Tag Archives: brown v board of education

EDUCATION: The Real Civil Rights Issue

How do we prepare black children to be prepared to enter into a democracy that is driven by capitalism driven by racism? Before I continue, let me say clearly, that “Knowledge is power and power produces an understanding that education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair.” This does not occur in our society as evidenced by the zip code of the student.

Since Brown v Board states have taken enormous steps to defer the education of black students. Whites have moved out to what is little more than segregated communities to establish separate but unequal schools. We have seen that No Child Left Behind does not work. Monies are stripped from budgets because of the insane war efforts and the military industrial complex. Let’s not forget we spend billion on the dream of space travel. So what is the answer?

They say Charter Schools and the privatization of schools systems – really! These options, in my opinion, are not the answer because there is little control or oversight by the educational system authority in most cases. The result is no accountability and corruption by its management. Hence, the student suffers! Let me go back to the issue of segregation – did you know that New York City public schools are the most segregated schools in the country followed by Dallas and Chicago. Shocking!!!

I am not going to dissect this issue now because I am researching for a future writing as I want to have statistics to support my contention, as I know I will be challenged. However, I have put forth what I hope is enough for some to dialog and hopefully take an interest. Every city in America has cut BILLIONs of dollars from the state’s education budget which will result in the loss of teachers. College education is becoming so expensive that most cannot endure the financial hardship.

Malcolm said, which is true, “Only a fool lets his enemy teach his children.” Fact is the education system is still “separate and unequal.” What I think this system does, I’ll call the state of miseducation that creates little more than boot camps for the other privatized entity call the PENITENTIARY!!! And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Black History: Brown V Board of Education

It’s been nearly sixty years since the landmark Brown v Board of Education case successfully argued before Supreme Court of the United States. This case changed the face of America in away unlike any other decision heard by this body.

The Brown Case, as it is known, was not the first such case regarding civil rights argued before the court. However, it was the most significant of what some would say was the final battle in the courts that had been fought by African American parents since 1849, which started with Roberts v. City of Boston, Massachusetts.

It is important to note that Kansas was the site of eleven such cases spanning from 1881 to 1949. With that said, I would like to take the opportunity to pay homage to the valor of a skillful attorney, Thurgood Marshall, who brilliantly won this case and more than fifty other cases before the Supreme Court – winning all of them.

The Brown case was initiated and organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership who recruited African American parents in Topeka, Kansas for a class action suit against the local school board. The Supreme Court combined five cases under the heading of Brown v. Board of Education: Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The ultimate goal sought by the NAACP was to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of society, including public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and all forms of public accommodations. The Case was named after Oliver Brown one of 200 plaintiffs.

The Brown Supreme Court ruling determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional in Brown I, the first opinion. The court’s implementation mandate of “with all deliberate speed” in 1955, known as Brown II. In 1979, twenty five years later, there was a Brown III because Topeka was not living up to the earlier Supreme Court ruling, which resulted in Topeka Public Schools building three magnet schools to comply with the court’s findings.

As had been the case since Homer Plessy, the subject in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites.

Now that I have provided some history related to the case let me add my commentary. It has been said, “As sure as things change they remain the same”. First, it took 60 year to overturn Plessy with Brown and it took “with all deliberate speed” 13 years for integration to begin fully. During this period from 1954 to 1967, Governors blocked school entrances and actually closed schools rather than comply with the law of the land. I am not going to touch on the violence that caused President’s to send the US Army and National Guard troops to schools in order to protect the safety of those the ruling was intended benefit as a result of the Brown decision.

Since then and over time many scams have been devised to disenfranchise minorities and African Americans in particular – need I remind you of “No Child Left Behind”. This brings us to where we are today. Schools are equally as segregated, poorly funded, dilapidated facilities, and a police presence to save, often times, the kids from themselves. The dropout rate averages 2 to 1. These are just a few issues and by any measure of academic standards or common sense – is a failure.

Let’s make sure we understand that public education was not created to develop minds, rather it was intended to simply teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was created to maintain a permanent underclass. Maybe the word “class” is the operative word in all of this – the haves have and the have not’s will have not. So as sure as things change they remain the same.

That is why it is imperative for us to celebrate this Black History Month and continue the struggle for equality, as the ghosts of so many died for a simply principle; “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair”.

