foreword by Thomas J. Noel
preface by Edmond & Angela Noel
A Timberline Book
"Nobody is better qualified [than Pat Pascoe] to write the story of Keyes vs. Denver Public Schools."
—The Denver Post
"Pascoe's fine book fills an important gap in the history of civil rights in the West, illuminates how racism became systemic in a major city like Denver, and reveals the obstacles to racial justice."
—Donald G. Nieman, Binghamton University
A Dream of Justice is Colorado state senator and former teacher Pat Pascoe’s firsthand account of the decades-long fight to desegregate Denver’s public schools. Drawing on oral histories and interviews with members of the legal community, parents, and students, as well as extensive institutional records, Pascoe offers a compelling social history of Keyes v. School District No. 1 (Denver).
Pascoe details Denver’s desegregation battle, beginning with the citizen studies that exposed the inequities of segregated schools and Rachel Noel’s resolution to integrate the system, followed by the momentous pro-integration Benton-Pascoe campaign of Ed Benton and Monte Pascoe for the school board in 1969. When segregationists won that election and reversed the integration plan for northeast Denver, Black, white, and Latino parents filed Keyes v. School District No. 1. This book follows the arguments in the case through briefs, transcripts, and decisions from district court to the Supreme Court of the United States and back, to its ultimate order to desegregate all Denver schools “root and branch.” It was the first northern city desegregation suit to be brought before the Supreme Court. However, with the end of court-ordered busing in 1995, schools quickly resegregated and are now more segregated than before Keyes was filed.
Pascoe asserts that school integration is a necessary step toward eliminating systemic racism in our country and should be the objective of every school board. A Dream of Justice will appeal to students, scholars, and readers interested in the history of civil rights in America, Denver history, and the history of US education.