Written on 20 May 2015, 10:22pm under Homegrown
Sixty-one years ago today the Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling. In a unanimous decision, the Court struck down the concept of “separate but equal” in the nation’s public schools. It was a catalyst that invigorated the Civil Rights Movement and its quest to end the inequality of Jim Crow laws, affecting everything from lunch counters to buses.
Sixty-one years later:
- Millions of black students attend public schools that are highly segregated by race and by income
- The most segregated schools may not be in the states you’d expect
- “…we tried for a little while, we succeeded and we gave up.”
The isolation of Black students continues unabated. White families trying to outrun integration — affectionately known as “white flight” – continues unabated. And the hyperventilating about segregated schools doesn’t seem to last any longer than the news headlines and PBS specials. There’s not an education policymaker or education reformer that puts school integration on the top of any education policy agenda.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
“Harlem” by Langston Hughes