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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 19, 2019 02:52AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread to discuss Brown v. Board of Education (the famous Supreme Court case).




message 2: by Alisa (last edited Oct 10, 2010 11:58AM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION

Often cited as a pivotal point in civil rights, the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education cleared the way for public school desegregation and fueled the civil rights movement in modern day America. At issue was the constitutionality of state laws allowing for racial segregation based on race in public education. The plaintiff’s position in Brown challenged the "separate but equal" precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson upholding racial segregation in public accommodations. Brown was a controversial case when it was decided as, among other things, it did not mandate any particular way by which desegregation was to be achieved as a result of the ruling. The ruling had far reaching implications and fueled the future of the civil rights movement but specifically as it relates to public education, for decades school districts around the country confronted how to comply with what was the new law of the land. Separate but equal in public accommodation, which had been the long standing rule of law for more than 50 years, was deemed unconstitutional.

Brown was decided in 1954 and while it would be naive to suggest this country has reached complete integration, a great deal of progress has been made in many forms of public accommodation including public school integration. Right? Well, not so fast. Earlier this week a county in Mississippi was ordered to "stop the illegal practice of allowing white students to transfer out of their assigned high schools to the county’s only white-majority high school." Seriously, check this out ~
http://www.racewire.org/archives/2010/04...

How does this happen? In part, as the writer points out "In the last fifteen years, changing demographic trends and housing shifts have forced schools to rework school assignment plans. Meanwhile, lower courts have been systematically dismantling both voluntary and mandated desegregation programs like busing. In 2007 the Supreme Court struck down school districts' attempts at desegregation because it took race too much into account." Yes, even the Court is struggling with how to interpret their previous ruling.

Brown is one example of how landmark decisions made by one court impact the lives of us all for generations to come. And there are still questions and challenges and reshaping. What of the 2007 Supreme Court decision striking down enrollment plans which "relied too heavily on race in violation of the mandate that all Americans be treated equally regardless of skin color or ethnicity." How do we reconcile this when the Court is still struggling with the issue?

Brown is one of the landmark Supreme Court cases that should and likely will be studied for years to come. It is a prime case for understanding how the Court interprets and applies complex constitutional questions.


message 3: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION
(part I) from wikipedia

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students and denying black children equal educational opportunities unconstitutional. The decision overturned earlier rulings going back to Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." As a result, de jure racial segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This victory paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement.

Background
For much of the ninety years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the U.S. had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were "equal," segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment ("no State shall... deny to any person... the equal protection of the laws.").

The plaintiffs in Brown asserted that this system of racial separation, while masquerading as providing separate but equal treatment of both white and black Americans, instead perpetuated inferior accommodations, services, and treatment for black Americans. Racial segregation in education varied widely from the 17 states that required racial segregation to the 16 that prohibited it. Brown was influenced by UNESCO's 1950 Statement, signed by a wide variety of internationally renowned scholars, titled The Race Question. This declaration denounced previous attempts at scientifically justifying racism as well as morally condemning racism. Another work that the Supreme Court cited was Gunnar Myrdal's An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944). Myrdal had been a signatory of the UNESCO declaration. The research performed by the educational psychologists Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark also influenced the Court's decision. The Clarks' "doll test" studies presented substantial arguments to the Supreme Court about how segregation had an impact on black schoolchildren's mental status.

Brown v. Board of Education
In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs were thirteen Topeka parents on behalf of their twenty children.

The suit called for the school district to reverse its policy of racial segregation. Separate elementary schools were operated by the Topeka Board of Education under an 1879 Kansas law, which permitted (but did not require) districts to maintain separate elementary school facilities for black and white students in twelve communities with populations over 15,000. The plaintiffs had been recruited by the leadership of the Topeka NAACP. Notable among the Topeka NAACP leaders were the chairman McKinley Burnett; Charles Scott, one of three serving as legal counsel for the chapter; and Lucinda Todd.

The named plaintiff, Oliver L. Brown, was a parent, a welder in the shops of the Santa Fe Railroad, an assistant pastor at his local church, and an African American. He was convinced to join the lawsuit by Scott, a childhood friend. Brown's daughter Linda, a third grader, had to walk six blocks to her school bus stop to ride to Monroe Elementary, her segregated black school one mile (1.6 km) away, while Sumner Elementary, a white school, was seven blocks from her house.

As directed by the NAACP leadership, the parents each attempted to enroll their children in the closest neighborhood school in the fall of 1951. They were each refused enrollment and directed to the segregated schools. Linda Brown Thompson later recalled the experience in a 2004 PBS documentary:

. . . well. like I say, we lived in an integrated neighborhood and I had all of these playmates of different nationalities. And so when I found out that day that I might be able to go to their school, I was just thrilled, you know. And I remember walking over to Sumner school with my dad that day and going up the steps of the school and the school looked so big to a smaller child. And I remember going inside and my dad spoke with someone and then he went into the inner office with the principal and they left me out . . . to sit outside with the secretary. And while he was in the inner office, I could hear voices and hear his voice raised, you know, as the conversation went on. And then he immediately came out of the office, took me by the hand and we walked home from the school. I just couldn't understand what was happening because I was so sure that I was going to go to school with Mona and Guinevere, Wanda, and all of my playmates.

The Kansas case, "Oliver Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas," was named after Oliver Brown as a legal strategy to have a man at the head of the roster. Also, it was felt by lawyers with the National Chapter of the NAACP, that having Mr. Brown at the head of the roster would be better received by the U.S. Supreme Court Justices because Mr. Brown had an intact, complete family, as opposed to someone who was a single parent head of household. The thirteen plaintiffs were: Oliver Brown, Darlene Brown, Lena Carper, Sadie Emmanuel, Marguerite Emerson, Shirley Fleming, Zelma Henderson, Shirley Hodison, Maude Lawton, Alma Lewis, Iona Richardson, and Lucinda Todd. The last surviving plaintiff, Zelma Henderson, died in Topeka, on May 20, 2008, at the age of 88.

The District Court ruled in favor of the Board of Education, citing the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896), which had upheld a state law requiring "separate but equal" segregated facilities for blacks and whites in railway cars. The three-judge District Court panel found that segregation in public education has a detrimental effect upon negro children, but denied relief on the ground that the negro and white schools in Topeka were substantially equal with respect to buildings, transportation, curricular, and educational qualifications of teachers.

Supreme Court review
The case of Brown v. Board of Education as heard before the Supreme Court combined five cases: Brown itself, Briggs v. Elliott (filed in South Carolina), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (filed in Virginia), Gebhart v. Belton (filed in Delaware), and Bolling v. Sharpe (filed in Washington D.C.).

All were NAACP-sponsored cases. The Davis case, the only case of the five originating from a student protest, began when sixteen-year-old Barbara Rose Johns organized and led a 450-student walkout of Moton High School.

The Kansas case was unique among the group in that there was no contention of gross inferiority of the segregated schools' physical plant, curriculum, or staff. The district court found substantial equality as to all such factors. The Delaware case was unique in that the District Court judge in Gebhart ordered that the black students be admitted to the white high school due to the substantial harm of segregation and the differences that made the schools separate but not equal. The NAACP's chief counsel, Thurgood Marshall—who was later appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967—argued the case before the Supreme Court for the plaintiffs. Assistant attorney general Paul Wilson—later distinguished emeritus professor of law at the University of Kansas—conducted the state's ambivalent defense in his first appellate trial.

