ERIC Number: EJ702808
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr-8
Reference Count: N/A
Civil Rights Milestones Offer Lessons
Black Issues in Higher Education, v21 n4 p39 Apr 2004
The landmark legal decision, Brown v. Board of Education, was rendered on May 17, 1954. Fifty years later, campuses and communities are commemorating the decision and its impact on contemporary life. The Harvard legal scholar, Charles Ogletree, has published a riveting book of his reflections, a government commission is staging a variety of activities, and dozens, if not hundreds, of campuses are looking at the Brown decision from many perspectives. Brown v. Board of Education was the repudiation of both the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision (1857), which said that Black people had no rights that Whites were bound to respect, and also the Plessy v. Ferguson decision (1896) that established the doctrine of "separate but equal." For many the decision was about education, but it was, more importantly about equal protection under the law. With per capita expenditure per pupil varying so widely in local jurisdictions both within states and around the nation, one wonders if we have actually achieved the equal protection that Brown mandated. We have come a long way from separate and inferior, education that included a shorter school calendar, lower teacher salaries, pass-along books and inadequate materials. Yet, if we are brutally honest, we will note that some of the problems of the 1950s remain in education, that the materials and physical plant remain inadequate for inner-city students, and that education, thanks to residential patterns, is resegregating. Commemorating Brown v. Board of Education should not overshadow many of the other milestones that bear commemoration this year. The Civil Rights Act was passed 40 years ago, as was the Economic Opportunity Act. These laws were, in some ways, as revolutionary as Brown. with the EOA representing the central thrust of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society legislation and his War on Poverty. A plethora of programs were established under the EOA, including Head Start, Summer Youth Programs, Neighborhood Legal Services, Foster Grandparents, Senior Centers, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) programs, the Job Corps, economic development programs and other programs.
Descriptors: Civil Rights, Court Litigation, Higher Education, Racial Segregation, School Desegregation, Poverty, Equal Education, Racial Discrimination, Economic Factors, Federal Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Urban Schools
Cox Matthews and Associates, Inc., 10520 Warwick Avenue, Suite B-8, Fairfax, VA 22030-3136. Web site: http://www.blackissues.com.
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Journal Articles
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Kindergarten; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Economic Opportunity Act 1964