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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:01 AM
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Segregation Academies and Other History Stuff
In 1869, the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling was used to justify legal discrimination segregation for the next half-decade, to include public schools.

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education, ruled that the separate but equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson was unconstitutional because it created an inherently inferior system of education for black students in America.

In the mid-50s, segregation academies were created as a result of Brown v. Board of Education, which dismantled the legal basis for racial segregation in schools and other public facilities.

After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregation academies increased in number. In the late 60s, early 70s, as more court rulings were handed down in support of desegregation, segregation academies fairly mushroomed.

Brown v. Board of Education did not apply to private schools.

Primarily in the South, though not confined to that region, Segregation Academies were private schools set up so white parents could avoid the desegregation of public schools, with many white families claiming that quality of education was their primary concern.

From a 1969 Time Magazine article

Now that the Supreme Court has decreed an immediate end to racial segregation in Southern public schools, many white resisters have only one place left to turn: private white "segregation academies." In recent years, the South has blossomed with more than 200 such schools, which are set up for the sole purpose of excluding blacks. According to one recent estimate, at least 300,000 white students out of 7,400,000 now attend segregated private schools in eleven Southern states. By all the evidence, the new academies will increase that total fast.


Massive Resistance

Massive Resistance was a policy adopted in 1956 by Virginia's state government to block the desegregation of public schools mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1954 ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.

U.S. senator Harry F. Byrd Sr., head of the Byrd Organization, Virginia's dominant Democratic Party machine, the U.S. senator was an overarching leader who drew critical support from white voters in counties with large African American populations. In the autumn of 1954, white community leaders and local government officials from those areas formed a political pressure group, Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties, to preserve racial segregation. Relying on its influence with the Byrd Organization, the group called for the use of all legal and political means to block enforcement of the Brown decision

The Gray Commission - made up of 32 state legislators, all white, all men, appointed by Virginia Governor Thomas Stanley, the goal of the commission was to

restrict desegregation and to ensure that whites who objected could avoid attending desegregated schools.

To accomplish this goal the commission proposed:

- Selective repeal of the compulsory school attendance law

- Establishment of pupil placement criteria

- Provision of state tuition grants to students leaving desegregated schools to attend private segregated ones

The summer of 1956, Governor Stanley called a special session of the General Assembly to work on Massive Resistance legislation.

The Stanley Plan included:

- A state Pupil Placement Board to block placing black students in white schools

- Close schools facing a federal desegregation order

- A state orchestrated attack plan against the NAACP and its ability to bring suits - and harass black parents who were part of any those lawsuits.

The Commission on Constitutional Government was created at this time. James J. Kilpatrick (Yes, that James J. Kilpatrick) was the publications director. The commission defended segregation and states' rights in the court of public opinion.

James J. Kilpatrick of the Richmond News Leader considered the Brown decision bad law, a violation of states' rights, and the work of outside agitators. His editorials on "interposition"-the idea that a state government can interpose itself between its citizens and the actions of an overreaching federal government-helped sustain the segregationist cause in Virginia and across the South.

1958 brought a new governor to Virginia, one who won on the promise of continued segregation and stronger public schools. Governor James Almond closed 9 schools after they were ordered to desegregate. Dissent arose from many quarters over the school closings but Almond waited until court challenges to the school closings were settled before he made his next move.

Tuition Grants, or vouchers, in segregated Virginia after Brown v. Board of Education.

After Virginia's school-closing law was ruled unconstitutional in January 1959, the General Assembly repealed the compulsory school attendance law and made the operation of public schools a local option for the state's counties and cities. Schools that had been closed in Front Royal, Norfolk, and Charlottesville reopened because citizens there preferred integrated schools to none at all. It was not so Prince Edward County. Ordered on May 1, 1959, to integrate its schools, the county instead closed its entire public school system.

The Prince Edward Foundation created a series of private schools to educate the county's white children. These schools were supported by tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county. Prince Edward Academy became the prototype for all-white private schools formed to protest school integration.

No provision was made for educating the county's black children. Some got schooling with relatives in nearby communities or at makeshift schools in church basements. Others were educated out of state by groups such as the Society of Friends. In 196364, the Prince Edward Free School picked up some of the slack. But some pupils missed part or all of their education for five years.

Edward R. Murrow, the famous radio and television journalist, presented the program "The Lost Class of '59" on the CBS television network. It caused national indignation. Nonetheless, not until 1964, when the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed Virginia's tuition grants to private education, did Prince Edward County reopen its schools, on an integrated basis. This event marked the real end of Massive Resistance

News article from 1960: The Free Lance-Star Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Prince Edward Academy lost their tax-exempt status in 1978 and did not accept black students until 1986.

