Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity Digest Volume 8, Number 2

Diversity Digest
Volume 8,
Number 2

Download our print issue (PDF)
Institutional Leadership and Commitment
The Lasting Legacy of Brown
University of South Carolina Upstate:
A Model of Excellence and Diversity
Fifty Years after Brown v. Board of Education: Reflections from an Activist-Administrator
Faculty Involvement
A Search for Deep Diversity in the Communication Classroom
Making Diversity News
The 1954 Brown Decision: Fueling the Torch of Liberation for Asian Pacific Americans
Brown v. Board’s Legacy and Contemporary Black Higher Education
Student Leaders Reflect on the Legacy of Brown
The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice: Education and Empowerment for an Engaged Citizenry
Diversity at Middlesex Community College
Books on Brown v. Board of Education

Books on Brown v. Board of Education

By Walter Clark, director of admissions, Middlesex Community College

Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfulfilled Hopes for Racial Reform, by Derrick Bell. (Oxford University Press, 2004.)

Bell argues that because of the perversity of racism, Brown v. Board of Education undermined rather than advanced the educational interests of black children. Although he acknowledges that striking down the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” mandate was a monumental action, Bell claims that little was done to enforce the equality side of the equation between racial communities. Bell argues that the importance of the landmark Brown decision lies more in the ruling’s symbolic value than in its substance. The road to equal educational opportunity has proven to be longer and more difficult than many had hoped.

All Deliberate Speed: Reflections of the First Half-Century of Brown v. Board of Education, by Charles J. Ogletree. (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004.)

Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree analyzes the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional. He also examines the meaning of Brown for all Americans by describing the lives and roles of those involved, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Earl Warren, and Thurgood Marshall. The synthesis of historical and personal accounts makes this book central to understanding the impact and the legacy of Brown on American society.

Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution, edited by Robert J. Cottrol and Leland Ware. (University Press of Kansas, 2003.)

This book examines the court cases involved in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. It focuses on the fundamental role that the NAACP played in bringing about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” doctrine. The authors craft their story to show that Brown changed the national equation of race and caste and our view of the Court’s role in American life.

The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education, by the editors of Black Issues in Higher Education with James Anderson, Dara N. Bryne, and Tavis Smiley. (John Wiley & Sons, 2004.)

The editors of Black Issues in Higher Education collaborated with a diverse group of activists, jurists, educators, scholars, and theorists to create this collection of essays. Contributors such as Derrick Bell, Cheryl Brown Henderson, Evelyn Hu DeHart, and Gary Orfield share a range of perspectives on the meaning and influence of Brown decision and the ensuing transformation of the United States over the past fifty years. It is the collection of many voices that makes this book profound and powerful. The essays provide both historical and personal perspectives on Brown v. Board of Education.

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, by Michael J. Klarman. (Oxford University Press, 2004.)

This book delves deeply into constitutional law on race from the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century and considers the social and political milieu of the Brown decision. Professor Klarman examines the dynamic social and legal tensions affecting southern politics, the civil rights movement, and the subsequent national reactions that led to the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Well researched and skillfully crafted, it is a book that reveals the powerful effects of the Supreme Court upon the American landscape.

Questions, comments, and suggestions regarding Diversity & Democracy should be directed to Kathryn Peltier Campbell at campbell@aacu.org.
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