Unanimous opinion and key holding
Conference notes and draft decisions illustrate the division of opinions before the decision was issued. Justices Douglas, Black, Burton, and Minton were predisposed to overturn Plessy. Fred M. Vinson noted that Congress had not issued desegregation legislation; Stanley F. Reed discussed incomplete assimilation and states' rights and was inclined to the view that segregation worked to the benefit of the African-American community; Tom C. Clark wrote that "we had led the states on to think segregation is OK and we should let them work it out." Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson disapproved of segregation, but were also opposed to judicial activism and expressed concerns about the proposed decision's enforceability. After Vinson died in September 1953, President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice. Warren had supported the integration of Mexican-American students in California school systems following Mendez v. Westminster.

The justices in support of desegregation spent much effort convincing those who initially dissented to join an unanimous opinion. Even though the legal effect would be same for a majority versus unanimous decision, it was felt that it was vital to not have a dissent which could be relied upon by opponents of desegregation as a legitimizing counterargument. The efforts succeeded and the decision was indeed a unanimous 9-0 opinion.

The key holding of the Court was that, even if segregated black and white schools were of equal quality in facilities and teachers, segregation by itself was harmful to black students and unconstitutional. They found that a significant psychological and social disadvantage was given to black children from the nature of segregation itself. This aspect was vital because the question was not whether the schools were "equal", which under Plessy they nominally should have been, but whether the doctrine of separate was constitutional. The justices answered with a strong "no":

Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does...

Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law, for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to [retard:] the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racial[ly:] integrated school system...

We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation complained of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.


message 4: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION
(part II) from wikipedia

Local outcomes
The Topeka middle schools had been integrated since 1941. Topeka High School was integrated from its inception in 1871 and its sports teams from 1949 on. The Kansas law permitting segregated schools allowed them only "below the high school level."

Soon after the district court decision, election outcomes and the political climate in Topeka changed. The Board of Education of Topeka began to end segregation in the Topeka elementary schools in August 1953, integrating two attendance districts. All the Topeka elementary schools were changed to neighborhood attendance centers in January 1956, although existing students were allowed to continue attending their prior assigned schools at their option. Plaintiff Zelma Henderson, in a 2004 interview, recalled that no demonstrations or tumult accompanied desegregation in Topeka's schools:

"They accepted it," she said. "It wasn't too long until they integrated the teachers and principals."
The Topeka Public Schools administration building is named in honor of McKinley Burnett, NAACP chapter president who organized the case.

Monroe Elementary was designated a U.S. National Historic Site unit of the National Park Service on October 26, 1992.

Social implications
Not everyone accepted the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In Virginia, Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. organized the Massive Resistance movement that included the closing of schools rather than desegregating them. See, for example, The Southern Manifesto. For more implications of the Brown decision, see Desegregation.

In 1957, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out his state's National Guard to block black students' entry to Little Rock High School. President Dwight Eisenhower responded by deploying elements of the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Arkansas and by federalizing Faubus' National Guard.

Also in 1957, Florida's response was mixed. Its legislature passed an Interposition Resolution denouncing the decision and declaring it null and void. But Florida Governor Thomas LeRoy Collins, though joining in the protest against the court decision, refused to sign it arguing that the attempt to overturn the ruling must be done in legal methods.

In 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace personally blocked the door to Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent the enrollment of two black students. This became the infamous Stand in the Schoolhouse Door where Wallace personally backed his "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" policy that he had stated in his 1963 inaugural address. He moved aside only when confronted General Henry Graham of the Alabama National Guard, who was ordered by President John F. Kennedy to intervene.

Backlash and scientific racism
See also: Scientific racism
The intellectual roots of Plessy v. Ferguson, the landmark United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of racial segregation in 1896 under the doctrine of "separate but equal" were, in part, tied to the scientific racism of the era. However, the popular support for the decision was more likely a result of the racist beliefs held by many whites at the time. In deciding Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court rejected the ideas of scientific racists about the need for segregation, especially in schools. The Court buttressed its holding by citing social science research about the harms to black children caused by segregated schools.

Both scholarly and popular ideas of scientific racism played an important role in the attack and backlash that followed the Brown decision. The Mankind Quarterly is a journal that has published scientific racism. It was founded in 1960, in part in response to the Brown decision. Many of the publication's contributors, publishers, and Board of Directors espouse academic hereditarianism. The publication is widely criticized for its extremist politics, antisemitic bent and its support for scientific racism.


message 5: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION
(part III) from wikipedia

Legal criticism and praise
William Rehnquist wrote a memo titled "A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases" when he was a law clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson in 1952, during early deliberations that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In his memo, Rehnquist argued: "I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by 'liberal' colleagues but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed." Rehnquist continued, "To the argument . . . that a majority may not deprive a minority of its constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minorities are." Rehnquist also argued for Plessy with other law clerks. However, during his 1971 confirmation hearings, Rehnquist said, "I believe that the memorandum was prepared by me as a statement of Justice Jackson's tentative views for his own use." Justice Jackson had initially planned to join a dissent in Brown. Later, at his 1986 hearings for the slot of Chief Justice, Rehnquist put further distance between himself and the 1952 memo: "The bald statement that Plessy was right and should be reaffirmed, was not an accurate reflection of my own views at the time." In any event, while serving on the Supreme Court, Rehnquist made no effort to reverse or undermine the Brown decision, and frequently relied upon it as precedent.

Some aspects of the Brown decision are still debated. Notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, himself an African American, wrote in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995) that at the very least, Brown I has been misunderstood by the courts.

Brown I did not say that "racially isolated" schools were inherently inferior; the harm that it identified was tied purely to de jure segregation, not de facto segregation. Indeed, Brown I itself did not need to rely upon any psychological or social-science research in order to announce the simple, yet fundamental truth that the Government cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race. . . .
Segregation was not unconstitutional because it might have caused psychological feelings of inferiority. Public school systems that separated blacks and provided them with superior educational resources making blacks "feel" superior to whites sent to lesser schools—would violate the Fourteenth Amendment, whether or not the white students felt stigmatized, just as do school systems in which the positions of the races are reversed. Psychological injury or benefit is irrelevant. . . .
Given that desegregation has not produced the predicted leaps forward in black educational achievement, there is no reason to think that black students cannot learn as well when surrounded by members of their own race as when they are in an integrated environment. (. . .) Because of their "distinctive histories and traditions," black schools can function as the center and symbol of black communities, and provide examples of independent black leadership, success, and achievement.

Some Constitutional originalists, notably Raoul Berger in his influential 1977 book "Government by Judiciary," make the case that Brown cannot be defended by reference to the original understanding of the 14th Amendment. They support this reading of the 14th amendment by noting that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 did not ban segregated schools. Other originalists, including Michael W. McConnell, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in his article "Originalism and the Desegregation Decisions," argue that the Radical Reconstructionists who spearheaded the 14th Amendment were in favor of desegregated southern schools.

The case also has attracted some criticism from more liberal authors, including some who say that Chief Justice Warren's reliance on psychological criteria to find a harm against segregated blacks was unnecessary. For example, Drew S. Days has written: "we have developed criteria for evaluating the constitutionality of racial classifications that do not depend upon findings of psychic harm or social science evidence. They are based rather on the principle that 'distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality,' Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943). . . ."

In his book "The Tempting of America" (page 82), Robert Bork endorsed the Brown decision as follows:

By 1954, when Brown came up for decision, it had been apparent for some time that segregation rarely if ever produced equality. Quite aside from any question of psychology, the physical facilities provided for blacks were not as good as those provided for whites. That had been demonstrated in a long series of cases . . . The Court's realistic choice, therefore, was either to abandon the quest for equality by allowing segregation or to forbid segregation in order to achieve equality. There was no third choice. Either choice would violate one aspect of the original understanding, but there was no possibility of avoiding that. Since equality and segregation were mutually inconsistent, though the ratifiers did not understand that, both could not be honored. When that is seen, it is obvious the Court must choose equality and prohibit state-imposed segregation. The purpose that brought the fourteenth amendment into being was equality before the law, and equality, not separation, was written into the law.

