Celebrating Brown, Confronting Its Challenging Legacy - Higher Education: he landmark 1954 Brown v. Board ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw racial segregation in public schools overturned the doctrine of “separate but equal” in American law and cleared the way for public school desegregation.
Six decades later, the promise of Brown, which envisioned high quality education for American children no matter their race or economic background, remains unfulfilled. In marking the decision’s sixtieth anniversary, scholars and social activists are bringing attention to what’s been described as the “mixed legacy” of Brown and are urging a renewed push for racial and economic equity in American education.
“Brown was a major accomplishment and we should rightfully be proud,” said Dr. Gary Orfield, the co-director of the UCLA-based Civil Rights Project, Thursday in a statement. “But a real celebration should also involve thinking seriously about why the country has turned away from the goal of Brown and accepted deepening polarization and inequality in our schools.”