Black History is American History! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

“Just a Season”
 
Legacy – A New Season the sequel is coming!


WHEN THE WORLD CHANGED FOREVER

On May 17, 1954, the Warren Court’s unanimous (9-0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This was the day of the landmark Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision that changed the face of America unlike any other decision before or since.

It was the cornerstone that laid the foundation for all of the civil rights African American’s know today, just as the late Thurgood Marshall, who brilliantly argued and won this case envisioned. It is also very appropriate to recognize the skillful talent of Justice Marshall for his more than fifty victories before the Supreme Court, more than any other attorney in history.

The Brown case, as it is known, was not the first such case regarding civil rights argued before the Supreme Court. It was just the most significant of what some would say was the final battle in the courts that had been fought by African American parents since 1849 with Roberts v. City of Boston, Massachusetts. It is also important to note that Kansas was the site of eleven such cases spanning from 1881 to 1949.

The case was named after Oliver Brown one of 200 plaintiffs. The Brown case was initiated and organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership who recruited African American parents in Topeka, Kansas for a class action suit against the local school board. The Supreme Court combined five cases under the heading Brown v. Board of Education: Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. The ultimate goal sought by the NAACP was to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of society, including public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and all forms of public accommodations.

The Brown Supreme Court ruling determined racial segregation in public education was unconstitutional in Brown I, the first opinion. The court’s implementation mandated “with all deliberate speed” in 1955 was known as Brown II. In 1979, twenty five years later, there was a Brown III because Topeka was not living up to the earlier Supreme Court ruling, which resulted in Topeka Public Schools building three magnet schools to comply with the court’s findings.

As had been the case since Homer Plessy, the subject in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Louisiana law mandating separate but equal accommodations for blacks and whites on intrastate railroads was constitutional. This decision provided the legal foundation to justify many other actions by state and local governments to socially separate blacks and whites.

Now that I have provided some history related to the case let me add my commentary. It has been said that as sure as things change they remain the same. First, it took 60 year to overturn Plessy with Brown and it took “with all deliberate speed” 13 years for integration to begin fully. During the period from 1954 to 1967, governors blocked school entrances and actually closed schools rather than comply with the law of the land. I am not going to touch on the violence that caused Presidents to send the US Army and National Guard troops to schools in order to protect the safety of those the ruling was intended benefit as a result of the Brown decision.

Since then, and over time, many scams have been devised to disenfranchise minorities and African Americans in particular. I need only remind you of “No Child Left Behind” where we see persistent patterns of underachievement for lower-income students on standardized test scores. These standardized tests serve as gatekeepers to a child’s academic future, which I don’t believe was the spirit of the Brown case.

This brings us to where we are today concerning the inequity that still exists. For example in Washington DC the capital of the free world with its minority public school student population of about 95% (all minorities included) suggests that schools are equally as segregated, poorly funded, and there dilapidated facilities equate to pre Brown V Board era schools. The police presence that exists today unlike then serves to save, often times, the students from themselves. About three-fourths of elementary students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The dropout rate averages 2 to 1. These are just a few issues that by any measure of academic standards or common sense suggest failure.

The Quality Counts Report, a publication from Editorial Projects in Education, which publishes the trade magazine Education Week, rated the 50 states and the District in six areas of educational performance and policy. Washington schools were ranked 51st  in the report, but the lead researcher said that Washington is more comparable to large cities than to states, which have a mix of struggling urban and higher-performing suburban and rural schools. Like school districts in most large cities, Washington schools are severely challenged with daunting problems with the most serious being a large population of students from poor families living in troubled neighborhoods.

After fifty-five years, it is not unreasonable to seek and ask that the spirit of Brown rest in the city where the decision was rendered into law. I understand that public education was not created to develop minds rather it was intended to simply teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. It was created to maintain a permanent underclass. Much like it was then, a travesty, in many ways it remains a travesty for the children in most Urban Public School System’s particularly in the city that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom around the world.

I, like Dr. King believe in the dream but we have unfinished business and as it stands – it is a dream deferred. I ask that we open our eyes and continue the struggle as the ghosts of so many greats died for this principle: “education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair”.

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

Legacy – A New Season will be released June 15, 2012

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