Segregated Academies

Last summer, journalist Ellen Ann Fentress MFA ’08 penned an essay for The Bitter Southerner about her experience attending a segregated school—a reality more than an estimated 750,000 white children experienced in the 1970s. She traced the impact segregation at school had in shaping her life, as well as how it shaped the cultural, economic, and political fabric of the South. After her essay was published, Fentress launched the Academy Stories, a platform for testimonials of white alumni of segregated schools—covered by The Washington Post and other outlets. Speaking with The Washington Post, she explained she wanted this work and examination of history to be more than a collection of stories. “That would not be helpful. It needs to go somewhere, but before we can do anything, you have to be a truth teller.”