In June 1987, Philip Elman, a civil rights attorney who served associate in the Solicitor General's office during Harry Truman's term, claimed he and Felix Frankfurter were mostly responsible for the Supreme Court's decision, and stated that the NAACP's arguments did not present strong evidence. Elman has been criticized for offering a self-aggrandizing history of the case, omitting important facts, and denigrating the work of civil rights attorneys who had laid the groundwork for the decision over many decades. Public officials in the United States today are nearly unanimous in lauding the ruling. In May 2004, the fiftieth anniversary of the ruling, President George W. Bush spoke at the opening of the "Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site", calling Brown "a decision that changed America for the better, and forever." Most Senators and Representatives issued press releases hailing the ruling.

Brown II
See also: Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County
In 1955, the Supreme Court considered arguments by the schools requesting relief concerning the task of desegregation. In their decision which became known as "Brown II" the court delegated the task of carrying out school desegregation to district courts with orders that desegregation occur "with all deliberate speed," a phrase traceable to Francis Thompson's poem, The Hound of Heaven.

Supporters of the earlier decision were displeased with this decision. The language “all deliberate speed” was seen by critics as too ambiguous to ensure reasonable haste for compliance with the court's instruction. Many Southern states and school districts interpreted "Brown II" as legal justification for resisting, delaying, and avoiding significant integration for years—and in some cases for a decade or more—using such tactics as closing down school systems, using state money to finance segregated "private" schools, and "token" integration where a few carefully selected black children were admitted to former white-only schools but the vast majority remained in underfunded, unequal black schools.

For example, based on "Brown II," the U.S. District Court ruled that Prince Edward County, Virginia did not have to desegregate immediately. When another court case in 1959 ruled that the county's schools finally had to desegregate, the county board of supervisors stopped appropriating money for public schools which remained closed for five years, from 1959 to 1964. White students in the county were given assistance to attend white-only "private academies" that were taught by teachers formerly employed by the public school system, while black students had no education at all unless they moved out of the county.

Brown III
In 1978, Topeka attorneys Richard Jones, Joseph Johnson and Charles Scott Jr. (son of the original Brown team member), with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, persuaded Linda Brown Smith—who now had her own children in Topeka schools—to be a plaintiff in reopening Brown. They were concerned that the Topeka Public Schools' policy of "open enrollment" had led to and would lead to further segregation. They also believed that with a choice of open enrollment, white parents would shift their children to "preferred" schools that would create both predominantly African American and predominantly European American schools within the district. The district court reopened the Brown case after a 25-year hiatus, but denied the plaintiffs' request finding the schools "unitary". In 1989, a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit on 2–1 vote found that the vestiges of segregation remained with respect to student and staff assignment. In 1993, the Supreme Court denied the appellant School District's request for certiorari and returned the case to District Court Judge Richard Rodgers for implementation of the Tenth Circuit's mandate.

After a 1994 plan was approved and a bond issue passed, additional elementary magnet schools were opened and district attendance plans redrawn, which resulted in the Topeka schools meeting court standards of racial balance by 1998. Unified status was eventually granted to Topeka Unified School District #501 on July 27, 1999. One of the new magnet schools is named after the Scott family attorneys for their role in the Brown case and civil rights.

books cited in this section:
Government by Judiciary The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment by Raoul Berger byRaoul Berger
The Tempting of America by Robert H. Bork by Robert H. Bork


message 6: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION
(part IV) from wikipedia

Common misconceptions
The most common misconception about Brown v. Board of Education is that the case is solely about Linda Brown and whether she should or should not be able to attend the school nearest her home. In fact, Brown was a consolidation of five different cases, from four states, all of which dealt with the same issue. (A similar case from the District of Columbia was handled separately.) Linda Brown was merely the "poster child," as it were, for some 200 plaintiffs altogether. A dozen attorneys and countless community activists were involved in effort to eliminate "de jure" racial segregation in the public schools.

The second most common misconception is that the case talks about the hardship that affected Linda Brown because she was not able to attend her local school, because it was for white children only. In fact, the case discusses the hardships collectively faced by all of the children concerned. It also focuses a lot of attention on the psychological well-being of the children in reference to the segregation of schools.
It is sometimes thought that Oliver Brown was the named plaintiff in the consolidated cases because he was alphabetically first in the list. In fact Darlene Brown, another plaintiff, (no relation to Oliver Brown) would have been the named plaintiff if that had actually been the case.

It is also frequently thought that Brown was the first legal challenge to racially segregated schools in the United States. In fact, it was the eleventh case to challenge the 1879 Kansas law, and the third case from Topeka.


message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Brown became the law of the land, but the struggle to achieve desegregation in education has not been without its challenges. A few books on the topic:

Brown in Baltimore School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism by Howell Baum by Howell Baum
In the first book to present the history of Baltimore school desegregation, Howell S. Baum shows how good intentions got stuck on what Gunnar Myrdal called the 'American Dilemma.' Immediately after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the city's liberal school board voted to desegregate and adopted a free choice policy that made integration voluntary. Baltimore's school desegregation proceeded peacefully, without the resistance or violence that occurred elsewhere. However, few whites chose to attend school with blacks, and after a few years of modest desegregation, schools resegregated and became increasingly segregated. The school board never changed its policy. Black leaders had urged the board to adopt free choice and, despite the limited desegregation, continued to support the policy and never sued the board to do anything else.

Baum finds that American liberalism is the key to explaining how this happened. Myrdal observed that many whites believed in equality in the abstract but considered blacks inferior and treated them unequally. School officials were classical liberals who saw the world in terms of individuals, not races. They adopted a desegregation policy that explicitly ignored students' race and asserted that all students were equal in freedom to choose schools, while their policy let whites who disliked blacks avoid integration. School officials' liberal thinking hindered them from understanding or talking about the city's history of racial segregation, continuing barriers to desegregation, and realistic change strategies. From the classroom to city hall, Baum examines how Baltimore's distinct identity as a border city between North and South shaped local conversations about the national conflict over race and equality. The city's history of wrestling with the legacy of Brown reveals Americans' preferred way of dealing with racial issues: not talking about race. This avoidance, Baum concludes, allows segregation to continue.

The Moderates' Dilemma Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia by Matthew D. Lassiter by Matthew D. Lassiter
In 1958, facing court-ordered integration, Virginia governor J. Lindsay Almond Jr. closed public schools in three cities, one of the first instances of the "massive resistance" embraced by conservative southern politicians in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. This action provoked not only the NAACP but also large numbers of white middle-class Virginians who quickly organized to protest the school closings. Confronted with the dilemma of accepting desegregation or the ruination of public education, these white moderates finally coalesced into a formidable political coalition that defeated the massive resistance forces in 1959.

September 1998 marks the fortieth anniversary of the public school closings. In The Moderates' Dilemma, Matthew D. Lassiter and Andrew B. Lewis have compiled six essays that explore this contentious period in Virginia history. The moderate revolt against massive resistance helped to save public schools and reshaped the political balance of power in the state, the editors argue, but it also delayed substantial school desegregation, as moderate Virginians became reconciled to the end of Jim Crow out of self-interest rather than a deep commitment to the need for equal education opportunity for all.


message 8: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Another book on Brown and the central figures involved:

Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation
Root and Branch Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation by Rawn James Jr. by Rawn James Jr.
Synopsis
The riveting story of the two crusading lawyers who led the legal battle to end segregation, one case and one courtroom at a time.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education is widely considered a seminal point in the battle to end segregation, but it was in fact the culmination of a decades-long legal campaign. Root and Branch is the epic story of the two fiercely dedicated lawyers who led the fight from county courthouses to the marble halls of the Supreme Court, and, in the process, laid the legal foundations of the civil rights movement.

