents oppose Lockhart magnet school plan. Florida Sentinel Bulletin, p. 3.Google Scholar
  24. Harris, R. (1991, June 21). Magnet schools: Desegregation bribery? Florida Sentinel Bulletin, p. 4A.Google Scholar
  25. Hearns, F. (2000, May 22). Interview with author.Google Scholar
  26. Keller, W. H. (1999). Make Haste Slowly: Moderates, Conservatives, and School Desegregation in Houston. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Kinsey, R. (1991, November 19). Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Florida Sentinel Bulletin, p. 6.Google Scholar
  28. Kinsey, R. (2000, December 12). Interview with author.Google Scholar
  29. Kluger, R. (1976). Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Brown Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  30. Manning, et al v. The Board of Public Instruction of Hillsborough County Florida, Opinion and Order, July 2, 1971.Google Scholar
  31. Mickelson, R. (2001). Subverting Swann: First-and second-generation segregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. American Educational Research Journal 38(2): 215–252.Google Scholar
  32. Middle School Task Force Report 3. (1999). Tampa, FL: Hillsborough County Board of Education.Google Scholar
  33. Morris, J. (1999). A pillar of strength: An African American school's communal bonds with families and communities since Brown. Urban Education 33(5): 584–605.Google Scholar
  34. Murphy, M. (1991, September 19). School's alumni hope to resurrect their alma mater,” Tampa Tribune, p. 1PE.Google Scholar
  35. Noblit, G., and Dempsey, D. (1996). The Social Construction of Virtue: The Moral Life of Schools. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  36. Orfield, G., and Eaton, S. (1996). Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  37. Parents, students, upset over “unfair abuse” of black schools. (1971, June 15). Florida Sentinel Bulletin.Google Scholar
  38. Robinson, R. (1998, October 14). Interview with the author.Google Scholar
  39. Roche, J. (1998). Restructured Resistance: The Sibley Commission and the Politics of Desegregation in Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  40. Rosen, M. (1991a, January 19). Magnet Program grant in jeopardy. St. Petersburg Times, p. 1.Google Scholar
  41. Rosen, M. (1991b, February 1). Magnet school meets opposition. St. Petersburg Times, 1B.Google Scholar
  42. Rosen, M. (1992, January 23). School is short course in politics. St. Petersburg Times, pp. 1B, 6B.Google Scholar
  43. Scherberger, T. (1992, January 16). You can't take the politics out of planning. Tampa Tribune, p. 1.Google Scholar
  44. School Board of Hillsborough County Florida. (1990). Minute Book 53. Tampa: School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida.Google Scholar
  45. School Board of Hillsborough County Florida. (1991). Minute Book 54. Tampa: School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida.Google Scholar
  46. Shujaa, M. (Ed.). (1996). Beyond Desegregation: The Politics of Quality in African-American Schooling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  47. Sinclair, C. (1978, June 17). Desegregation's quiet success. Washington Post.Google Scholar
  48. Smith, J., and Smith, B. (1973). For black educators: integration brings an axe. Urban Review 6(3): 7–12.Google Scholar
  49. Sniffen, M. (1984, December 7). Schools can halt busing U.S. argues. St. Petersburg Times, pp. 1A, 14A.Google Scholar
  50. Steward, D. (1999, May 19). Interview with the author.Google Scholar
  51. Tampa Model Cities Program, Interim Report. (1968). Tampa, FL: City Demonstration Agency, pp. 4–43.Google Scholar
  52. Walker, V. S. (1997). Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  53. Williamson, J. (1984). The Crucible of Race. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Wilson, W. J. (1987). The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara J. Shircliffe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Social FoundationsUniversity of South FloridaTampa

Personalised recommendations