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ERIC Number: EJ768458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0548-1457
What Are the Ultimate Meaning and Significance of "Brown v. Board of Education?" A Note on Justice, Constitutionalism, and the Human Person
Cook, Samuel DuBois
Negro Educational Review, The, v56 n1 p3-10 Jan 2005
Much of the country has participated in the 50th anniversary celebration of "Brown v. Board of Education," a decision handed down by the Supreme Court on May 17, 1954. This historic, landmark, controversial, and revolutionary case nullified and reversed so much of the content, character, and spirit of American constitutional history, jurisprudence, and moral philosophy on the status, rights, and privileges of blacks and helped to catalyze, mobilize, and energize the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Revolution. This article discusses the ultimate meaning and significance of "Brown v. Board of Education." The Brown case makes justice and equality or "equal justice" the centerpiece and cornerstone of American constitutionalism in reference to blacks as citizens and human beings. Central is substantial, meaningful, and full equality. Gone is the idea of "partial," fragmentary, limited, relative equality in comparison to whites. Equality is truly constitutionalized. The constitutional ground is level--no gradations, classifications, distinctions, hierarchy, superior or inferior, subordination or elevation categories of citizens and human beings under the American Constitution. The rights of whites and blacks are equal and on the same level. The Brown decision can be, in part at least, redemptive of one of the country's greatest and most tragic failures--the terrible racist injustices inflicted on black people. Ultimately, "Brown v. Board of Education" was about simple justice. Justice is one of civilization's and humankind's highest values and deepest yearnings. The Brown decision could advance, in a profound and compelling way, what Daniel Webster called "the great work of humans on earth, achieving justice."
Negro Educational Review, Inc. NER Editorial Offices, School of Education, 1601 East Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27411. Tel: 412-648-7320; Fax: 412-648-7081; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Brown v Board of Education