Legacy of Slavery; White Private School Enrollment Greater in Counties with High Number of Enslaved Afrikans

Using contemporary and historical census data for all counties in the South, we find evidence that indicates a positive relationship between the concentration of slaves in 1860 and black/white disparities in public school enrollment during the 2006–2010 time period.

Most importantly, the results suggest that white private school enrollment is greater in counties where slaves were more heavily concentrated in 1860, thereby leaving black students overrepresented in public schools.

It is perhaps no surprise that slavery is associated with inequality and disadvantage for the enslaved population. However, what is notable is that this connection persists more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery.

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