Almond opted to repeal the school closings and allow desegregation. Sort of

Still, never to be discounted, on February 2, 1959, 17 black students in Norfolk and four in Arlington County enrolled in white schools. The national press covered the event.

What they endured helped to pave the way for others

The Massive Resistance movement was now dead but a new game plan was afoot. Almond appointed Mosby G. Perrow, a state senator, to head a new commission.

The new commission was about finding ways to limit desegregation instead of using Massive Resistance.

The Perrow Plan put the burden of desegregation on black families - giving them the freedom of choice - students could choose to attend a white school or a black school. The Perrow Plan would also repeal the compulsory attendance law, and rely on the Pupil Placement Board to keep desegregation to a minimum.

The Perrow Plan passed in April of 1959 with another special session of the General Assembly.

In 1964 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Virginias grant tuition to private schools unconstitutional and in 1968, the court brought freedom of choice to an end - there were no white public schools or black public schools, just public schools.

Public Education and (De)segregation in Mississippi

Mississippi Reacts to Brown v. Board of Education:

Following the rejection of Governor Whites voluntary segregation plan and the Supreme Courts Brown decision, the state legislature responded in 1954 by amending the state constitution so as to close all public schools as a last resort in the event that the federal courts called for the end of Mississippis dual system of public education. State leaders argued that federal courts could note force the state to violate its own constitution in the process of achieving desegregation in Mississippi schools. In that same year, the state legislature established the Legal Education Advisory Committee to plan resistance to court ordered desegregation. In 1954 more than 40 statutes were passed by the state to resist integration.

In 1955, the Supreme Court passed down Brown II which provided some guidelines for the implementation of its original ruling. In response to Brown II, the NAACP filed five lawsuits in an effort to challenge desegregation in selected school districts. In Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, a group of parents brought suit on behalf of their children which would require the desegregation of public schools in Jackson. The Singleton case was important because it accepted desegregation of schools on a race ratio basis, meaning that the black and white ratio of the school should represent the make-up of the community. The case Holmes v. Alexander settled the argument of when desegregation would actually take place in thirty south Mississippi school districts. The decision handed down in Holmes stated that the public schools would be desegregated with all deliberate speed.

In 1956 Mississippi elected James P. Coleman governor on the promise of keeping public schools segregated. Coleman responded to the crisis in public education by signing legislation creating the State Sovereignty Commission. This commission originally was established to protect the sovereignty of the State of Mississippi and her sister states from federal government interference, especially in the area of school integration.

The Sovereignty Commission was composed of twelve appointed members, including state lawmakers and members appointed by the governor. Ex-officio members included the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House of Representatives and the attorney general. The commission was budgeted $250,000, which it used to develop a network of investigators, spies, and informants to keep the state aware of those the state felt threatened Mississippis segregated society. The commissions files were legally secret and have just recently been opened to the public. 1998)

Segregation Academies increase in Mississippi

The private Christian school in the movie The Blind Side started out as a segregation academy in response to school busing. In 1975,,9171,879536,00.html">Time Magazine did a story on Segregation Academies, highlighting Briarcrest Baptist High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

Briarcrest Baptist High School (it later changed its name to Briarcrest Christian School), which opened two years ago after the courts ordered busing in the Memphis schools

What Briarcrest lacks, however, is blacks. All of its 1,432 students and 69 faculty and staff members are white.

Many of the new private schools, like Briarcrest, insist that they have "open" admissions and are segregated only because no blacks have applied. But they concede that white hostility to desegregation accounts for much of their growth.

"We've got parents who are running from problems," says Wayne Allen, a Baptist minister who is chairman of the Briarcrest board of trustees. "Anyone who says different is not telling the truth."

In many areas, as a result, the academies have drastically reduced the number of white students in the public schools.

More on segregation academies.

The Rights Final Answer to Brown

The haste with which southern whites established private schools after 1954 made it impossible to cloak the exodus in euphemisms this was white flight from physical proximity to Blacks, pure and simple, and the name segregation academies, stuck. Whites in the North would react in much the same way when their turn came, opting out of the cities entirely to invest their taxes in quality schools for their own children in the suburbs. Those who remained in places like Boston chose private education over integration. You saw an immediate drain of white participation from public education, going into parochial and private schools, said Rev. Graylan Hagler, president of Ministers for Racial, Social, and Economic Justice. And ever since, they have attempted to redirect public dollars out of public education and into private schools.

Racists always find a freedom to mask their hatreds. Segregationists in Virginia devised a freedom of choice policy in the mid-Fifties to allow white students to transfer out of schools slated for integration. When Prince Edward County whites finally exhausted their legal bag of tricks in 1959, they shut the public schools down and set up a foundation to support the education of whites.

