Today marks 60 years of the groundbreaking case of the 1954 ruling of Brown v. Board of Education. Though the ruling overturned the famous Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, and other court cases that advanced the landmark decision, schools today are more segregated than ever.
PBS.org gives the following analysis of Brown vs. Board of Education –
Brown v. Board of Education (1954), now acknowledged as one of the greatest Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century, unanimously held that the racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Although the decision did not succeed in fully desegregating public education in the United States, it put the Constitution on the side of racial equality and galvanized the nascent civil rights movement into a full revolution.
Should the breakthrough case be celebrated? Yes, accolades should go to Thurgood Marshall and the other lawyers who fought for a better education for black children. Praise can be given to Chief Justice Earl Warren and his cohorts in making a 9-0 decision.
But let’s be frank about the matter. Black children have always had to suffer under the consequences of getting a decent education. There have always been challenges faced – government laws and legislation, schools closing, teacher’s attitudes, not enough resources, administration confusion, kids being bused, and walking miles to schools – all problems that try to hinder blacks from receiving a good education.
Why is this? Why do these children have to suffer? Why do children have to live in a country that holds them back due to the color of their skin? What are whites afraid of – competition? Someone having a crush or liking someone in school regardless of color? Having different friends from different backgrounds?
Why can’t schools with the majority of blacks get the same resources? Why should black children be forced to do things made by adult decisions they don’t understand? IF used properly for educational and not societal purposes, separate can be equal if schools with the majority of blacks had the same resources white schools have.
Blacks do not, though it may be encouraged, have to sit around white kids to get a good education. There has always been a comparison between blacks and whites in this country when it comes to intelligence. The racist principle in America continues in the mission of white supremacy that filters down unfortunately to black adults and children. If black people were treated as equals, this would not be a matter of discussion.
Many schools now with the majority of black children are now pipelines to prison. Many get suspended. They now get tickets as if they did a traffic violation. They go to school, coming inside under metal detectors. What kind of atmosphere is that for children to learn?
Black parents need to get more involved in the process. Strength comes in numbers. Agitate, demand for your children on a constant and consistent basis. Know your child’s curriculum, the school administration in your city, town and rural area; how it’s run, and the fiscal amount in your school district. Go to meetings, do what you must do to get answers for your child. If you can’t go, get a representative. Excuses here cannot apply.
Blacks as a whole need to stop comparing themselves with whites. There needs to be a concentrated effort to help each other and learn from each other. We are the only ones who can resolve our problems. Statistics, test scores, percentages and other numeric figures show negative content against blacks that have become an irritant and eyesore –perhaps purposely done to lower your self esteem. This psychological hangover needs to stop.
Many blacks have received a suitable education and gone forth to pursue their goals. Unfortunately just as many have not. Due to laws, legislation, incompetent people and funding, education is still a challenge for many black children. It is not their fault. The blame lies with the adults who control their lives. Every child can learn with the proper and correct school environment.
Sixty long years. This is not to say some improvements have been made. But if you have to look for examples and bring them to the forefront, that should tell you more needs to be done. If this whole educational mess was done properly, fairly and equally, it would be part of the norm.
Below are four stories of interest regarding the landmark decision.