Saturday, May 24, 2008

Last Brown v. Board Plaintiff Dies at 88

The last surviving Brown v. Board plaintiff, Zelma Henderson, died at the age of 88 on Tuesday in Topeka, Kansas.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News in 1994, Mrs. Henderson reflected on Brown 40 years later. "None of us knew that this case would be so important and come to the magnitude it has," she said. "What little bit I did, I feel I helped a whole nation."
A decision that is critically important to our nation's educational history:
“We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,” Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the court’s opinion. “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

"It's getting to the point of almost absolute segregation in the worst of the segregated cities – within one or two percentage points of what the Old South used to be like," says Gary Orfield, codirector of the Civil Rights Project and one of the study's authors. "The biggest metro areas are the epicenters of segregation. It's getting worse for both blacks and Latinos, and nothing is being done about it."

About one-sixth of black students and one-ninth of Latino students attend what Mr. Orfield calls "apartheid schools," at least 99 percent minority. In big cities, black and Latino students are nearly twice as likely to attend such schools. Some two-thirds of black and Latino students in big cities attend schools with less than 10 percent white students; in rural areas, about one-seventh of black and Latino students do. Although the South was the region that originally integrated the most successfully, it's beginning to resegregate, as in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg district.
More information and resources:

From The Civil Rights Project:
From Jonathan Kozol:

No comments: