SOURCE: Author Gary Bolick

Author Gary Bolick

February 02, 2011 15:44 ET

Would Desegregation Work Today? Expert Who Lived Through 1970s Desegregation Reveals Hidden Benefits of Program

WINSTON-SALEM, NC--(Marketwire - February 2, 2011) - Gary Bolick sat in a school bus for more than two hours each day as part of a court ordered desegregation program in 1970s North Carolina. The ironic twist on this scenario is that Bolick is white.

"I was bussed from an affluent neighborhood to a school in 'East Winston,' the inner city. Many of my classmates had grown up in the projects. I was in the minority, now -- both racially and culturally. In the early 70s, the south was the laboratory for race relations in America. I wouldn't realize the results or feel the effects of that experiment until years later while sitting in a classroom in Paris, France and after that, at Wake Forest. In both instances I was surrounded by students who had never attended an integrated school. It was during my studies in Paris and in college that I realized that my experience benefited me socially, academically and culturally in ways that I am still just realizing today. Unfortunately the same warning signs that were present in the 60s and 70s are surfacing again, today. We have a black president in the White House, but the lines dividing blacks and whites are reappearing once more. Why?"

Bolick, author of the novel "Angel's Oracle" (www.bolicknovel.com) -- an allegory for modern race relations -- believes that it might not be a bad idea to consider desegregation once again, as we find the diversity in our country beginning to drift apart.

"Desegregation opened the door to the other side of the American experience," he added. "As a white man, it shamed me to realize that my ancestors had suppressed an entire race for personal gain; it enriched me to experience first-hand the grace and power it takes to overcome that same oppression, and thrive. My black teachers and friends taught me the power of humility and perseverance, and the profound effects that forgiveness has on the spirit. It is an experience that I hope we will once again pass on to our children."

About Gary Bolick

Gary Bolick was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and raised in Clemmons, a suburb west of the city. As a child he experienced the pre-Civil Rights Act, segregated South, and then later took part in the historic cross-busing to achieve racial integration.

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