Saturday, August 29, 2009
A Google search for "Teaneck Civic Conference" yields only four results, which I found disappointing, having just read a 1957 Redbook Magazine article about the civic group's attempts to expose the scare-tactics of local, panic pedaling real estate agents (article courtesy of the excellent Suburb Reader). Led by Ed and Catherine Schick, the Teaneck Civic Conference tried to halt white flight by insisting that whites and blacks could live together in suburban Teaneck, and that the real estate agents' claim that it would quickly devolve into a "Negro slum" were greatly exaggerated. The article reports that while there was some white flight, most whites remained, and that today (in 1957) it is "as well-kept, tranquil and pleasant as ever."
It would be interesting to revisit the neighborhood today (Teaneck isn't far from where I grew up, in Glen Rock). In the meantime, I think we found another entry in the Arsenal of Inclusion.
Are there any other Civic Conferences, or similar groups that fought to integrate other suburbs?