NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ987920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1206-9620
Separate Is Inherently Unequal: Rethinking Commonly Held Wisdom
Lightfoot, Jonathan D.
International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, v10 n23 2006
Modern educational reform owes much to the legal team and educational leaders who fought to make equal educational opportunity a reality for Black students in the United States of America. Their efforts helped to dismantle American apartheid; a.k.a. Jim Crow, a system of allocating human and civil rights according to assigned or assumed "racial" classifications. The 1954 Supreme Court concluded that the doctrine of "separate but equal", initiated in 1896 under Plessy, has no place in public education and separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Since the 1954 decision of "Brown v. Board of Education Topeka", Kansas "separate is inherently unequal" has been the mantra used by advocates of desegregated schools. The purpose of this research is to question commonly held wisdom promoting the idea that if things are separate, they must be unequal. Integration, it follows, is then sought as the solution to the problem of inequality. I argue that we abandon such reductive logic and focus our energies on battling the racism that results in segregation. Seeking integration to overcome segregation without addressing racism does not solve the problem of unequal educational opportunity.
University of Calgary Press. 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada. Tel: 403-220-7578; Fax: 403-282-0085; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas; United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education