Somehistorians question the widely held belief that continually improving educationled to gradual African American empowerment in the southern United States fromthe late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. They note thatthe development of Black educational institutions in the segregated South wasnever rapid or steady: disparities between Black and White schools sometimesgrew in the early decades of the twentieth century. And African Americans’educational gains did not bring commensurate economic gains. Starting in the1940s, even as Black and White schools in the South moved steadily towardequality, Black southerners remained politically marginalized and experiencedsystematic job discrimination. Although Black schools had achieved near paritywith White schools in per capita spending and teachers’ salaries by 1965,African Americans’ income still lagged behind that of Whites. Nonetheless, educational progressdid contribute toward economic and political empowerment.
The revival of mural painting that hasoccurred in San Francisco since the 1970s, especially among the Chicanopopulation of the city’s Mission District, hasmarked differences from its social realist forerunner in Mexico and the UnitedStates some 40 years earlier. Rather than being government sponsored andlimited to murals on government buildings, the contemporary mural movementsprang from the people themselves, with murals appearing on community buildingsand throughout college campuses. Perhaps the biggest difference, however, isthe process. In earlier twentieth-century Mexico, murals resulted from thevision of individual artists. But today’s murals arecharacteristically the products of artists working with local residents ondesign and creation.
Analyzinglevels of proportional representation of American Indians in state and localgovernment jobs is important for several reasons. First, the basic ideaunderlying the theory of representative bureaucracy is that the demographiccomposition of bureaucracy should mirror the demographic composition of thegeneral public. This is because in addition to its symbolic value, increasedaccess to managerial position may lead to greater responsiveness on the part ofpolicy makers to the policy interests of traditionally disadvantaged groupssuch as American Indians. Second, the focus on higher level jobs inbureaucracies (as opposed to non-managerial positions) is especially importantbecause managerial positions represent a major source of economic progress formembers of traditionally disadvantaged groups, as these jobs confer goodsalaries, benefits, status, security, and mobility. Third, it is important toknow if there has been growth in the American Indian share of more desirable publicsector positions over the last two decades. For instance, Peterson and Duncanargue that the population and power of American Indians have been growing incertain states.
MaryBarton, particularly in its early chapters, is a moving response to thesuffering of the industrial worker in the England of the 1840s. What is mostimpressive about the book is the intense and painstaking effort made by theauthor, Elizabeth Gaskell, to convey the experience of everyday life in workingclass homes. Her method is partly documentary in nature: the novel includessuch features as a carefully annotate reproduction of dialect, the exactdetails of food prices in an account of a tea party, an itemized description ofthe furniture of the Bartons’ living room, and a transcription (againannotated) of the ballad “The Oldham Weaver”. The interest of this record isconsiderable, even though the method has a slightly distancing effect.
In 1995, after anabsence of nearly 70 years, wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone NationalPark. During the wolf-free era, heavy browsing of aspen trees by elkpopulations spelled doom not only fro trees themselves but for a host of othercreatures dependent on them, such as beavers, whose population in Yellowstonecrashed after wolves were removed. Without beavers to create ponds, wetlandecosystems--aquatic plants, amphibians, birds--were devastated. When wolvesreturned, grazers and browsers resumed normal patterns of behaviors, preferringsafer, open areas over the dense cover and streamsides where carnivores canlurk. Keeping elk wary and on the move, wolves gave aspen and other young treesthe opportunity to grow and become reestablished.