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Fly in the Ointment

School Segregation and Desegregation in the Ohio Valley

Patricia Randolph Leigh

Fly in the Ointment chronicles the history of two school districts in the Upper Mill Creek (Ohio) Valley of the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan area. The creation of both the black Lincoln Heights School District and the predominately white Princeton School District in the 1950s is a history of segregation while the merger of these two districts in the 1970s – close to twenty years after their formation – tells a unique story of desegregation. The author uses various methodologies to provide an accurate account from different perspectives of school segregation and desegregation in a specific region of the country. Fly in the Ointment combines «fictional» storytelling – an approach supported by critical race theory – with historical and interview data to tell a complete narrative, including important yet often unheard voices. The story of the Lincoln Heights School District and the Princeton School District illuminates the political, social, economic, and, of course, racial factors that led to their separation and union.