May 17, 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's monumental decision in the cases collectively known as Brown v. Board of Education, which struck down the notion of "separate but equal" education and ended legalized segregation in America's public schools. The Brown petition represented six separate cases: in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Delaware.
Referred to by many legal scholars as the "case of the century", Brown helped launch the civil rights movement that challenged America's race relations and social structure over the following decades. The legal precedent set in this groundbreaking case still serves as model for human rights activism throughout the world today.
But a half-century later, scholars and community leaders are still struggling to ensure that equal educational opportunities are indeed offered to all citizens. This essential study will address the most pressing questions about race and ethnicity in America…then and now.
This program examines the unique legal strategies employed by the NAACP and the Legal Defense Fund, Inc., to combat school segregation in the courts, uncover the split public sentiment that fueled the social structure of the "Jim Crow" era, address the successes and failures in the implementation of desegregation, and most importantly, analyze the role of diversity and multicultural education in America today.