The 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

Posted on May 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

doll testSixty years ago today the US Supreme Court issued one of the most momentous judicial decisions in history: Brown v. Board of Education, reversing past law holding that “separate but equal” schools violated the Constitution.  My sister, Martha Minow, wrote an acclaimed book about the decision and its legacy: In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Educational Landmark.

I also recommend:

Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise A documentary about the impact of the Brown decision on American schools.

Separate But Equal Sidney Poitier plays Thurgood Marshall, who argued the Brown case before the Supreme Court and later became the first black Supreme Court justice.  The details of the case are fascinating, especially the lower court ruling from an unsympathetic judge that vastly enlarged the scope of the case and the “doll test” that the lawyers used to demonstrate that there is no such thing as “separate but equal.”

brown v. boardThurgood Laurence Fishburne plays Marshall in this biography.  

Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later The ugly desegregation battle in Little Rock inspired several films including this documentary update.

Ruby Bridges Disney’s film about the little girl who became the first black student in her school is a good introduction to this history for children.  

Bright Road The exquisite Dorothy Dandridge stars in this film about a warm-hearted teacher at a segregated school.norman-rockwell-the-problem-we-all-live-with1

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