Brown v. Board of Education A Brief History with Documents

Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-10-01
Publisher(s): Bedford/St. Martin's
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This new edition of Brown v. Board of Education addresses the origins, development, meanings, and consequences of the 1954 Supreme Court decision to end Jim Crow segregation. Using legal documents to frame the debates surrounding the case, Waldo Martin presents Brown v. Board of Education as an event, a symbol, and a key marker in the black liberation struggle. This new edition strikes a balance between political and social history, not only highlighting the constitutional aspects of the decision but also the social context and impact of the decision for African Americans. With an updated introductory essay and six new documents, several of them by African American authors, the second edition of the text brings this case into the larger context of African American history and civil rights and explores its long-term effects. New questions for consideration, as well as an updated chronology and bibliography, supplement the sources. Available in print and e-book formats.

Table of Contents



PART ONE. Introduction: Shades of Brown: Black Freedom, White Supremacy, and the Law

Historical Backdrop: The Constitution, the Law, and Fighting Jim Crow

The Evolution of the NAACP Legal Campaign Against Jim Crow

The NAACP’s Legal Strategy Challenged

The Growing Anti-Racist Offensive: An American Dilemma Confronts World War II

Continuity and Change in the Legal Struggle: Equality, Equalization, and Direct Attack

Politics, Social Change, and Decision-Making within the Supreme Court: The Crafting of Brown

The Brown Decision: Immediate Responses and Immediate Consequences

PART TWO. The Documents

1. Roberts v. City of Boston (1849)

1. A Petition on Behalf of Black Inclusion in the Boston Common Schools, October 17, 1787

2. Maria W. Stewart, A Black Teacher’s Travail, 1850s

3. Charles Sumner, Brief for Public School Integration, 1849

4. Massachusetts Chief Justice Lemuel Chaw, Opinion of the Court in Roberts v. City of Boston, 1849

5. Chief Justice Robert Taney, Majority Decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857

2. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

6. Henry McNeal Turner, Civil Rights: The Outrage of the Supreme Court of the United States upon the Black Man, 1889

7. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, The Case Stated, 1895

8. Paul Laurence Dunbar, We Wear the Mask, 1895

9. Justice Henry Brown, Majority Opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896

10. Justice John Marshall Harlan, Dissenting Opinion in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896

3. Sweatt v. Painter (1950) and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950)

11. W. E. B. Du Bois, Segregation, Editorial in The Crisis, November 1910

12. Claude McKay, If We Must Die, 1919

13. Langston Hughes, I, Too, 1926

14. W. E. B. Du Bois, Does the Negro Need Separate Schools? 1935

15. Margaret Walker, For My People, 1937, 1942

16. The Petitioner’s Brief in Sweatt v. Painter, 1950

17. Chief Justice Fred Vinson, Opinion of the Court in Sweatt v. Painter, 1950

18. Chief Justice Fred Vinson, Opinion of the Court in McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 1950

4. Brown v. Board of Education (1952-55)

The Lower Court Round: Preliminary Deliberations

19. Judge John J. Parker, Decision in Briggs v. Elliott, 1951

20. Judge J. Waties Waring, Dissent in Briggs v. Elliott, 1951

The Supreme Court Rounds: The Making of Brown I and Brown II

Round One: Setting the Stage

21. Appellants’ Brief, 1952

22. The Effects of Segregation and the Consequences of Desegregation: A Social Science Statement, Appendix to Appellants’ Brief

23. Appellees’ Brief, 1952

Round Two: Reargument on Original Intent and Possible Relief

24. The Supreme Court’s Order: The Questions, 1953

25. Appellants’ Brief, 1953

26. Appellees’ Brief, 1953

27. Federal Friend-of-the-Court Brief, 1953

28. Chief Justice Earl Warren, Opinion of the Court in Brown v. Board of Education, May 17, 1954

Round Three: Reargument on Remedy – Immediate or Gradual?

29. Appellants’ Brief, 1954

30. Appellees’ Brief, 1954

31. Appellants’ Reply Brief, 1954

32. Chief Justice Earl Warren, Ruling on Relief, May 31, 1955

5. Popular Response to Brown

Newspaper Editorials

33. All God’s Chillun, Times (New York), May 18, 1954

34. The Decision of A Century, Daily World (Atlanta), May 18, 1954

35. Will Stun Communists, Courier (Pittsburgh), May 18, 1954

36. End of Dual Society, Defender (Chicago), May 18, 1954

37. Emancipation, Post and Times Herald (Washington, D.C.), May 18, 1954

38. The Supreme Court Has Given Us Time, Constitution (Atlanta), May 18, 1954

39. Bloodstains on White Marble Steps, Daily News (Jackson, Miss.), May 18, 1954

40. Equality Redefined, Herald (Boston), May 18, 1954

41. The Segregation Decision, Times (Los Angeles), May 19, 1954

42. Supreme Court Decision Opens Way For Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Campus Echo, North Carolina College at Durham, May 25, 1954

43. Equal Education For All, Teachers College Newsletter, Elizabeth City State Teachers College, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, December 1954

44. Violates Way of Life, Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia, May 18, 1954

45. Adjustment Held Difficult, Mississippian, University of Mississippi, May 18, 1954

Letters to Editors

46. Ruling on Schools Hailed, Times (New York), May 31, 1954

47. Court Order Can’t Make Races Mix, Sentinel (Orlando), August 11, 1955

Political Cartoons

48. Chronicle (San Francisco), May 18, 1954

49. Democrat (Arkansas), May 22, 1954

50. Afro-American (Richmond), May 22, 1954

51. Defender (Chicago), June 12, 1954

White Backlash

52. The Southern Manifesto, March 12, 1956

Epilogue: The Legacy of Brown


Chronology of Events Related to Brown v. Board of Education (1793-2016)

Questions for Consideration

Selected Bibliography


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