It has been 65 years since the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. the Board of Education that outlawed segregated schools in the U.S.
NBC’s Rehemma Ellis has more details in the attached video on how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in fulfilling the promise of equal education for all.
It was a fight Linda Brown’s parents were determined to win.
Their daughter was at the center of the landmark Brown versus Board of Education case during a time when Jim Crow laws dominated the south.
The Browns, from Topeka, Kansas, along with other families, including Katherine Sawyer’s, were in a desperate battle to desegregate schools.
Sawyer, 10, was the only child to testify.
She wasn’t allowed to attend the white school in her neighborhood. Instead, she took a long ride on a packed city bus to an overcrowded black school across town.
Despite protests, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that racial segregation in schools was no longer legal.
Nonetheless, a study released last week by the UCLA Civil Rights Project reported that there is “no cause for celebration.” By 2016, 40 percent of all black students were in schools with 90 percent or more students of color. New York, California, Illinois and Maryland are the four states in which a majority of black students attend 90-100 percent nonwhite schools. In fact, segregation for black students has expanded in all regions of the country, except for the Midwest, according to NBC News.
“The sad thing honestly is here, 60 years after Brown v. Board, so many Black, Latino, poor kids are in schools that are as highly segregated as was true 10 years after Brown v. Board,” said Noliwe Rooks, professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University. “One of the reasons we’ve returned to such high levels of segregation is we refuse to believe that separate is inherently unequal.”