Charles Hamilton Houston was the pioneer: After becoming the first African-American on the Harvard Law Review , he transformed the law school at all-black Howard University into a West Point for civil rights advocacy.

One of Houston’s students at Howard was a brash young man named Thurgood Marshall. Soon after Marshall’s graduation, Houston and Marshall opened the NAACP’s legal office. The abstemious, proper Houston and the folksy, easygoing Marshall made an unlikely duo, but together they faced down angry Southern mobs, negotiated with presidents and senators, and convinced even racist judges and juries that the Constitution demanded equal justice under law for all American citizens.

Houston, tragically, would die before his strategy came to fruition in the Brown suit, but Marshall would argue the case victoriously and go on to become the first African-American Supreme Court justice—always crediting his mentor for teaching him everything he knew. Together, the two advocates changed the course of American history.


message 9: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Hindsight is 20/20 and this book looks at Brown vs Board of Education in the context of the modern day and the effects of that momentous decision.

What Brown vs. Board of Education Should Have Said

What Brown vs. Board of Education Should Have Said The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision by Jack Balkin by Jack Balkin

Synopsis
"Brown v. Board of Education," the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision ordering the desegregation of America's public schools, is perhaps the most famous case in American constitutional law. Criticized and even openly defied when first handed down, in half a century Brown has become a venerated symbol of equality and civil rights.

Its meaning, however, remains as contested as the case is celebrated. In the decades since the original decision, constitutional interpreters of all stripes have found within it different meanings. Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action have claimed the mantle of Brown, criticizing the other side for betraying its spirit. Meanwhile, the opinion itself has often been criticized as bland and uninspiring, carefully written to avoid controversy and maintain unanimity among the Justices.
In this volume, nine of America's top constitutional and civil rights experts have been challenged to rewrite the Brown decision as they would like it to have been written, incorporating what they now know about the subsequent history of the United States but making use of only those sources available at the time of the original decision. In addition, Jack Balkin gives a detailed introduction to the case, chronicling the history of the litigation in Brown, and explaining the current debates over its legacy.

Contributors include: Bruce Ackerman, Jack M Balkin, Derrick A. Bell, Drew S. Days, John Hart Ely, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Michael W. McConnell, Frank I Michelman, and Cass R. Sunstein.


message 10: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Thanks Jill.


message 11: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Criticizing Brown for being written so as to achieve unanimity is, in my view, rather silly. It was very deliberately crafted that way. There was, at the time, a very real possibility of revolt in the south. There could easily have been armed conflict between southern state troops and police and the federal government. The unanimity was pursued in order to lessen that threat.

I hope that angle was covered in the book.


message 12: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Good point, Peter. It is easier for scholars to write a book in hindsight of events that occurred after Brown vs...... went into effect. There was mention of Southern reaction accompanied by the use of troops which was a real threat at the time. This book is almost an "alternative" history of the decision since it is based on what we know now, not what we knew then. The country was on the verge of armed revolt by the deep South, as indicated by this picture of Governor George Wallace.




message 13: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Brown V. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy

Brown V. Board of Education A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy by James T. Patterson by James T. Patterson James T. Patterson

Synopsis
2004 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's unanimous decision to end segregation in public schools. Many people were elated when Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in May 1954, the ruling that struck down state-sponsored racial segregation in America's public schools. Thurgood Marshall, chief attorney for the black families that launched the litigation, exclaimed later, "I was so happy, I was numb." The novelist Ralph Ellison wrote, "another battle of the Civil War has been won. The rest is up to us and I'm very glad. What a wonderful world of possibilities are unfolded for the children!"
Here, in a concise, moving narrative, Bancroft Prize-winning historian James T. Patterson takes readers through the dramatic case and its fifty-year aftermath. A wide range of characters animates the story, from the little-known African Americans who dared to challenge Jim Crow with lawsuits (at great personal cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later became a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured Court to a unanimous decision. Others include segregationist politicians like Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas; Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon; and controversial Supreme Court justices such as William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas.
Most Americans still see Brown as a triumph--but was it? Patterson shrewdly explores the provocative questions that still swirl around the case. Could the Court--or President Eisenhower--have done more to ensure compliance with Brown? Did the decision touch off the modern civil rights movement? How useful are court-ordered busing and affirmative action against racial segregation? To what extent has racial mixing affected the academic achievement of black children? Where indeed do we go from here to realize the expectations of Marshall, Ellison, and others in 1954?


message 14: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom Eisenhower surely have done more; as for the court, one key word is "deliberate" as in "with all deliberate speed" - a word subject to all sorts of interpretations. Had the Court specified a timetable, or said "all possible speed" - well, things would have been different. But would there have been armed revolt or, at least, armed conflict between federal and state troops?

Let us not forget that, in 1968 (well after Brown) George Wallace won the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia running as a third party candidate. Nor should we forget Orval Faubus in Little Rock, ordering the Arkansas national guard to prevent integration.


message 15: by Alisa (last edited Mar 09, 2013 03:51PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) The Brown decision was really a beginning and not an end of the journey. Hard to say that desegregation would have happened any quicker or gone differently with different wording in the opinion. I tend to think if the court had set a timetable it just would have resulted in more litigation and not necessarily more action. Landmark rulings like this certainly change the course of action, but the controversy of these things doesn't go away and there will always be some who resist and rebel regardless.


message 16: by James (last edited Mar 10, 2013 06:45AM) (new)

James (jbgusa) | 54 comments Peter wrote: "Peter Flom | 261 comments Eisenhower surely have done more; as for the court, one key word is "deliberate" as in "with all deliberate speed" - a word subject to all sorts of interpretations. Had the Court specified a timetable, or said "all possible speed" - well, things would have been different. But would there have been armed revolt or, at least, armed conflict between federal and state troops?

There were and remain serious practical issues such as how you mix people with then non-equal training and background.

Peter wrote:
Let us not forget that, in 1968 (well after Brown) George Wallace won the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia running as a third party candidate. Nor should we forget Orval Faubus in Little Rock, ordering the Arkansas national guard to prevent integration. "


I certainly favor race-blind policies, but let us remember the South was deeply impoverished at the time. It was easy for the civil rights movement to target an area that law not "lawyered up" and did not have the resources to fight. No one has successfully "integrated" places such as Shaker Heights, Scarsdale and the like.


message 17: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom The integration of different areas is certainly interesting.

Of course, it's true that there are many wealthy neighborhoods that are all-White or virtually so. But there are some wealthy areas that are somewhat integrated. Take, e.g. my neighborhood: the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It's mostly White, certainly. But lots of other ethnic groups live here. For instance, the people across the hall are Latino.

Because of the nature of NYC, many apartment buildings have lists of names by the front door, with buzzers. I know that going by name is a far-from-perfect basis for assigning ethnicity, but there are some interesting sets of names!

Recently, a friend of mine who has lived in both the deep south and NYC quoted someone who said that there are fundamental differences in northern and southern racism: In the south, Blacks are permitted to get close but not high; in the north, they are permitted to get high but not close.

This is certainly an interesting theory: I wonder, though: Are there more inter-racial couples in NYC or Alabama (or, for that matter, Shaker Heights)?

(As an aside, is this the right thread for this discussion, which is getting a bit far from Brown?)


message 18: by G (new)

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments I had to study this case in graduate school in the 1980's, and the point that I remember best, was that this was a step forward from Plessy v Ferguson (separate but equal). And that the unanimous decision was a recognition that equality under the constitution meant just that. The ramifications of the decision was not within the Supreme's jurisdiction.

