National Implications: Historical View of Black School
This study by Drs. James E. Ginn, J D Gregory Jr., Henry North, and Leola Robinson based partially on the studies done by Raymond J. Lockett and George M. Vincent in Louisiana and Mississippi respectively. As with Lockett’s and Vincent’s researches, the authors of the study in scrutiny wanted to outline the social, economic, and political profile of the Black school board members, this time in Texas. As the authors reiterate, they were not gearing for a full replication of the Lockett and Vincent articles. Instead, their main purpose is to map out any possible trends with regards to choosing Black school members.
Using the same questionnaire devised by Lockett for his Louisiana Black school board member study, with just minor modifications to suit those in Texas, Ginn et. al were able to survey 79% of the Black school board members in Texas, as listed in the Black Elected Officials: A National Roster.
Basically, the study resulted in an enumeration of the personal characteristics, motivational factors, and attitudes on social changes of those currently elected African-American school board members. Also in the conclusion was a revelation of which sectors provide the biggest financial and moral support for Black electorates plus the strategies of these Black members in implementing social change. True enough, Dr. Ginn et. al’s paper was successful in its aim to produce a profile but it failed to state any trends in relation to the conclusions made by Lockett and Vincent, except with the motivational factors in regarding candidacy.
As Dr. Ginn et. al’s paper reveals, Texan Black school board members deem the improvement of the school system as the topmost reason for seeking office, unlike Louisianan Black school board members who listed that as only the second most important reason. For the Blacks in Louisiana, the prestige that comes with the office is the primary reason to be in the school board.
Those in Mississippi, on the other hand, think that the improvement of the African-American race is what matters. With the other aspects uncovered by the research, though, this comparison and contrast with the results of the Louisiana and Mississippi results was missing. But aside from that obvious slight, there were other parts of the study that must be called to attention.
The authors of “National Implications…” failed to present the tables of the survey result and provide a satisfactory description of the results. They loved using the word “likely”, which tends to weaken the foundation of their results. The first two paragraphs under the heading “Results of the Study- Personal Characteristics” mentioned the word “likely” seven times in fifteen sentences. Mentioning exact figures would have been better for it could have solidified the claims of the authors.
Another thing that I can critique with the paper is the authors’ assumption that their readers are already well-aware of what is written in their sources’ works. They have failed to describe at least minimally what their sources are talking about. One glaring example is the part where they mention that “Tyres Hillway and Nunnery and Kimbrough listed several advantages of the mail questionnaire” yet failed to list what these advantages are. It would have been better if their endnotes at least contained a description of the findings of their references.
Yet, despite these research results blunders, the article was able to provide some useful insights. In my opinion, the article had the potential of being relevant for those who wants to look into mapping out preferences in school board members – black or white. Dr. Ginn et. al’s research can be the starting point of laying down reasons as to why school board members are elected into their position.
Perhaps the most important thing that can be picked up from the said research is the gems about the African-Americans. The research made use of sources and variables that were true in 1985 and before. At that time, the roles of Black Americans are still delineated and everyone was still pretty much adjusting to the integration of the races. But as true as the results may be in the time the study was conducted, I can say that times have changed immensely.
The article by Dr. Ginn et. al made me appreciate just how progressive America has become. A lot of efforts have been done to ensure that the country provide equal opportunities to both African-Americans and Caucasians. Whereas before, Blacks are still being “pushed” to run for political power and promote the welfare of their race, today it is already to common to have the African-Americans represented in political office. There are still the occasional discriminatory remarks and acts, but these are no longer accepted and are now condemned. Also, almost everyone is now well-adjusted to the integration of blacks and whites.
Yes, we have come to an era where discriminations is something we do not tolerate. The African-Americans’ are proving that they are viable leaders and are capable of holding an important position. And despite the limitations of “National Implications: Historical View of Black School Board Members of the State of Texas Until 1985”, it was important in making me realize that times have really changed…for good.