By James T. Patterson
Many folks have been elated while excellent courtroom leader Justice Earl Warren added 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 legal professional for the black households that introduced the litigation, exclaimed later, ''I was once so chuffed, i used to be numb.'' The novelist Ralph Ellison wrote, ''another conflict of the Civil battle has been received. the remaining is as much as us and i am very blissful. What an excellent international of probabilities are opened up for the children!'' the following, in a concise, compelling narrative, Bancroft Prize-winning historian James T. Patterson takes readers during 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 court cases (at nice own cost); to Thurgood Marshall, who later turned a Justice himself; to Earl Warren, who shepherded a fractured court docket to a unanimous choice. Others comprise segregationist politicians like Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas; Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson, and Nixon; and arguable perfect courtroom justices resembling William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas. such a lot americans nonetheless see Brown as a triumph--but was once it? Patterson shrewdly explores the provocative questions that also swirl round the case. may well the Court--or President Eisenhower--have performed extra to make sure compliance with Brown? Did the choice spark off the trendy civil rights flow? How worthy are court-ordered busing and affirmative motion opposed to racial segregation? To what volume has racial blending affected the tutorial success of black childrens? the place certainly will we cross from the following to achieve the expectancies of Marshall, Ellison, and others in 1954?
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Extra info for Brown v. Board of Education: A Civil Rights Milestone and Its Troubled Legacy
No one expressed this feeling more clearly than Herbert Ravenel Sass, a South Carolinian, in the Atlantic Monthly in 1956: To suppose that, proclaiming the virtual identity of the races, we can promote all other degrees of race mixing but stop short of interracial mating is—if I may use an overworked but vivid simile—like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel in the expectation of stopping three fourths of the way down. The South is now the great bulwark against intermarriage. 16 Confronted with such a wall of racism, activist blacks in the South— many of them members of militant local chapters of the NAACP— countered by staging voter registration drives and rallying against police brutality.
McLaurin testiﬁed that it was ‘‘quite strange and humiliating to be placed out in 18 • Brown v. ’’ The Court agreed. ’’38 For the Fund these were heartening decisions, the more so because the Court also ruled on that day, in the Henderson case, against segregated dining on interstate trains. Moreover, the Truman administration’s solicitor general, Philip Pearlman, had backed the Fund by ﬁling a brief as a ‘‘friend of the court’’ in these cases. The way now seemed clear for the Fund to ﬁght against racial discrimination not only in graduate and professional schools but also across the board.
His experience, like that of others, exposed the uncompromising hostility that many whites in the Deep South displayed when they faced challenges to racial mores. Briggs’s experience also revealed the courage and toughness of black people in places like Clarendon County, which was 70 percent African American in population. In those communities where blacks were in the majority, they could and sometimes did come together and stay together. When the Briggs case reached federal district court in Charleston in May 1951, more than 500 blacks from the county packed into cars for the two-hour drive to the city.