As a side note, I think it is interesting that Rehnquist, when he was a clerk, opined that Plessy v. Ferguson should stand because it is the responsibility of the majority to determine the constitutional rights of the minority. And he was appointed by Reagan. Fascinating history trail.


message 19: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) James I'm not sure I understand your "lawyered up" statement. The civil rights movement was not a well funded team, to the contrary. They took on big issues to be sure but the primary goal was a long and enduring quest for equality and basic freedoms which were denied to people based on race. Brown dealt with education and the premise of the argument was that 'separate but equal' in access to public education violated the equal protection clause of the constitution. Access to education was the immediate issue but striking down separate but equal was a huge change when applied to other access to basic public facilities and other fundamental rights.

It was not as if the civil rights lawyers were looking for the path of least resistance by choosing this or any other issue. This was one of many important issues however that sparked a series of the battle for more reform. Civil rights cases evolve over time, and a court ruling may pass judgement on constitutionality, the fact of a ruling does not instantly change how people live their lives.

Racism rears its head in many different ways. It is an oversimplification and dangerous when we start categorizing the beliefs of one group toward another.

Brown is a great case to study because there are so many factors at come into play and for the pivotal impact it had to this day. There are lots of books on this thread that would be a good place to start.


message 20: by James (new)

James (jbgusa) | 54 comments Alisa wrote: "James I'm not sure I understand your "lawyered up" statement.


It was not as if the civil rights lawyers were looking for the path of least resistance by choosing this or any other issue. This was one of many important issues however that sparked a series of the battle for more reform."


I am always concerned that it was easy for Northern, affluent whites to pontificate about the evils of Southern bigotry while doing little or nothing to include minorities in their own activities. The law firm of which I am part was the only firm in my county, for example, to have a minority partner in any decision-making capacity.

I believe that many "liberal" whites deep down don't want to take instruction from minorities.


message 21: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Well we are not here to ascribe beliefs to others, we can only speak for ourselves, and this is not the forum for that conversation.

Regardless let's turn the discussion back to the decision in Brown.


message 22: by Alisa (last edited Aug 19, 2013 12:02PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality

Simple Justice The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality by Richard Kluger by Richard Kluger

Synopsis:

Simple Justice is the definitive history of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education and the epic struggle for racial equality in this country. Combining intensive research with original interviews with surviving participants, Richard Kluger provides the fullest possible view of the human and legal drama in the years before 1954, the cumulative assaults on the white power structure that defended segregation, and the step-by-step establishment of a team of inspired black lawyers that could successfully challenge the law. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of the unanimous Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation, Kluger has updated his work with a new final chapter covering events and issues that have arisen since the book was first published, including developments in civil rights and recent cases involving affirmative action, which rose directly out of Brown v. Board of Education.


message 23: by Alisa (last edited Aug 19, 2013 12:03PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Brown v. Board of Education: A Brief History with Documents

Brown v. Board of Education A Brief History with Documents by Waldo E. Martin Jr. by Waldo E. Martin Jr.

Synopsis:

This book addresses the origins, development, meanings, and consequences of the 1954 Supreme Court decision to end Jim Crow segregation. Using legal documents to frame the debates surrounding the case, Waldo Martin presents Brown v. Board of Education as an event, a symbol, and a key marker in the black liberation struggle.


message 24: by Alisa (last edited Aug 19, 2013 12:02PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Jim Crow's Children: The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision

Jim Crow's Children The Broken Promise of the Brown Decision by Peter H. Irons by Peter H. Irons

Synopsis:

In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court sounded the death knell for school segregation with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. So goes the conventional wisdom. Weaving together vivid portraits of lawyers and such judges as Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren, sketches of numerous black children throughout history whose parents joined lawsuits against Jim Crow schools, and gripping courtroom drama scenes, Irons shows how the erosion of the Brown decision—especially by the Court’s rulings over the past three decades—has led to the “resegregation” of public education in America.


message 25: by Alisa (last edited Aug 19, 2013 12:02PM) (new)

Alisa (mstaz) Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race: How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown

Reconsidering Roosevelt on Race How the Presidency Paved the Road to Brown by Kevin J. McMahon by Kevin J. McMahon (no photo)

Synopsis:

Many have questioned FDR's record on race, suggesting that he had the opportunity but not the will to advance the civil rights of African Americans. Kevin J. McMahon challenges this view, arguing instead that Roosevelt's administration played a crucial role in the Supreme Court's increasing commitment to racial equality—which culminated in its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

McMahon shows how FDR's attempt to strengthen the presidency and undermine the power of conservative Southern Democrats dovetailed with his efforts to seek racial equality through the federal courts. By appointing a majority of rights-based liberals deferential to presidential power, Roosevelt ensured that the Supreme Court would be receptive to civil rights claims, especially when those claims had the support of the executive branch.


message 26: by Kressel (new)

Kressel Housman | 917 comments I didn't know where else to put this, but it's a book on segregated schools some 20 years before Brown. Not all of them were bad:

You Need a Schoolhouse Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South by Stephanie Deutsch by Stephanie Deutsch (no photo)


message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) A personal memoir of a teacher who was involved with the first integrated schools in Virginia.

A Turning Point; School Integration

A Turning Point School Integration by Lucy Spigel Herman by Lucy Spigel Herman (no photo)

Synopsis:

Turning Point: School Integration is a personal account of Dr. Lucy Herman's experiences as a teacher and as an Instructional Leader during the integration of the public elementary schools in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Herman taught during the initial period of integration and busing, in both "white" schools and "black" schools, and she tells stories about the children and teachers from these schools. Dr. Herman had to handle a dearth of equipment and books, lackadaisical and unprepared teachers, students who were underprepared, hungry, belligerent, and racist. However, to combat these problems, Dr. Herman had interested, vibrant and intelligent faculty, students who couldn't see color, and teachers and staff who loved the students devotedly. A Turning Point: School Integration shows how all these different factors gelled or deteriorated to make extraordinarily memorable years for Dr. Herman: She gives us snapshots into the daily routines of integrated public schools as she interweaves personal vignettes with intelligent commentary throughout the memoir. The book provides a rare insight into a time not often examined as honestly as Dr. Herman chooses to do.


message 28: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4375 comments Mod
Brown V. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement


Brown V. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement by Michael J. Klarman by Michael J. Klarman (no photo)

Synopsis:

A splendid account of the Supreme Court's rulings on race in the first half of the twentieth century, From Jim Crow To Civil Rights earned rave reviews and won the Bancroft Prize for History in 2005. Now, in this marvelously abridged, paperback edition, Michael J. Klarman has compressed his acclaimed study into tight focus around one major case-Brown V. Board of Education making the path-breaking arguments of his original work accessible to a broader audience of general readers and students.

In this revised and condensed edition, Klarman illuminates the impact of the momentous Brown V. Board of Education ruling. He offers a richer, more complex understanding of this pivotal decision, going behind the scenes to examine the justices' deliberations and reconstruct why they found the case so difficult to decide. He recaps his famous backlash thesis, arguing that was more important for mobilizing southern white opposition to change than for encouraging civil rights protest, and that it was only the resulting violence that transformed northern opinion and led to the landmark legislation of the 1960s.

Klarman also sheds light on broader questions such as how judges decide cases; how much they are influenced by legal, political, and personal considerations; the relationship between Supreme Court decisions and social change; and finally, how much Court decisions simply reflect societal values and how much they shape those values. Brown V. Board of Education was one of the most important decisions in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Klarman's brilliant analysis of this landmark case illuminates the course of American race relations as it highlights the relationship between law and social reform.


message 29: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World

28 Days Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. by Charles R. Smith Jr. Charles R. Smith Jr.

Synopsis:

Each day features a different influential figure in African-American history, from Crispus Attucks, the first man shot in the Boston Massacre, sparking the Revolutionary War, to Madame C. J. Walker, who after years of adversity became the wealthiest black woman in the country, as well as one of the wealthiest black Americans, to Barack Obama, the country's first African-American president.

