Larry Roeder and Barry Harrelson, "Dirt Don't Burn: A Black Community's Struggle for Educational Equality Under Segregation" (Georgetown UP, 2023)


The system of educational apartheid that existed in the United States until the Brown v. Board of Education decision and its aftermath has affected every aspect of life for Black Americans.

Larry Roeder and Barry Harrelson's book Dirt Don't Burn: A Black Community's Struggle for Educational Equality Under Segregation (Georgetown UP, 2023) is the riveting narrative of an extraordinary community that overcame the cultural and legal hurdles of systematic racism. Dirt Don't Burn describes how Loudoun County, Virginia, which once denied educational opportunity to Black Americans, gradually increased the equality of education for all children in the area. The book includes powerful stories of the largely unknown individuals and organizations that brought change to enduring habits of exclusion and prejudice toward African Americans.

Dirt Don't Burn sheds new light on the history of segregation and inequity in American history. It provides new historical details and insights into African American experiences based on original research through thousands of previously lost records, archival NAACP files, and records of educational philanthropies. This book will appeal to readers interested in American history, African American history, and regional history, as well as educational policy and social justice.

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Deidre Tyler

Deidre Tyler, PhD - Sociologist, Instructional Technologist.
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