Chapter 6 1970-73 The Years of Reorganization in Search of a Solution

JN 25Aug17  What 10 days of compiling, writing editing and formatting roughly 8-10 hours each day starting NLT 6 am does . . . Sitting inside with a hat on and one of my favorite pipes which I haven’t lit since we got Andrew in 1989 or since smoking was ruled illegal because it’s bad for my health . . . .

But the productivity has been tiring, but invigorating. Most of the time has been spent parsing vignettes from all of the interviews, surveys, emails, The Bridge Between Facebook group responses, secondary resources, into the three middle chapters dealing with the unique segments of high school experiences we had from 1963-1973.

I’ve said before that, like a couple of you — okay, a few of you? — who’ve said you couldn’t wait to read the book, neither can I. The Table of Contents has morphed again as I began pulling on the threads of your personal experiences memories, perceptions and insights during high school, and those in your adult life. Here’s the latest draft.

Table of Contents (25 August 2017)

CHAPTERS (Working titles)

Chapter 1.       The Bridge Between [STATUS: Shared on Blog.]

SYNPOSIS: Establishes the context for The Bridge Between, especially for readers who don’t have much or any knowledge about Waterloo or Iowa. This was the “Our Town” of our day.

  1. East Side, West Side
  2. The East-West Racial Gap
  3. The East-West Socioeconomic Gap
  4. Waterloo: A Blue-Collar Town

Reflections on the Bridge/on the Theme

Chapter 2.       There Are Blacks in Iowa? [STATUS: Draft completed.]

SYNOPSIS: Explains the East-West king-of-the-hill, social and business rivalries which were endemic to Waterloo from its founding and which had an influence on the lives of those of us who graduated from one of the five Waterloo high schools from 1963-1973. The last third explains how the racial divide between East Side and West came about, and the genesis of the North End, the Black Triangle or Smokey Row on the East Side.

  1. Black Heritage in Iowa
  2. Waterloo and Minorities
  3. Black Migration to Waterloo
  4. The IC Railroad Strike of 1910
  5. The Black Triangle, aka Smokey Row or the North End
  6. Rath Packing Plant Strike in 1947 . . . . Precursor to Activism
  7. The Waterloo Playing Field Was Black & White: School Districts?

Reflections on the Bridge/on the Theme

Chapter 3.       Guess Who’s Coming to Class? [STATUS: Draft completed.]

SYNOPSIS: Our attitudes, opinions and believes about life and race were formed by the time we entered high school. This enculturation was influenced by family, church, experiences. And included how our public or private school elementary and junior high pathways also influenced us. It’s important to understand that no school district ever crossed the Cedar River. Our attitudes, opinions and beliefs were also affected by our first-hand experiences.

  1. The Enculturation of Race
  2. Recognition of Differences in People
  3. The Enculturation of Racial Attitudes
  4. First-Hand Learning Experiences
  5. Reality by the Numbers
  6. Reflections on the Theme or? Reflections on the Bridge

Chapter 4.       1963-66 The Years of Calm Before the Storm [Draft in Progress]

SYNOPSIS: Students’ experiences, perceptions and insights about life and race relations during their three years in the four high schools. (Central didn’t graduate its first class until June 193, the last year of the decade in The Bridge Between.) The common perception was that high school was a “no worries,” fun experience, although the racial gap between friends existed.

  1. High School Perceptions
  2. Racial Relationships
  3. The Racial Divide
  4. Biracial Dating — MOVE TO #5???
  5. The Socioeconomic Divide
  6. The High School Experience

Chapter 5.       1966-70 The Years of Activism & Upheaval [Draft in Progress]

SYNOPSIS: Students’ experiences, perceptions and insights about life and race relations during high school. The common perception, born out by circumstances, was that racial tension had reached the ignition point and activism to create change was the only solution. Perception & folklore vs. Fact

  1. High School Perceptions
  2. Racial Relationships
  3. The Racial Divide
  4. Biracial Dating
  5. 1966 East High Confrontation
  6. 1967 East High Walkout
  7. 1968 Waterloo Riot in the North End
  8. 1970 Wrestling Meet Mêlée
  9. The High School Experience

Racial Bias in High School

Reflections on the Bridge/on the Theme

Chapter 6.       1970-73 The Years of Reorganization in Search of a Solution [Draft in Progress]

SYNOPSIS: Students’ experiences, perceptions and insights about life and race relations during high school. The common perception, born out by school decisions and actions, and subsequent open enrollment allowed Waterloo to dodge the Department of Justice bullet for a systematic pattern of racial segregation using school district boundary lines.

  1. High School Perceptions
  2. Racial Relationships
  3. The Racial Divide
  4. Something
  5. Biracial Dating
  6. 1970 The Bridgeway Project
  7. 1970 Open Enrollment & Busing
  8. 1972 Occupation of the School Superintendent’s Office [STATUS: shared on blog 25 Aug 2017]
  9. The High School Experience

Reflections on the Bridge/on the Theme

Chapter 7.       Lessons Learned & Our Adult Lives [Draft in Progress]

SYNOPSIS: Graduates’ experiences, perceptions and insights about life and race relations after high school. In hindsight 50 years later, what are the perceptions and insights these 1963-1973 Waterloo high school graduates have on the ultimate impact of their high school experiences on their adult lives, especially their interracial relationships and their children’s’ attitudes and behavior.

  1. Life After High School
  2. Racial Relationships
  3. The Racial Divide
  4. Waterloo Through the 50-Year Looking Glass
  5. We’re Not in Iowa Any More, Toto
  6. Everything I Needed to Know About Interracial Relationships I Learned in My High School

Reflections on the Bridge/on the Theme

Chapter 8.       Epilogue [Updated as I work]

SYNOPSIS: Ladies and gentlemen: the story you have read is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty. This is the town. Waterloo, IA. Some people graduated from high school there with pleasure. Some went because they had to and didn’t graduate. You never know. My name’s DeBonis. I graduated from East High in 1966. I was eight years old . . . .

  1. Perspectives: Waterloo 50 years later
  2. The Wisdom of Leon Mosely, Community Activist

Here’s a vignette from the era 1970-73 The Years of Reorganization in Search of a Solution. It’s 24 pages with 1.5 line spacing. And, no, I haven’t calculated into how many book pages that translates. That will depend on the text block on each page, which will be determined by the page size of the book, font and font size, line spacing, etc. For us centenarians, I think an 8×11 page size (think HS annual) with LARGE TYPE and only 4-5 sentences per page would be best. Of course, that will also increase the cost of the book which increases the margin which . . . .

I’d appreciate any and all honest, constructive — ok, or vicious — reactions, feedback, suggestions. I’m still tinkering with how to present all of this information so it flows logically, answers the readers’ questions, is easy to navigate (skim & scan), etc. You can post responses.

Comments can be posted here or, to make sure I see them, email me at drnickdebonis@gmail.com. And always, please feel free to share think blog with any- and everyone.

To read the excerpt, click on it, and it should open in a browser tab. If it doesn’t, try downloading it and opening. It’s a *.pdf format, so it should be accessible to all. If it doesn’t, email me and I’ll send you a link to my OneCloud.

_TBB1_6X3_BLOG EXCERPT WEST JR 1970-73 25Aug17_The Years of Reorganization

I haven’t lived on the southeast coast since I graduated from college in St. Augustine in 1973 in the last millennium, doncha know? I’d forgotten the summer monsoons, particularly in the afternoons. Great time to sit under the patio umbrella and contemplate life. The humidity also keeps my curl hair curled. Have a blessed week.And I hope it exceeds all of your expectations !!!!!!!!!!!!

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