With powerful illustrations by Shane Evans, this is a completely unique look at the importance and influence of
African Americans on the history of this country.


message 30: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka

School Integration Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka by Rebecca T. Klein by Rebecca T. Klein (no photo)

Synopsis:

The landmark Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case of 1954 was a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Striking down the toxic separate but equal doctrine that had long been upheld in the United States and calling for the desegregation of schools, the decision was a major step towards racial equality in the country. Readers will learn about this historic case, from its prelude to its aftermath and its ongoing significance in the present day. They will also be introduced to the individual actors courageous enough to stand up to racial injustice in the school system.


message 31: by Francie (new)

Francie Grice Prisoners of Hope: Lyndon B. Johnson, the Great Society, and the Limits of Liberalism

Upcoming Book
Release Date April 5, 2016


Prisoners of Hope Lyndon B. Johnson, the Great Society, and the Limits of Liberalism by Randall B. Woods by Randall B. Woods (no photo)

Synopsis:

President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was breathtaking in its scope and dramatic in its impact. Over the course of his time in office, Johnson passed over one thousand pieces of legislation designed to address an extraordinary array of social issues. Poverty and racial injustice were foremost among them, but the Great Society included legislation on issues ranging from health care to immigration to education and environmental protection. But while the Great Society was undeniably ambitious, it was by no means perfect. In Prisoners of Hope, prize-winning historian Randall B. Woods presents the first comprehensive history of the Great Society, exploring both the breathtaking possibilities of visionary politics, as well as its limits.

Soon after becoming president, Johnson achieved major legislative victories with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But he wasn’t prepared for the substantial backlash that ensued. Community Action Programs were painted as dangerously subversive, at worst a forum for minority criminals and at best a conduit through which the federal government and the inner city poor could bypass the existing power structure. Affirmative action was rife with controversy, and the War on Poverty was denounced by conservatives as the cause of civil disorder and disregard for the law. As opposition, first from white conservatives, but then also some liberals and African Americans, mounted, Johnson was forced to make a number of devastating concessions in order to secure the future of the Great Society. Even as many Americans benefited, millions were left disappointed, from suburban whites to the new anti-war left to African Americans. The Johnson administration’s efforts to draw on aspects of the Great Society to build a viable society in South Vietnam ultimately failed, and as the war in Vietnam descended into quagmire, the president’s credibility plummeted even further.

A cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of even well-intentioned policy, Prisoners of Hope offers a nuanced portrait of America’s most ambitious—and controversial—domestic policy agenda since the New Deal.


message 32: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2159 comments Mod
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
347 US 483 (1954)



Decision Date: May 17, 1954

Background: 
In the 1950s segregation laws in many states prohibited African American children and white children from attending the same schools. Linda Brown, an African American girl, could not attend a less-crowded white school a few blocks from her home in Topeka, Kan. Instead, she had to ride a bus across town to attend an African American school. In 1951, Linda Brown’s father and several parents from her school filed suit against the Board of Education of the City of Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. He argued that separate schools were unconstitutional because they violated equal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court ruled in favor of the Board of Education citing the “separate but equal” precedent established by the 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson. The Brown case, along with four other similar segregation cases, was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. Thurgood Marshall, an NAACP attorney, argued the case before the Court.

Decision: 
The Supreme Court first heard arguments for the case in December 1952. Because of its controversial nature and anticipated resistance from southern states, no decision was reached. During the Court’s recess, Chief Justice Vinson died and Chief Justice Warren was appointed. In December 1953, the Court heard the case again and on May 17, 1954, unanimously ruled segregation unconstitutional. The Court said “separate is not equal,” and segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Other:
Link to U.S. Courts podcast:http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal...
Link to NPR podcast: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...
Link to Supreme Court Case Information: https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/...

Facts of the case:
This case was the consolidation of four cases arising in separate states relating to the segregation of public schools on the basis of race. In each of the cases, African American minors had been denied admittance to certain public schools based on laws allowing public education to be segregated by race. They argued that such segregation violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs were denied relief based on the precedent set by Plessy v. Ferguson, which established the “separate but equal” doctrine that stated separate facilities for the races was constitutional as long as the facilities were “substantially equal.” In the case arising from Delaware, the Supreme Court of Delaware ruled that the African American students had to be admitted to the white public schools because of their higher quality facilities.

Question:
Does the segregation of public education based solely on race violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?

Conclusion:

UNANIMOUS DECISION FOR BROWN, ET AL.
MAJORITY OPINION WRITTEN BY CHIEF JUSTICE EARL WARREN

Yes. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the opinion of the unanimous Court. The Supreme Court held that “separate but equal” facilities are inherently unequal and violate the protections of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court also held that the segregation of public education based on race instilled a sense of inferiority that had a hugely detrimental effect on the education and personal growth of African American children.


Earl Warren was appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court upon the death of his predecessor, Fred Vinson, and as oral arguments in Brown were about to begin. © Bettmann/CORBIS


Chief Justice Earl Warren's draft 1954 opinion in the Brown case. Credit: Library of Congress

Discussion Topics:

1. Discuss the arc of history of the fifty years of struggle in civil rights that led to the ultimate decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

2. Discuss the impact of the landmark legislation on public education and the associated struggle for implementation throughout the United States.

Source(s): U.S. Federal Courts, NPR, Oyez


message 33: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2159 comments Mod
10 Things You Should Know About Brown v. Board of Education

By JESSE GREENSPAN May 16, 2014

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racially segregated schools as unconstitutional in its landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Explore 10 illuminating facts about the lead-up to and aftermath of this defining civil rights moment.

1. Over one-third of states segregated their schools by law.
At the time of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, 17 southern and border states, along with the District of Columbia, required their public schools to be racially segregated. An additional four states—Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and Wyoming—permitted local communities to do the same. Although black and white schools were supposed to be “separate but equal” in accordance with the Supreme Court’s 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision, in reality they were anything but. In 1954 southern black schools received only 60 percent of the per-pupil funding as southern white schools, up from 45 percent in 1940. Many southern black schools therefore lacked such basic necessities as cafeterias, libraries, gymnasiums, running water and electricity.

2. Brown v. Board of Education started off as five cases.
In 1950 and 1951, lawsuits were filed in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia on behalf of black elementary school students who attended legally segregated schools. Despite differing somewhat in the details, all alleged a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Dozens of parents signed on as plaintiffs, including Topeka, Kansas, resident Oliver Brown, a welder and World War II veteran who served as an assistant pastor at his local church. When the Supreme Court consolidated the cases in 1952, Brown’s name appeared in the title. This was done on purpose, a Supreme Court justice later explained, “so that the whole question would not smack of being a purely southern one.”


The plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case and their children: (front row) Vicki Henderson, Donald Henderson, Linda Brown, James Emanuel, Nancy Todd, and Katherine Carper; (back row) Zelma Henderson, Oliver Brown, Sadie Emanuel, Lucinda Todd, & Lena Carper. (Credit: Carl Iwasaki/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

3. The lower court cases all ended in defeat.
None of the five lower courts did away with the laws mandating segregated schools. In Kansas, for example, the ruling held that Topeka’s black schools were “substantially” equal enough to meet the Plessy doctrine. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs received some hopeful signs that the outcome would change on appeal. In South Carolina, Judge J. Waties Waring issued a dissenting opinion in which he called segregation in education “an evil that must be eradicated.” In Delaware, the court found that the 11 black children named in the case were entitled to attend the white school in their communities. And in Kansas, the court conceded that segregation had harmful effects.

