Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and by James T. Patterson

By James T. Patterson

Many of us have been elated while excellent courtroom leader Justice Earl Warren brought Brown v. Board of schooling of Topeka in could 1954, the ruling that struck down state-sponsored racial segregation in America's public colleges. Thurgood Marshall, leader lawyer for the black households that introduced the litigation, exclaimed later, ''I was once so satisfied, i used to be numb.'' The novelist Ralph Ellison wrote, ''another conflict of the Civil warfare has been received. the remaining is as much as us and i am very blissful. What a superb international of probabilities are opened up for the children!'' right here, in a concise, compelling narrative, Bancroft Prize-winning historian James T. Patterson takes readers throughout the dramatic case and its fifty-year aftermath. a variety of characters animates the tale, from the little-known African-Americans who dared to problem Jim Crow with complaints (at nice own cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later turned a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured courtroom to a unanimous selection. Others comprise segregationist politicians like Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas; Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon; and debatable superb court docket justices akin to William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas. so much americans nonetheless see Brown as a triumph--but used to be it? Patterson shrewdly explores the provocative questions that also swirl round the case. may perhaps the Court--or President Eisenhower--have performed extra to make sure compliance with Brown? Did the choice spark off the fashionable civil rights circulate? How valuable are court-ordered busing and affirmative motion opposed to racial segregation? To what quantity has racial blending affected the educational fulfillment of black childrens? the place certainly will we move from the following to achieve the expectancies of Marshall, Ellison, and others in 1954?

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Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection) during the 1940s, overcrowding in black elementary schools led to double sessions that limited children to three hours per day. Many black children roved the streets during the rest of the time. 05 for blacks, $570 for whites. 6 among whites. Only after 1950, when the NAACP brought suit against segregation, did worried city and school officials build new facilities so as to claim that they were meeting the constitutional principle of separate-but-truly-equal.

18 Thus it was that a cadre of black leaders like Thurgood Marshall— not black masses—tended to dominate the strategies that were employed into the early 1950s to promote change in southern race relations. These leaders, too, acted carefully, relying primarily on legal campaigns that were unavoidably slow. By the late 1940s, Marshall was thinking seriously about confronting segregation head-on. But many other black leaders in local NAACP branches resisted such a move. Some of them could not imagine that the white-dominated courts would support any significant transformation in racial mores.

During the school year 1949–50, Clarendon County spent $149 per white child in the public schools, as opposed to $43 for each black child. The total value of the sixty-one black schools, attended by 6,531 students, was listed officially as $194,575; the value of the twelve white schools, accommodating 2,375 students, was placed at $673,850. The schools for whites were generally built of brick or stucco and enjoyed abundant teaching supplies. More than half of those for blacks were ramshackle shanties in which one or two teachers had only the most rudimentary instructional materials.

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