Daarel Burnette II of Education Week delves into the history of Black communities demanding education and school boards conspiring to deprive them of opportunities and resources. We zoom in on Virginia’s reparations to Black citizens, now in their 60’s, who were excluded from schools when Prince Edward County shut its schools to avoid integration. Mr. Burnette, a “military brat,” theorizes about why children of Black military families do so much better academically than their civilian peers.


00:00-00:50 Intros

00:50-02:06 Prince Edward County and its significance

02:06-03:31 Virginia’s reparations fund

03:31-07:09 Reactions of reparations recipients

07:09-09:44 Lessons from other state reparations programs

09:44-13:28 Essential elements of a reparations program

13:28-17:24 Overtaxing and underfunding

17:24-19:28 Black Lives Matter movement and educational equity

19:28-22:00 Teachers’ beliefs about genetics and achievement

22:00-24:08 Coleman report and assumptions about Black families

24:08-26:05 History of Black demands for public education; Freedmen’s schools; Rosenwald schools; attacks on Black schools by KKK and White Citizens Councils

26:05-29:00 Students from Black military families outperform civilian students; achievement gap almost eliminated in Department of Defense schools

29:00-35:25 Military base interventions to improve schools serving military families

35:25-38:48 Integration blinds us to what happens afterward; not the end of the story 

38:48-44:30 Freedmen’s schools and Rosenwald schools

44:30-46:31 Why knowledge of history is so essential

46:31-48:00 Outro


Click here to see the full transcription of this episode. 


Book The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein


Photo by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Soundtrack by Podington Bear