4. The plaintiffs took great personal risks to be part of the case.
After the lawsuits were filed, a number of plaintiffs lost their jobs, as did members of their families, and other plaintiffs had their credit cut off. The retaliation was arguably most severe in South Carolina, where whites burned down the house and church of a particularly energized plaintiff, the Reverend Joseph A. DeLaine, and reportedly fired gunshots at him one night. DeLaine ended up fleeing the state, never to return. Judge Waring was also forced out. Facing death threats, he retired from the bench in 1952 and moved to New York City.

5. Thurgood Marshall argued the case for the plaintiffs.
The great-grandson of a slave, Thurgood Marshall attended Howard Law School prior to becoming the NAACP’s chief legal counsel. In the field of education, his civil rights cases initially focused on the inequalities between black and white schools. Starting in 1950, however, he moved to dismantle segregation itself. In Brown v. Board of Education—just one of his 32 appearances before the Supreme Court—Marshall opined that state-imposed segregation was inherently discriminatory and emotionally damaging. To bolster his argument, he cited several psychological studies, including one that found black children preferred white to brown-colored dolls. After the High Court ruled in his favor, Marshall declared, “I was so happy, I was numb.” He later became the first black justice on the Supreme Court, serving from 1967 to 1991.


NAACP chief counsel Thurgood Marshall outside the Supreme Court . (Credit: Hank Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Read the remainder of the article at: http://www.history.com/news/10-things...

Other:

Making Civil Rights Law Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 by Mark Tushnet by Mark Tushnet (no photo)

Source: The History Channel


message 34: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2159 comments Mod
SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL
Brown v. Board of Education

The Justices: Coming to a Decision

The Supreme Court agreed to hear Brown v. Board of Education in June 1952. Deciding the case was difficult from the start. Differing social philosophies and temperaments divided the nine justices. Chief Justice Fred Vinson and several others doubted the constitutional authority of the Court to end school segregation. And the justices worried that a decision to integrate schools might be unenforceable.

In September 1953 Vinson died, and President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren as chief justice. His leadership in producing a unanimous decision to overturn Plessy changed the course of American history.


Vinson court. The Supreme Court members at the beginning of the Brown case. Front row, left to right: Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, Fred Vinson, Stanley Reed, and William O. Douglas. Back row: Tom Clark, Robert Jackson, Harold Burton, and Sherman Minton. (Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States)


Earl Warren. Earl Warren joined the Court in 1953.
(Courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States)


The Court’s Decision

Earl Warren wrote the decision for the Court. He agreed with the civil rights attorneys that it was not clear whether the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment intended to permit segregated public education. The doctrine of separate but equal did not appear until 1896, he noted, and it pertained to transportation, not education.

More importantly, he said, the present was at issue, not the past. Education was perhaps the most vital function of state and local governments, and racial segregation of any kind deprived African Americans of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment and due process under the Fifth Amendment.



Timeline: A Trial for the Court

When the Supreme Court agreed in 1952 to hear the case, Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP at last had arrived at their destination. But the legal struggle, in what many people considered to be the most important case of the 20th century, was anything but quick. The justices recognized the enormous implications of their decision and approached the case cautiously. The battle to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson and to bring down legal segregation took years to unfold.

Link to text: http://americanhistory.si.edu/brown/h...

Other:

Brown V. Board of Education by Diane Telgen by Diane Telgen Diane Telgen
Brown V. Board of Education A Fight for Simple Justice by Susan Goldman Rubin by Susan Goldman Rubin Susan Goldman Rubin

Source: Smithsonian National Museum of American History


message 35: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Doesn't the supreme court in that photo look mightily not diverse. Some real giants among them though


message 36: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 27, 2018 12:52PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Linda Brown, student at the center of landmark Brown v. Board of Education, dead at 75



Linda Brown Thompson, who as a young girl was the student at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education that declared school segregation unconstitutional, has died in Topeka, Kansas. She was 75.

The Peaceful Rest Funeral Chapel in Topeka confirmed it is handling funeral arrangements for Brown.

Born in 1943, Brown was in third grade in 1950 when she was denied admission to an all-white elementary school in her hometown of Topeka. She lived 20 blocks from her segregated school, but just five blocks from the all-white school. Kansas schools at the time were segregated by state law.

Remainder of article and video:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/linda-br...

Source: CBS

(no image) Thurgood Marshalls Arguments Before the U S Supreme Court by Thurgood Marshall Thurgood Marshall

What Brown vs. Board of Education Should Have Said The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision by Jack Balkin by Jack Balkin (no photo)

Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka A Brief History with Documents by Waldo E. Martin Jr. by Waldo E. Martin Jr. (no photo)

Race, Law, and Culture by Austin Sarat by Austin Sarat (no photo)


message 37: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2159 comments Mod
What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision

What Brown V. Board of Education Should Have Said The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Landmark Civil Rights Decision by Jack Balkin by Jack Balkin (no photo)

Synopsis:

Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 decision ordering the desegregation of America's public schools, is perhaps the most famous case in American constitutional law. Criticized and even openly defied when first handed down, in half a century Brown has become a venerated symbol of equality and civil rights. Its meaning, however, remains as contested as the case is celebrated. In the decades since the original decision, constitutional interpreters of all stripes have found within it different meanings. Both supporters and opponents of affirmative action have claimed the mantle of Brown, criticizing the other side for betraying its spirit.

Meanwhile, the opinion itself has often been criticized as bland and uninspiring, carefully written to avoid controversy and maintain unanimity among the Justices. As the 50th anniversary of Brown approaches, America's schools are increasingly divided by race and class. Liberals and conservatives alike harbor profound regrets about the development of race relations since Brown, while disagreeing heatedly about the proper role of the courts in promoting civil equality and civil rights.

In this volume, nine of America's top constitutional and civil rights experts have been challenged to rewrite the Brown decision as they would like it to have been written, incorporating what they now know about the subsequent history of the United States but making use of only those sources available at the time of the original decision.

In addition, Jack Balkin gives a detailed introduction to the case, chronicling the history of the litigation in Brown, and explaining the current debates over its legacy. Contributors include: Bruce Ackerman, Jack M Balkin, Derrick A. Bell, Drew S. Days, John Hart Ely, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Michael W. McConnell, Frank I Michelman, and Cass R. Sunstein.


message 38: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 19, 2019 02:37AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Recovering Untold Stories: An Enduring Legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision
THIS BOOK IS NOT IN GOODREADS



Synopsis:

"Recovering Untold Stories: An Enduring Legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision" captures the first-person narratives of individuals who were plaintiffs or whose families were represented in the five cases consolidated by the United States Supreme Court in an opinion announced on May 17, 1954.

The Court consolidated cases from Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., under the single heading of the Kansas case, commonly known as Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka.

However, the legal citation is Oliver L. Brown, et al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS), et al.

We focused on the “et al.,” pronounced “et-ahl,” which is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “et alia,” meaning “and others.”

The United States judicial system uses this phrase as a reference in class action litigation in place of listing the names of all plaintiffs. In the instance of Brown v. the Board of Education, those four letters relegate several hundred men, women and children to what can be characterized as “legal wasteland,” rendering them largely unknown.

This project uncovers and publishes some of their stories to provide a glimpse into the role of ordinary people who found themselves in the center of an extraordinary historic milestone.

Description

"Recovering Untold Stories: An Enduring Legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision" was initiated in 2016 by The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, with funding from the Hall Center for the Humanities and The Walton Family Foundation.

