“If the story of the last 60 years was this perpetual, creative, varied pursuit of economic growth, well, the city got it, clearly… but it’s also clear that that growth doesn’t inherently create equity. It doesn’t close wealth gaps, it doesn’t produce of itself… equally distributed opportunity. In some ways you have an economically strong and growing metropolis. What a wonderful position to be in to really ask what it would mean to try to shape that city in favor of greater equity.” -Dr. Ansley T. Erickson

I was thrilled to get to interview Dr. Ansley T. Erickson, author of Making the Unequal Metropolis: School Desegregation and its Limits. Ansley is an Associate Professor of History and Education at Teachers College Columbia University, and I think her book should be required reading for anyone interested in how politics, policy, housing, power, and privilege shaped Nashville’s schools.

In the interview, we discuss the early days of desegregation in Nashville, how local, state, and federal policies shaped our unequal landscape, vocational education, misconceptions about busing, and much more.

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