This was the fatal political flaw in the early segregation academies: their failure to gain Black participation. The Black citizens of Prince Edward County deserve a permanent place of honor for refusing to collaborate in a scheme to undermine their just-won rights to a non-Jim Crow, public education even when the alternative was to have no public schools at all for five years.

President Lyndon Johnsons Internal Revenue Service made life difficult for the segregation academies, as detailed in this IRS memorandum:

The IRS response began in 1965 with the suspension of the issuance of rulings to private schools in order for the Service to consider the effect of racial discrimination on their exempt status. After extensive study, the IRS announced in 1967 that racially discriminatory private schools, which were receiving state aid, were not entitled to exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) based on public policy beginning with the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Ideology and Origins of School Choice and the Charter Movement

School choice is a longstanding concept with important early historical roots in the days of resistance to southern desegregation. Although eventually blocked by the Supreme Court, one early reaction to Brown v. Board of Education was to shut down public school districts and provide state-financed vouchers allowing white students to attend private schools (referred to as segregation academies). Freedom of choice plans, another popular southern resistance strategy, were versions of token integration. In what was often an atmosphere of violence, intimidation and virulent opposition, black students were given the opportunity to choose to transfer to majority white schools. These plans were used for years to effectively preserve segregation. In 1968, more than a decade after Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled in a case from New Kent County, Virginia, that rather than further the dismantling of the dual system, the plan has operated to simply burden children and their parents with a responsibility be] placed squarely on the School Board. Freedom to choose in New Kent meant that, three years after the strategy was adopted, no white student in the county had elected to attend the segregated black school, and 85% of the countys black students were still attending all-black schools. Similar patterns were documented across the South.

In both vouchers and freedom of choice plans, educational choice was used in the aftermath of Brown as a way to circumvent desegregation.

During this same time period, economist Milton Friedman proposed a model for education reform, based on his economic philosophy, calling for the privatization of public schools. Friedman argued that universal vouchers, or public funding for voluntary enrollment at a school other than an assigned facility (usually a private or parochial school), would encourage innovation and experimentation in education.9 Some schools offer students better educational opportunities than others, contended Friedman and other choice proponents, and parents and guardians should distinguish between these options and then select schools for their children accordingly.

The above report is worth the read. It talks about the lack of civil rights oversight in charter schools (more segregation, less opportunity) and the 2 decades long increase of segregation in public schools. Which the below report also covers.


Race in American Public Schools: Rapidly Resegregating School Districts

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing state-mandated separate schools for black and white students. Since that decision, hundreds of American school districts, if not more, have attempted to implement desegregation plans. In the early years of desegregation most of these plans focused on the South and resulted in the most integrated schools being located in the South by the early 1970s. From the late 1960s on, some districts in all parts of the country began implementing such plans although the courts made it much more difficult to win desegregation orders outside the South and the 1974 Supreme Court decision against city-suburban desegregation made real desegregation impossible in a growing number of overwhelming minority central cities.

We are now almost 50 years from the initial Supreme Court ruling banning segregation and more than a decade into a period in which the U.S. Supreme Court has authorized termination of desegregation orders. These plans are being dissolved by court orders even in some communities that want to maintain them4 in addition, some federal courts are forbidding even voluntary desegregation plans.5 Given this context, it is crucial to continue to mark the progress of these policies and examine how their presence or absence affects the schooling experience for all students.

Nationally, segregation for blacks has declined substantially since the pre-Brown era and reached its lowest point in the late 1980s. For Latinos, the story has been one of steadily rising segregation since the 1960s and no significant desegregation efforts outside of a handful of large districts. These changes in segregation patterns are happening in the context of an increasingly diverse public school enrollment. In particular, the 2000 Census shows an extraordinary growth of Latino population in the past decade.6 This change in overall population is reflected in the school population as well. High birth rates, low levels of private school enrollment and increased immigration of Latinos have resulted in a rise of Latino public school enrollment, which is now more than 7 million. Nationwide, the Latino share of public school enrollment has almost tripled since 1968, compared to an increase of just 30% in black enrollment and a decrease of 17% in white enrollment during the same time period. A smaller percent of students attend private schools than a half-century ago and white private school enrollment is lowest in the South and West where whites are in school with higher proportions of minority students.7 Yet, little attention has been paid to the results of these two trends - rising segregation and increasing diversity - on the racial composition of our public schools.

I was fortunate enough to receive a signed copy of the book "Wit,Will & Walls" by Betty Kilby Fisher.

Betty Kilby Fisher was the infant plantiff in the case Betty Ann Kilby vs. Warren County (Virginia) Board of Education.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R.
Have to read this later but it looks great. This is an issue I need to know more about.

It's funny the things you don't question as a child. Like why all the children in your extended family are in private schools or why, when you move from the city to a suburb, public schools are suddenly fine. :shrug:

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It's just stuff :)
Mainly how segregation never really went away in a lot of ways....and other stuff. :)
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Did you read The Race Beat?
I keep getting distracted from it but it takes on how the black press surfed integration. It's amazing.

