From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court: Brown v. Board of Education and American Democracy (Constitutional Conflicts)

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9780822334491: From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court: Brown v. Board of Education and American Democracy (Constitutional Conflicts)
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Perhaps more than any other Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision declaring the segregation of public schools unconstitutional, highlighted both the possibilities and the limitations of American democracy. This collection of sixteen original essays by historians and legal scholars takes the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown to reconsider the history and legacy of that landmark decision. From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court juxtaposes oral histories and legal analysis to provide a nuanced look at how men and women understood Brown and sought to make the decision meaningful in their own lives.

The contributors illuminate the breadth of developments that led to Brown, from the parallel struggles for social justice among African Americans in the South and Mexican, Asian, and Native Americans in the West during the late nineteenth century to the political and legal strategies implemented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp) in the twentieth century. Describing the decision’s impact on local communities, essayists explore the conflict among African Americans over the implementation of Brown in Atlanta’s public schools as well as understandings of the ruling and its relevance among Puerto Rican migrants in New York City. Assessing the legacy of Brown today, contributors analyze its influence on contemporary law, African American thought, and educational opportunities for minority children.

Contributors
Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Davison M. Douglas
Raymond Gavins
Laurie B. Green
Christina Greene
Blair L. M. Kelley
Michael J. Klarman
Peter F. Lau
Madeleine E. Lopez
Waldo E. Martin Jr.
Vicki L. Ruiz
Christopher Schmidt
Larissa M. Smith
Patricia Sullivan
Kara Miles Turner
Mark V. Tushnet

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""From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court "combines well-crafted accounts that are both top-down and bottom-up (sometimes within the same essay). This intellectually stimulating approach generates unanticipated synergies, new ways of understanding the persisting struggle for racial justice."--David L. Kirp, author of "Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education"

About the Author:

Peter F. Lau is an independent scholar who earned his doctorate in history from Rutgers University. He has taught at Rutgers and the University of Rhode Island. Currently he is teaching history at Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island.

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