Perhaps more than any other Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education
, the 1954 decision declaring the segregation of public schools unconstitutional, highlighted both the possibilities and the limitations of American democracy. This collection of sixteen original essays by historians and legal scholars takes the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown
to reconsider the history and legacy of that landmark decision. From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court
juxtaposes oral histories and legal analysis to provide a nuanced look at how men and women understood Brown
and sought to make the decision meaningful in their own lives.
The contributors illuminate the breadth of developments that led to Brown, from the parallel struggles for social justice among African Americans in the South and Mexican, Asian, and Native Americans in the West during the late nineteenth century to the political and legal strategies implemented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp) in the twentieth century. Describing the decision’s impact on local communities, essayists explore the conflict among African Americans over the implementation of Brown in Atlanta’s public schools as well as understandings of the ruling and its relevance among Puerto Rican migrants in New York City. Assessing the legacy of Brown today, contributors analyze its influence on contemporary law, African American thought, and educational opportunities for minority children.
Davison M. Douglas
Laurie B. Green
Blair L. M. Kelley
Michael J. Klarman
Peter F. Lau
Madeleine E. Lopez
Waldo E. Martin Jr.
Vicki L. Ruiz
Larissa M. Smith
Kara Miles Turner
Mark V. Tushnet