The Themes

Black and white respondents offered a total of 1,081 comments.  The comments were analyzed and categorized into major themes.  All in all, seven major themes emerged.

These themes are defined as either “positive” or “negative”. Positive themes are those that contain comments that suggest the impact of the events at Central High has been beneficial, and that its legacy has helped to improve race relations and bring about more positive racial attitudes.  The negative themes are those that suggest the impact of Central High has been an impediment to the movement towards improved race relations and racial attitudes. However, the majority of the results were positive, with 69% of the comments offered being categorized as positive, and the remaining 31% of comments being categorized as negative.

Interestingly, blacks were more likely to offer positive comments than whites, with 77% of comments offered by black respondents having a positive take on the impact of Central High, compared to 61% of comments offered by whites respondents.  This may be because the legacy of Central High has been more keenly felt by black members of the community, as it has impacted their everyday lives and their hopes for the future more directly.

The seven themes are discussed in order of popularity.  For each theme, the number of comments made by whites and the number of comments made by blacks are shown as a percentage of all comments made by each racial group.