The title is in keeping with the continued resonance of the landmark United States Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Individuals involved in the cases consolidated under Brown v. Board participated in a series of in-person workshops convened by The Brown Foundation onsite at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The workshops were facilitated by Cheryl Brown Henderson, Founding President of The Brown Foundation, and four University of Kansas scholars: Deborah Dandridge, Curator African American Experience Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library; John Edgar Tidwell, English Professor; Darren Canady, Playwright and Associate Professor of English; and Vincent Omni, Graduate Teaching Assistant, English Department. Workshop participants were guided through the process of writing a first person narrative.

The results of their work are contained in this collection of essays, within which each person shares personal experiences, or those of their parents, offering us a better understanding of the risk, challenge and courage of African Americans who refused to be denied constitutional rights in the era of “Jim Crow” laws.

In the following quotation from his 1994 book, Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Band of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution 1st Edition, Attorney Jack Greenberg, member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s legal team in Brown, poignantly refers to the numerous individuals who are embedded within the legal shorthand “et. al.”:

"Before lawyers can win cases there have to be clients willing to stand up for their rights. The American Blacks who proved willing to fight segregation and discrimination were organized for the most part by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in an environment hostile to change in the kind of justice afforded Blacks."

Online article:

The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas and the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research have released a new book, “Recovering Untold Stories: An Enduring Legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision.”

The landmark Supreme Court decision finding segregation of public schools unconstitutional placed Topeka at the epicenter of civil rights history. Yet the full legal citation is Oliver L. Brown, et. al. vs. the Board of Education of Topeka.

The new book’s focus is on the “et. al.”: It captures the first-person narratives of individuals who were plaintiffs or descendants of plaintiffs represented in the five cases — Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. — that were consolidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the decision.

In the instance of Brown v. the Board of Education, “et. al.” relegated several hundred men, women and children to what can be characterized as “legal wasteland,” rendering them largely unknown. The book uncovers and publishes some of their stories to provide a glimpse into the role of ordinary people who found themselves in the center of an extraordinary historic milestone.

Individuals involved in the cases participated in a series of in-person workshops in 2017 convened by the Brown Foundation onsite at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

The workshops were facilitated by Cheryl Brown Henderson, founding president of the Brown Foundation, and four University of Kansas scholars: Deborah Dandridge, curator of African American Experience collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library; John Edgar Tidwell, professor of English; Darren Canady, playwright and associate professor of English, and Vincent Omni, graduate teaching assistant in the Department of English. Workshop participants were guided through the process of writing a first-person narrative.

The results of their work are contained in this collection of essays, within which each person shares personal experiences, or those of their parents, offering a better understanding of the risk, challenge and courage of blacks who refused to be denied constitutional rights in the era of “Jim Crow” laws.

In his 1994 book, “Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Band of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution,” Jack Greenberg, member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s legal team in Brown, poignantly refers to the numerous individuals who are embedded within the legal shorthand “et. al.”:

“Before lawyers can win cases, there have to be clients willing to stand up for their rights. The American blacks who proved willing to fight segregation and discrimination were organized for the most part by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in an environment hostile to change in the kind of justice afforded blacks.”

E-book layout and design were completed by Pam LeRow, digital media services, KU Libraries. KU Libraries also published the book. The project was funded in part by the Hall Center for the Humanities and the Walton Family Foundation.

Link to acquire book since it is not on goodreads: https://www.hayspost.com/2019/03/10/n...


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Band of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution,

Crusaders in the Courts Legal Battles of the Civil Rights Movement by Jack Greenberg by Jack Greenberg (no photo)

Synopsis:

Jack Greenberg, a key figure at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for 35 years, offers a personal memoir and behind the scenes view of the legal battles of the civil rights movement culminating in the landmark trial and decision, Brown v. Board of Education; the defense of Martin Luther King Jr., the origin of major employment discrimination cases.

Awards:

American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award for Books (1995)


message 40: by Lorna, Assisting Moderator (T) - SCOTUS - Civil Rights (new)

Lorna | 2159 comments Mod


Brown v. Board of Education

UPDATED: April 8, 2020 - ORIGINAL: October 27, 2009

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement, and helped establish the precedent that “separate-but-equal” education and other services were not, in fact, equal at all.

Separate But Equal

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racially segregated public facilities were legal, so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal.

The ruling constitutionally sanctioned laws barring African Americans from sharing the same buses, schools and other public facilities as whites—known as “Jim Crow” laws—and established the “separate but equal” doctrine that would stand for the next six decades.

But by the early 1950s, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was working hard to challenge segregation laws in public schools, and had filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in states such as South Carolina, Virginia and Delaware.

In the case that would become most famous, a plaintiff named Oliver Brown filed a class-action suit against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, in 1951, after his daughter, Linda Brown, was denied entrance to Topeka’s all-white elementary schools.

In his lawsuit, Brown claimed that schools for black children were not equal to the white schools, and that segregation violated the so-called “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment, which holds that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The case went before the U.S. District Court in Kansas, which agreed that public school segregation had a “detrimental effect upon the colored children” and contributed to “a sense of inferiority,” but still upheld the “separate but equal” doctrine.

Brown v. Board of Education Verdict

When Brown’s case and four other cases related to school segregation first came before the Supreme Court in 1952, the Court combined them into a single case under the name Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Thurgood Marshall, the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, served as chief attorney for the plaintiffs. (Thirteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson would appoint Marshall as the first black Supreme Court justice.)

At first, the justices were divided on how to rule on school segregation, with Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson holding the opinion that the Plessy verdict should stand. But in September 1953, before Brown v. Board of Education was to be heard, Vinson died, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced him with Earl Warren, then governor of California.

Displaying considerable political skill and determination, the new chief justice succeeded in engineering a unanimous verdict against school segregation the following year.

In the decision, issued on May 17, 1954, Warren wrote that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” as segregated schools are “inherently unequal.” As a result, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs were being “deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.”

Little Rock Nine

In its verdict, the Supreme Court did not specify how exactly schools should be integrated, but asked for further arguments about it.

In May 1955, the Court issued a second opinion in the case (known as Brown v. Board of Education II), which remanded future desegregation cases to lower federal courts and directed district courts and school boards to proceed with desegregation “with all deliberate speed.”

Though well intentioned, the Court’s actions effectively opened the door to local judicial and political evasion of desegregation. While Kansas and some other states acted in accordance with the verdict, many school and local officials in the South defied it.

In one major example, Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas called out the state National Guard to prevent black students from attending high school in Little Rock in 1957. After a tense standoff, President Eisenhower deployed federal troops, and nine students—known as the “Little Rock Nine”—were able to enter Central High School under armed guard.

Link to remainder of article: https://www.history.com/topics/black-...
Link to videotapes: https://www.history.com/topics/black-...

More:

Thurgood Marshall American Revolutionary by Juan Williams by Juan Williams (no photo)

Source: The History Channel


message 41: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Lorna - I remember going to see the building and being on a tour of all of these locations (the school, etc.) so important to civil rights. You felt like you were there.


message 42: by William (new)

William  (soccershamu18) | 3 comments Alisa wrote: "BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION

Often cited as a pivotal point in civil rights, the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education cleared the way for public school desegregation and fueled the civil rights mo..."


Alisa...this is amazing information. Thanks for posting. I wanted to read the link you left however it gives me an error message. Not sure if its my computer or not but is there another link to further read on it?

Thanks!


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 11, 2020 02:55PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Remembering Brown versus Board of Education:

The Supreme Court decision fueled the civil right movement and the call for voting rights that are now under assault across the country by Jesse Jackson May 18, 2020, 4:59pm CDT



Near the Capitol in Washington, people attend a rally in 2019 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that ended public school segregation and fueled the civil rights movement. Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Remainder of article: https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnis...

Source: Chicago Sun Times


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