This is the wiki entry:

The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written in 2006 by journalists Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff. The book is about the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the United States, specifically about the role of newspapers and television. "Race Beat" refers to reporters whose beat reporting covered issues of race.<1>

In 2007, The Race Beat received the Pulitzer Prize for History.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Sounds good.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. The writing is excellent! And the stories are amazing.
There was a huge argument in the black press about how to go about this. And I appreciated it because I had no idea that the black press was huge. What an idiot. lol

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. There was an article at the link you posted about the book.

I'm reading it now.

I'll order the book today.

Thank you!!

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Just wanted you to has been ordered. Should take a week or so
to make its way here. Thanks, again!
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. I grew up with the issue - my cousins went to private church run schools
To avoid integration. I overheard my parents discussing it - Mom's attitude was that we kids were going to live in an integrated world, we might as well learn to cope with it in school. My cousins all grew up right wing assholes. My sisters and I are all liberals.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. On paper they do not exclude blacks
Although nowadays they might let a few in, if they can play football or basketball, and to be in the school brochures. The cost alone make it prohibitive for nearly all black families.

For families with a lot of money, they can subsidize their racism and fear of blacks: all white neighborhoods, all white social organizations and all white private schools.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Money is the great insulator (and the lack of)

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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. That's it exactly...
...The sports team carry the token minorities, a good number of whom are on "scholarship," to even out appearances.

Seg academies never went away and are just as strong as ever.
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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 06:16 AM
Response to Original message
10. k/r
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-30-10 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thank you, EIL
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. I've been talking about this for years.
Thank you.

This is a great and sad untold story.

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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. It was your post the other day that got me to finally post something on the subject
"We used to call it segregation. Now we call it failing schools."

It's been floating around in my head for a while now.

Thank you! (for your passion)
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. Did you watch that video?
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Yes. I hope many others do as well.
Edited on Wed Mar-31-10 08:32 AM by Solly Mack
The "Aw shucks" facade is a great description.

Though I didn't point out A-Z in my post, the OP is showing how we haven't really gotten away from segregation academies and how all this segregation-based "innovation" of charter schools and "choice" is deeply rooted in the opponents of desegregation after Brown v. Board Ed. The very fact that America has experienced an increase in school segregation over the last 20 years should worry people. The one report explains how charter schools trend toward "choice" isn't really choice because certain subjects, like poverty, are not addressed. How poor schools are poor schools because funding isn't equal. Didn't Ohio get sued for withholding funding from certain schools in certain - poor- areas? Yet those grossly underfunded schools are to be punished? It's not the teachers withholding the funding.

It's just sickening.

Treating children as if they are production-line workers...churning them out for the military or service jobs...not giving them the opportunities found in other schools.

I'm not knocking the military or service industry jobs - but I am saying children shouldn't be channeled into those occupations just because they are poor. It defeats the purpose of education - to learn to think for open doors to greater enrich our democracy through an informed citizenry. That's what public schools are give all people that chance. Instead of working to create better schools, public education is being reshaped into something else entirely. Something that will not serve the people. Destroy public education and you destroy more than just a child's future. You create a larger gap between the have and have nots. What's happening with NCLB isn't bridging any's creating canyons.

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. I need to kick it again.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Thanks! I did an edit on my previous post...felt the need to rant some. lolol
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick
felt the need
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
20. And more from an education blogger: Fast Track to Resegregation: Corporate Charter Schools
Thanks for the articles and putting it together. Recommended

Fast Track to Resegregation: Corporate Charter Schools

"CRP's analysis of the 40 states, the District of Columbia, and several dozen metropolitan areas with large enrollments of charter school students reveals that not only are charter schools more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every instance, but troubling data gaps also make it impossible to assess charter schools enrollments of low-income and English Learner students."


"Seven out of 10 black charter school students are on campuses with extremely few white students, according to a new study of enrollment trends that shows the independent public schools are less racially diverse than their traditional counterparts.

The findings from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, which are being released Thursday, reflect the proliferation of charter schools in the District of Columbia and other major cities with struggling school systems and high minority populations.

To the authors of the study, the findings point to a civil rights issue: "As the country continues moving steadily toward greater segregation and inequality of education for students of color in schools with lower achievement and graduation rates," the study concludes, "the rapid growth of charter schools has been expanding a sector that is even more segregated than the public schools."
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Oops too late to recommend.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Thanks for the added info!!!
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. Damn, too late to recommend
kickin' anyway. GREAT links, thank you Solly Mack!
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. You're welcome & Thank you, Starry Messenger
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
26. Thanks for putting all this together

I missed it earlier
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