MI Black History: Lansing School Desegregation

Q: When were Lansing’s public schools completely desegregated?

A: 1976. While desegregation was a hot issue in Southern states such as Alabama and Mississippi in the 1950s and 1960s, several school districts in Northern states quietly continued segregating black and white students. On Dec. 21, 1975, a federal judge ordered the Lansing school board to submit to a desegregation plan to eliminate by the following school year “a purposeful pattern of racial segregation” in its elementary schools. Junior and high schools were desegregated in 1966. In issuing its opinion, the judge said that the continued existence of segregated schools were “vestiges of slavery.”

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