Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution

Overview

This new study of Brown - the title for a group of cases drawn from Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, and the District of Columbia - offers an insightful and original overview designed expressly for students and general readers. It is concise, up-to-date, highly readable, and very teachable.

The book traces the lengthy court litigations, highlighting the pivotal role of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and including incisive portraits of ...

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Overview

This new study of Brown - the title for a group of cases drawn from Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, and the District of Columbia - offers an insightful and original overview designed expressly for students and general readers. It is concise, up-to-date, highly readable, and very teachable.

The book traces the lengthy court litigations, highlighting the pivotal role of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and including incisive portraits of key players, including co-plaintiff Oliver Brown, newly appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren, NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, and Justice Felix Frankfurter, who recognized the crucial importance of a unanimous court decision and helped produce it. The authors simply but powerfully narrate the obstacles these individuals faced and the opportunities they grasped and clearly show that there was much more at stake than educational rights. Brown not only changed the national equation of race and caste - it also changed our view of the Court's role in American life.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Cottrol, Raymond T. Diamond, and Leland B. Ware (law, George Washington Univ., Tulane Univ., and the Univ. of Delaware, respectively) take us through a history of civil rights in education, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education case in May 2004. They begin by exploring the concept of caste in post-Civil War days, when castelike restrictions were routinely placed on former slaves. They then explore the relationship between law and culture, showing how legal opinions influenced society even as the laws of the day drew on the bigotry that was the norm. But when African Americans began bringing lawsuits against educational institutions, the Constitution came to their aid. Though the first skirmishes were fought in the arena of higher education, the focus eventually shifted to elementary and secondary education. The authors take us through these early legal battles, leading us up to the group of cases from Kansas, Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware, and the District of Columbia known collectively as Brown v. Board of Education. But the story doesn't stop there. An epilog denotes the current status of segregation in the American educational system, showing how far we've slipped since this decision. Although filled with legalese, this book is fairly accessible and makes for a good selection for most public and academic libraries.-Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 "A People Apart" 11
2 "Separate and Unequal": An American Apartheid at the Dawn of an American Century 34
3 The NAACP in the Interwar Years: The Struggle Renewed 49
4 From Scientific Racism to Uneasy Egalitarianism: One Nation's Troubled Odyssey 77
5 Setting the Stage 101
6 Arguing the Case 119
7 Anatomy of a Decision 151
8 Brown II: "All Deliberate Speed" 183
9 From Target to Icon: Brown and the Role of Courts in American Life 208
Epilogue: Brown and Race: The Divided Legacy 234
Chronology 245
Bibliographical Essay 251
Bibliography 261
Index 277
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