Whose Neighborhood Is It?
Photo On June 25, 1974, suburban residents of Detroit won their four-year battle to overturn court-ordered busing of black city students across county lines into their schools. In a key 5-4 Supreme Court decision, Milliken v. Bradley, Chief Justice Warren Burger declared that 41 white suburban governments had not committed “significant violations” of the Constitution. Burger wrote: No single tradition in public education is more deeply rooted than local control over the operation of public schools; local autonomy has long been thought essential both to the maintenance of community concern and support for public schools and to quality of the educational process. The victory in Milliken was based on the assumption that African-Americans would be bused in, not that they would be living next door. Southfield, Mich., for example, which had been 0.7 percent black in 1970, by 2010 had become 70.3 percent black, and its schools nearly 95 percent black. According to Schelling, Zhang writes,