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Articles on Brown v. Board of Education

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Court-ordered desegregation has happened in the U.S. as recently as 2015, when a federal judge issued a desegregation order to the Cleveland, Miss., school district. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

US schools are not racially integrated, despite decades of effort

Though the 1954 Brown v. Board ruling required the integration of public education, US schools remain separated by race.
A U.S. Federal Marshal escorts Gail Etienne to her first day of school on Nov. 14, 1960. Underwood Archives/Getty Images

A New Orleans community center rises from its ugly history as a segregated school

In the early 1960s, the McDonogh 19 school was the site of fierce opposition to racial integration. The building is now owned by one of the Black girls who first integrated the school.
The collective memory of school desegregation is of anger and division, like in this photo of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford walking away from a crowd outside a high school in Little Rock, Ark. Bettmann via Getty Images

How did white students respond to school integration after Brown v. Board of Education?

Americans’ collective memory of school desegregation involves crowds of screaming white protesters. But less well known are the whites who stood by quietly, and those who approved of the changes.
Black teachers comprise just 7% of U.S. public school teachers even though 16% of their students are Black. Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Lessons from segregated schools can help make today’s classrooms more inclusive

Two scholars of inclusive education explain how segregated Black schools advocated for Black children in a way that’s often missing from today’s desegregated classrooms.
President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which aimed to do away with racial discrimination in the law. But discrimination persisted. AP file photo

Critical race theory: What it is and what it isn’t

A scholar of race and racism explains what critical race theory is – and how many people get it wrong.
School boycott picketers march across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Board of Education in 1964. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Fighting school segregation didn’t take place just in the South

In the 1950s, Harlem mother Mae Mallory fought a school system that she saw as ‘just as Jim Crow’ as the one she had attended in the South.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, a Trump appointee, surprised many court watchers by authoring the decision to expand the Civil Rights Act. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When Supreme Court justices defy expectations

Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the Supreme Court as a conservative. But his ruling in a major civil rights case is part of a pattern of justices setting aside ideology to address historic injustices.
School segregation was the law of the land in the U.S. during much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com

Who was the first Black child to go to an integrated school?

School integration is often thought of as something that took place in the 1960s. But the first Black student to desegregate a school by court order was an Iowa girl named Susan Clark in 1868.
A 1974 Supreme Court decision found that school segregation was allowable if it wasn’t being done on purpose. AP

The Supreme Court decision that kept suburban schools segregated

When the Supreme Court exempted suburbs in the North from the kind of desegregation orders imposed in the South, it enabled the ‘de facto’ segregation that continues in America’s schools to this day.
Thurgood Marshall outside the Supreme Court in Washington in 1958. Marshall, the head of the NAACP’s legal arm who argued part of the case, went on to become the Supreme Court’s first African-American justice. AP

The Brown v. Board of Education case didn’t start how you think it did

While the Brown vs. Board of Education case is often celebrated for ordering school desegregation, history shows many black people in the city where the case began opposed integrated schools.

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