by Alice Sparberg Alexiou

The Golden Ghetto’s Shame

I observed the civil rights movement as a teenager in Great Neck, New York, the goldene medina, far from the agony of Mississippi and Alabama. Great Neck, our Depression-bred parents told us, was paradise, filled with huge houses and lush landscapes, swimming pools and tony stores, in contrast to the mean streets of Brownsville or Far Rockaway where our parents had grown up. Except for a small black population on Steamboat Road dating back to the 19th century, Great Neck was then all white and all Jewish. We didn’t experience anti-Semitism as our parents had. Our schools were rated among the best in the country.

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Unsung Heroines of the ’60s

The articles in this special section:

Why I Tracked Them Down

by Debra L. Schultz

Our Unsung Civil Rights Movement Heroines

by Debra L. Schultz

Women in the civil rights movement integrated bus terminals, taught in Freedom Schools, registered black voters and served time in Southern jails. Now they talk frankly about the danger, their mothers’ reactions, and what in their Jewish consciousness propelled them.

The Golden Ghetto’s Shame

by Alice Sparberg Alexiou

Meanwhile, a liberal New York Jewish suburb grappled with black maids and racial integration.