Zyahna Bryant and Trinity Hughes, high school seniors, have been friends since they were 6, raised by blue-collar families in this affluent college town. They played on the same T-ball and softball teams, and were in the same church group.
But like many African-American children in Charlottesville, Trinity lived on the south side of town and went to a predominantly black neighborhood elementary school. Zyahna lived across the train tracks, on the north side, and was zoned to a mostly white school, near the University of Virginia campus, that boasts the city’s highest reading scores.
“For a lot of people, it’s really uncomfortable to see that even if you haven’t personally done anything wrong,” Mr. McKee said, “you’re part of larger structures that contribute to producing poverty and inequality, including in educational outcomes.”
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The article was reported and written in a collaboration of New York Times with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization.