A loose history of Evanston

We’ve previously noted the wide variance among Evanston census tracts in private school attendance among elementary school age children.

In Census Tract 8092, a part of Evanston’s Fifth Ward, only 6% of elementary school age children attend private schools. That census tract is more than 80% African-American and Hispanic, and is the only Evanston Ward that does not have a neighborhood elementary school. Students from the area attend a dozen schools outside the area.

Evanston is a community that prides itself on its progressive, liberal outlook, and it was one of the first communities in the nation to bus students as a means of integrating its schools.

The mural featured in the above video, “A loose look at Evanston history,” calls attention to the efforts of prominent Evanstonians to integrate its schools. The time frame is interesting – the efforts only began in earnest more than a decade after Brown v Board of Education mandated that school integration proceed “with all deliberate speed.”

Evanston prides itself on being a progressive and liberal community, and delivered a startling 87% of its votes to Barack Obama in the 2008 election.

The Black / African American population of Evanston declined from 22.5% to 18.1% between 2000 and 2010 while the community’s overall population remained relatively stable. Spend some time in Evanston’s neighborhoods beyond the Northwestern campus, and it’s hard to escape the impression that Evanston is largely a residentially segregated community.

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