The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the 19th annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Ruth Carbonette Yow for her book, “Students of the Dream: Resegregation in a Southern City,” published by Harvard University Press in 2017.
Yow is a historian and ethnographer of justice struggles and public education. In her book, she draws from more than 100 interviews with current and former Marietta High School students, parents and teachers, as well as community leaders and politicians, to write an innovative and compelling ethnographic history. She invites readers onto the key battlegrounds of the school’s struggle against resegregation.
The failure of local, state and national policies to stem the tide of resegregation is leading activists — students, parents and teachers — to reject traditional integration models and look for other ways to improve educational outcomes among African-American and Latino students.
The book begins with the first generations of Marietta High’s desegregators after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling and follows the stories of later generations who saw the dream of integration fall apart. Yow argues for a revitalized commitment to integration, but one that challenges many of the orthodoxies, including colorblindness, inherited from the mid-20th century civil rights struggle.
Yow plans to visit Texas A&M in March 2019 to receive the award and participate in campus and community events in celebration of the prize. “Students of the Dream: Resegregation in a Southern City” was a finalist for the Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize and shortlisted for the Victor Turner Prize.
Yow continues to work with the youth who populate the pages of her book through her service as a board member and volunteer with Marietta YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading and Serving). She also teaches and tutors with a prison education nonprofit, Common Good Atlanta.
Her current position as Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist at Georgia Tech’s Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain allows her to engage her background in equity and community-based movements to facilitate transformative teaching, learning and long-term projects across the campus and the city of Atlanta. She has a doctorate in American studies and African-American studies from Yale University.
The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ’59, in honor of his wife. Among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M, in 2002, the couple provided a naming endowment for the Glasscock Center.
“Yow’s evocative and enlightening work convincingly argues that there is vast potential to reimagine integration for contemporary times. Students of the Dream is a major contribution to our understanding of school integration’s impact upon society.”― Susan Eaton, Brandeis University, author of “Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees, and America at Its Best.”
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